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Community Wealth Building Technical Assistance Taskforce

Centering community and place

The Democracy Collaborative’s Community Wealth Building Technical Assistance Taskforce is a group of individuals and organizations with expertise in specific areas of community wealth building (CWB) and associated sectors. Taskforce advisors and subject matter experts are “on call” to work with local governments and other partners that TDC is engaged with based on the needs and opportunities in that specific place. They will work to fill capacity, skill, and knowledge gaps in the implementation of CWB strategies while also helping to develop and build those capacities locally. Working together with these advisors and experts will help the movement to better meet the scale of demand, advance the creation of transformative solutions, and, ultimately, deliver better outcomes on the ground.

The taskforce will continue to grow and expand in response to the needs of the movement, but early participants include: 

Burlington Associates

Community land trusts

Burlington Associates in Community Development is the premier provider of technical assistance to community land trusts (CLTs) in the United States. They have worked with more than 150 CLTs, helping many in getting started and assisting many others with long-term planning for the stewardship of their portfolios and the sustainability of their operations. As a member of The Democracy Collaborative’s CWB TA Taskforce, BA would serve as a technical assistance “satellite” for information on starting a community land trust, and is available to provide either (1) direct TA or (2) referral to resources and additional TA providers as necessary.

Democracy at Work Institute

Employee ownership

The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) was founded by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives as the only national think-and-do tank dedicated to expanding the worker cooperative model to meet the needs of workers locked out of good jobs and business ownership opportunities, especially BIPOC, immigrant, and low-wage workers. DAWI has worked extensively with city and state officials to analyze and build their local ecosystems for worker-owned businesses. The organization has developed innovative tools and cooperative development models that provide pathways to work, create vehicles to build wealth, and develop the leadership and resources of worker owners. As a member of The Democracy Collaborative’s CWB TA Taskforce, DAWI will be on hand to support local government partners to develop and deploy similar strategies in support of employee-owned cooperative development in place.

Healthcare Anchor Network  

Anchor institutions

Founded in 2017, the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) catalyzes health systems to build more equitable and sustainable local economies by helping them adopt an anchor mission framework and leverage their hiring, purchasing, and investment practices more intentionally. Working with more than 70 health systems nationally, HAN utilizes a network approach, applied research, and high-impact advisory services to:

  • Define the healthcare leadership standard;
  • Promote industry collaboration; and
  • Incubate and scale innovative anchor strategies.

As a member of The Democracy Collaborative’s CWB TA Taskforce, HAN is able to support health systems and anchor collaboratives in adopting and applying this framework.

Project Equity

Employee ownership transitions

Project Equity works with partners around the country to raise awareness about employee ownership as an exit strategy for business owners, an important approach for increasing employee engagement and wellbeing, and a compelling way to reframe economic development. We also provide hands-on consulting and support to help companies explore and execute transitions to employee ownership, and to the new employee-owners to ensure that they, and their businesses, thrive after the transition.

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Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council

Procurement

Founded in 2013, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council convenes buyers, suppliers, and public interest advocates to develop programs that simplify and standardize sustainable purchasing efforts by large organizations. Through SPLC, purchasers and suppliers, advocates and certifiers access the information, frameworks and partnerships they need at every stage of their sustainable procurement journey, from quick-start solutions to cutting edge, issue-focused innovation. As a member of The Democracy Collaborative’s CWB TA Taskforce, SPLC can assist local governments and their partner anchor institutions to develop and operationalize cutting-edge progressive procurement practices to support community flourishing.

Michael Golden

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)

Michael Golden is senior vice president of SES ESOP Strategies, ESOP consultants and advisors. He has a wide range of employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) financing and banking experience, developing employee-owned private companies through structuring and securing financing for middle-market corporate transactions in excess of $500 million. As a member of The Democracy Collaborative’s CWB TA Taskforce, Michael is on call to help with ESOP-specific financing and conversion strategies, as well supporting the development of economic empowerment planning, financing, and institutional design.

Jenny Kassan

Local finance/capital

Jenny Kassan has over 25 years of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises. She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017). Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Her legal practice, The Kassan Group, provides legal services, coaching, and consulting for mission-driven companies, investors, and intermediaries.

Thomas Marois

Public banking

Thomas Marois is a reader in development studies, SOAS University of London. He is a world-leading scholar on public banks and the financing of green & just transitions, having worked with local governments, CSOs/NGOs, trade unions, public banks, and UN agencies. His most recent book is Public Banks: Decarbonisation, Definancialisation, and Democratisation published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

Michael H. Shuman

Leakage/spend analysis

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and leading visionary on community economics. He is an adjunct professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a senior researcher for Council Fire, where he performs economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. He has authored, coauthored, or edited 10 books.

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