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.
- The New York Times
In The New York Times, an in-depth profile of the Healthcare Anchor Network, highlighting how the Democracy Collaborative's work to help start the Evergreen Cooperatives led to a gamechanging collaboration between 45 leading hospitals and health systems to build community wealth.
From Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of "The Divine Right of Capital," and "Owning our Future," "The Making of a Democratic Economy" is a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system.
Research has shown that large institutions can leverage their economic power to spur inclusive growth in surrounding communities. “That’s the way campuses used to be built half a century ago,” says Ted Howard of the Democracy Collaborative, which researches the issue. “If the University of Montreal wants to be a world-class, renown[ed] institution, it can’t simply rely on its teaching and its research, and the intellectual aspect of the institution, as important as that is. It has got to take account of the kind of neighbour it is, and how it uses its economic strength to creatively help solve problems in the community where it’s going to be based.”
- Dean Obeidallah Show
Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard join the Dean Obeidallah Show to discuss their must-read new book, "The Making of a Democratic Economy." They will explain how to build prosperity for the many, not just the few. Plus excited to premier a one hour special on Healthcare in the 2020 election - I discuss with healthcare policy expert Maura Calsyn of Center for American Progress the various healthcare proposals in the 2020 campaign from Medicare for All to public option and more so we all know the details.
In this interview, Ted discusses his background and his book The Making of a Democratic Economy, how tariffs and trade agreements hurt average American workers and farmers rather than large corporations, why the need for a democratic economy is so urgent, the myth of free markets, the most tragic aspects of NAFTA, how the healthcare system in this country remains an unmitigated disaster, establishing an Office of Community Wealth Building in the White House, and the outline for a new economic system.