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where is cwb happening?

Where is CWB happening?

Centering community and place

Community Wealth Building is happening in many areas across the US and globally. As mentioned above, CWB is helping cities and localities bring all of these elements together for the first time in a strategic, holistic way.  Many are already deploying elements of CWB across the different pillars in bespoke ways.  The key, however, is bringing all the elements together as the Wedge.

For example, in Cleveland, Ohio, the Cleveland Foundation – in collaboration with local institutions and community groups – partnered with TDC to develop progressive procurement strategies, to create the Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of green industrial enterprises that supply goods and services to large local anchor institutions like the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western University. Evergreen is owned by its employees, the vast majority of whom are Black, many returning citizens, and live in nearby historically underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.

In Preston, England a Community Wealth Building strategy was deployed after a revitalization plan with an international development firm failed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The city started with a progressive procurement strategy and expanded to integrate strategies within in all pillars with in the wedge to redirect wealth and reshape the economy. Preston has seen £70 million of anchor institution spend returned to the community and 4,500 jobs created. Once listed as one of the most deprived urban areas in England, Preston rated as PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)’s most improved city in 2018 and 2019 and the “Best Place To Live” in the north of England. Other municipalities across the United Kingdom have taken note, working to replicate Preston’s strategy and tactics.  

In Scotland, UK, we are seeing a whole nation approach to CWB, where a Scottish variant of the wedge is embedded in the national economic plan, all 32 local municipalities within the country are developing bespoke CWB action plans, and there is now a Minister for Community Wealth within the Scottish government.  National legislation is now being developed to strengthen the legal basis for CWB as a key element of economic system transformation. 

And the movement is growing!  In Chicago, Illinois, in the wake of COVID-19, the City’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ) identified CWB as a key means for delivering inclusive development. TDC has advised the OERJ team with key recommendations to embed Community Wealth Building throughout city agencies; partner more closely with key “anchor institutions,” including local universities and hospitals, on jobs programs; and create community investment vehicles to bring access to credit and finance to under-served communities, among other goals.  TDC is also working with other local governments to develop key recommendations for CWB action, including Somerville, MA; Meadville, PA; and Alameda County, CA

Here are a few other key readings on where CWB is happening that may be of interest:

If you are interested in joining the growing movement, please reach out to Sarah McKinley at smckinley@democracycollaborative.org.

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