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.
Healthcare’s role in creating healthy communities through increasing access to quality care, research, and grantmaking is being complemented by a higher impact approach; hospitals and integrated health systems are increasingly stepping outside of their walls to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes, shortened lives, and higher costs in the first place. Read more about Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?...
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.
Martin O'Neill and Ted Howard write for Renewal "Beyond extraction: The political power of community wealth building." In this piece, they write about new ideas for the economy:
An interview with Ted Howard, Co-Founder and President of the Democracy Collaborative, a Washington, D.C.-based ‘think-do tank’ that develops and promotes ideas for a more democratic economy. Howard is now an adviser to the Labour Party’s new Community Wealth Building Unit.
Read more in Renewal
- New Socialist
Tom Gann writes for New Socialist in "Labour's New Economics Conference: Part Five, Local Democratic Economic Strategies." Gann recaps the UK Labour Party's panel, "Local Democratic Economic Strategies," at the New Economic Conference. The panel included Matthew Brown, Preston City Council; Heather Wakefield, UNISON; Ted Howard, president/co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative:
Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative
Howard began by talking of the “pilgrimage” from the USA to Preston, and how Preston had now eclipsed what had been achieved in the US. He then outlined the principles of Community Wealth Building.
- The priority of labour over capital, particularly in a crisis, with continued stable employment more important than capital’s profits.
- The need for local and broad-based rather than absentee ownership, as the basis for asserting what interests are valued.
- The importance of active democratic ownership contrasted with the passive, consumer model of neoliberalism.
- The central role for multipliers and internalising the circulation of money with investment sticking rather than capital being extracted.
- Economic development understood not as a partnership between the state and business, in which the state is unaccountable and subordinate, but as a multistakeholder process.
- Place matters, direct investment in neighbourhoods, particularly neighbourhoods of colour is necessary, trickle down particularly into these neighbourhoods cannot be relied upon.
- Systemic change, the current system destroys the environment and produces inequalities so it’s necessary to move beyond amelioration to build systems that produce different outcomes.
Howard concluded, with the properly Marxist-humanist insight, “people made our systems, we can remake them” (or, “if there’s been a way to build it, there’ll be a way to destroy it, things are not all that out of control”).
- Submitted by john on March 19th, 2018
Based on Ted Howard's remarks to the recent Alternative Models of Ownership conference, we've distilled the eight basic principles behind community wealth building—a transformative approach to local economic development—into this handy one page guide. Read more about Community Wealth Building: Eight Basic Principles...
- 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...