Ted Howard is the Co-founder and President of The Democracy Collaborative. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Economic Alternatives.
In July 2010, Ted was appointed the Steven Minter Senior Fellow for Social Justice at The Cleveland Foundation, a position he held for four years. Working with the Foundation, he was a member of a team that developed the comprehensive job creation and wealth building strategy which resulted in the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative.
Ted lectures frequently about community wealth building, most recently at the Clinton Global Initiative-America, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the Co-operatives United World Conference (Manchester, England), various regional Federal Reserve Banks, as well as at universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, MIT, Georgetown, Oberlin, Michigan State and the Ohio State University.
He is the author of numerous articles appearing in popular and community development publications. His chapter "Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing" is included in a book of readings (Investing in What Works for America’s Communities) published in 2012 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He is also co-author of a chapter on “Economic Democracy” in Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles and Practices (Macmillan) and a chapter on “The Essential Connection: Environmental Sustainability, Community Stability and Equitable Development” in Ensuring a Sustainable Future: Making Progress on Environment and Equity (Oxford University Press). His most recent publications include The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth (co-authored with colleagues at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning) and The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs (with Steve Dubb and Sarah McKinley).
Ted serves on the board of directors of LIFT, a national organization dedicated to engaging young Americans in combating poverty in our nation’s core urban areas; its chapters are based in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. He is also a member of the board of directors for BALLE, a national alliance championing sustainability, social finance and community-based economic development, and is also a founding member of the board of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation.
Ted was designated a CFED Innovation Award recipient in 2010. The magazine Utne Reader named him one of "25 visionaries who are changing your world."
Donald Trump will not be president forever, but in his time in office he can do substantial damage in many areas of American life. As one donor told us, "We risk having 40 years of progress in community development unraveled in the next 18 months."
Principally, that’s because the new administration, along with Republican congressional leaders, is targeting federal spending on social programs and community development — a major bulwark against the consequences of generational poverty and ever-growing wealth inequality. Hundreds of billions of dollars are at risk.
Philanthropy, which awards about $60 billion in grants annually, cannot possibly meet this shortfall. But it can help ensure that when the political winds change, as they inevitably will, the pieces are in place for a progressive agenda. One key way to do this is to support innovative local and regional programs that can be expanded nationally when the opening occurs.
This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.
This report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT focuses on the path-breaking Vision 2010 Program implemented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by University Hospitals System. Over a five year period, the initiative targeted more than $1 billion of procurement locally to create jobs, empower minority- and female-owned businesses, and create a “new normal” for responsible, community-focused business practices in the region.
Ted Howard contributed this essay to Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty.
Something important is happening in Cleveland: a new model of large-scale worker- and community-benefiting enterprises is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL)--a worker-owned, industrial-size, thoroughly "green" operation--opened its doors late last fall in Glenville, a neighborhood with a median income hovering around $18,000. It's the first of ten major enterprises in the works in Cleveland, where the poverty rate is more than 30 percent and the population has declined from 900,000 to less than 450,000 since 1950.
- Submitted by john on February 8th, 2018
The Democracy Collaborative's Ted Howard gave the keynote address at an event in Preston, England, announcing the launch of a new Community Wealth Building Unit designed to help Labour councillors build more inclusive and democratic local economies. The new initiative will be advised by The Democracy Collaborative and housed in the office of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party. In launching the Community Wealth Building Unit, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell praised the ground-breaking work of Preston City Council, which, inspired by the work of The Democracy Collaborative in Cleveland, Ohio with the Evergreen Cooperatives, has returned almost £200 million to the Lancashire economy and supported more than 1,600 jobs by using the town’s anchor institutions and local government contracts to keep money in the local economy and develop worker-owned cooperatives. Read more about The Democracy Collaborative Joins Jeremy Corbyn's New Community Wealth Building Unit As Advisors...
The Democracy Collaborative's testimony to the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice on how to bring about a thoroughgoing democratisation of our political economy.
- InformationMette Rodgers writing for Information Magazine, in Denmark, about the exploration of alternatives to capitalism through the Democracy Collaborative's Next System Project. She interviews Ted Howard about the community wealth building project and the ideas being put forth by the Democracy Collaborative:
"...If 'our side' actually won the power, then we would have no idea what to do with it. There is no articulated political program yet," he says."
Read the rest of the piece
- Colorado Impact Report
In cities across America, a new form of local economy is emerging. Many call this growing movement “Community Wealth Building,” a framework for economic development built on principles of democratizing wealth, broadening ownership over capital, leveraging existing institutional assets to benefit place, and preventing money from leaking out of our communities. The goal is to reinforce core values such as equity, inclusion, local stability, and sustainability. A range of corporate and institutional forms, involving millions of Americans as owners and consumers, are part of this movement, including cooperatives, employee-owned companies, community financial institutions, land trusts, municipal and state ownership, impact investing, and social enterprise.