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Local Communities

Embracing the Economy as a Design Challenge

Jennifer Atlee
Building Green

The consulting engineers at Integral Group are accustomed to working with clients early in an integrated design process. Working with Kevin Bates, president of Sharp Development Company, was different, however. “The first meeting wasn’t a design meeting—it was a financial meeting,” said John Andary of Integral Group, of a recent project with Bates. “As long as [Bates] was meeting his ROI [return on investment] and capitalization rate he was willing to spend whatever money, even if he was planning to sell the building.”...read more

The Hidden Threat of Tax Cuts to Equitable Economic Development

Rooflines

Although the Trump administration’s recent budget proposal offers only a look at expenses, with no numbers on revenue, it won’t be long before massive cuts to corporate taxes are on the agenda, as Trump has promised. Before the noise machine ramps up on that issue, it’s an apt time to stop and consider the unintended consequences such tax breaks could have. The hidden danger in broad cuts to the corporate tax rate is this: these cuts would blunt the effectiveness of key policies designed to support communities and an inclusive economy...read more

The Possibility of a Pluralist Commonwealth Evolutionary Reconstruction Toward a Caring and Just Political Economy

Gar Alperovitz
UMN

Abstract

New developments at various level of the political-economic system suggest possible institutional trajectories supportive of community, and a longer term systemic design more supportive of strong democracy and a caring culture. An integration of institutional elements also offers possibilities more productive of equality and ecologically sustainable outcomes. The “Pluralist Commonwealth” is both pluralist in its institutional characteristics and supportive of such “commonwealth” institutions as co-operatives, neighborhood land trusts and community corporations, municipal utilities and a range of other larger scale ownership forms. An “evolutionary reconstructive” institutional, political, and cultural path is projected as a longer term transformative process different from both traditional reform and traditional ideas of revolution. Such a path inherently seeks to maximize the development of a caring community as it builds.

Chronicling the Lives of the Working Poor Across America

The Leonard Lopate Show
wnyc

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and Columbia Journalism School professor Dale Maharidge crossed the country to chronicle the lives of today's working poor, from farmworkers in southern California fighting against low wages and a devastating drought, to heroin stricken communities in northern Maine that have been abandoned by industry. His story, “American Ballad: A Photographic Chronicle of America's Working Poor,” marks the 75th anniversary of James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. It was published in the December issue of Smithsonian Magazine...listen here 

Building a System-Changing Response to Trump and Trumpism at All Levels

Gar Alperovitz
Truth-Out

Any serious perspective on how to respond to the election of Donald Trump must begin by recognizing that his victory flowed in substantial part from the growing global crisis of capitalism, which demands a specific strategic response. The response must begin with -- but also go beyond -- the urgent work of defending, wherever and however possible, the individuals and communities most at risk...Read More

Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities: Inclusive, Local Hiring

David Zuckerman and Katie Parker

Every day, we learn more about how patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the healthcare they receive but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. Social and economic inequities, amplified by race, often emerge as the leading factors explaining differences in health outcomes and life expectancies.

Through local and inclusive hiring, health systems can invest in an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for low-income, minority, and hard-to-employ populations; and begins to transform neighborhoods. In the process, health systems can develop a more efficient workforce pipeline, meet sustainability and inclusion goals, and ultimately improve the health of their communities. Establishing a local and inclusive hiring strategy is an important first step towards rethinking your health system’s role in the community. This toolkit can help you get started.

Conversations on Community Wealth Building

Steve Dubb

Drawing on a decade's worth of conversations with key leaders in the growing field, from cooperative developers and community activists to impact investors and social enterprise innovators, this book of interviews from the Democracy Collaborative dives into the front lines of the movement to build community wealth.  Exploring both the breakthrough projects that helped define the field and the lessons learned when deep challenges presented themselves, Conversations on Community Wealth Building is a unique look at the people, practices, and policies behind the new equitable development models of the 21st century.

Community wealth building: America’s emerging asset based approach to city economic development

Marjorie Kelly, Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan
Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy

Across the United States a growing number of communities are experimenting with innovative ways to create a more equal, democratic, and community-based economy from the ground up. Our Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley, and Research Associate Violeta Duncan co-write a piece for the Renewal Journal on how we can use a "politics of place" and "politics for places" to uplift communities across the country and world:

Symposium: Creating Opportunity through Collaboration

February 24th, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia

This coming February, our friends at NeighborWorks will host a convention of local and national experts, thought leaders and innovators for a stimulating day of presentations, interactive sessions, networking and up-close learning that will help you understand and capitalize on the vital connection between community development, education, health and employment. Read more about Symposium: Creating Opportunity through Collaboration...

Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?

January 27th, 2016
The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Washington, D.C. from 12:00-1:30pm, our Executive Vice President and a Senior Fellow, Marjorie Kelly, will speak on a panel alongside Richmond, Virginia Mayor Dwight C. Jones, and Sociologist and Fellow at The Worker Institute at Cornell, Sanjay Pinto. The discussion, part of The Aspen Institute's Working in America series, will be moderated by MSNBC's Dorian T. Warren, a Roosevelt Institute Fellow. Read more about Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?...

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