– The Democracy Collaborative, along with theResponsible Endowments Coalition, hosted awebinar on July 19 to announce our jointly published report Raising Student Voices: Student Action for University Community Investment.

Jay Owen Community Development Solutions, Sustainability Research Group


Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our August www.Community-Wealth.orgnewsletter. This month’s features include: 

  • The Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society has just published a journal issue entitled “Symposium: Alternatives to Capitalism,” which explores community wealth building, public ownership, and the crisis of European social democracy. Our Research Director Steve Dubb edited the volume; several of our staff wrote essays for the issue. Read more below about this publication.
  • Coming next month: the release of our Anchor Dashboard report focused on how universities and hospitals can most effectively align their business practices to benefit residents of low-income neighborhoods. The Dashboard is the culmination of a year of research – including 75 interviews with anchor leaders and community development practitioners – to create a set of metrics and indicators to guide anchor institution practice.

With all good wishes,

Ted Howard
Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative

New From The Democracy Collaborative

PEGS Journal Explores Possible Alternatives to Capitalism

This academic symposium journal issue on “Alternatives to Capitalism” provides a collection of essays that explore the broader implications of community wealth building for creating a new economy. The collection includes a lead essay by Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz and Research Director Steve Dubb, as well as contributions by Senior Fellow Joe Guinan, and Senior Research Associate Thomas Hanna. In addition, it features essays by Marjorie Kelly of Tellus Institute on rethinking enterprise ownership, Thad Williamson, Professor at the University of Richmond on constitutional changes necessary for economic democracy, and Joel Rogers of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy on the role of state and local policies in supporting community wealth building. Download Here»

Wave of Boomer Retirements Offers Opportunity for Expanding Employee Ownership

In early July, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz published an op-ed in the New York Times on employee ownership. Entitled “The Legacy of the Boomer Boss,” this article highlights the opportunity for expanding employee ownership presented by the wave of retiring baby-boom-era business owners. Retiring business owners can avoid consolidation, plant closures, and job losses by selling the business to their employees through an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. In this way, boomer bosses not only benefit from significant tax breaks, but can secure a lasting legacy by empowering workers through a model that encourages higher productivity, improved morale, and more financially secure futures. Read More»

Recommended Reads

Report Reveals Integrated Strategies For Rethinking Urban Regeneration


This Lincoln Institute of Land Policy study, entitledRegenerating America’s Legacy Cities, examines new strategies for rebuilding and reinventing the economies of older industrial cities that have experienced dramatic job and population decreases over the last few decades. Authors Alan Mallach and Lavea Brachman detail how these “legacy cities” can employ land-use planning tools that reflect the changing economy and social fabric to support new forms of economic development. Read More»

Thoughtful Design that Focuses on Placemaking Can Build Community Happiness


This collection of essays, drawn from excerpts inCommons Magazine, is intended to improve our understanding of the “commons” and “placemaking” movements that aim to restore a sense of place in communities, while promoting public space and engagement. Focusing on community assets, these movements promote an integrated approach to urban planning that seeks to create public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. The collection includes best practice examples — ranging from Bogata, Colombia to the Netherlands to Boston — of strategies for building community and reclaiming public and open space.  Read More»

Building Local Economies Depends on Remaking Public Policy


At the annual BALLE conference this past June, Stacey Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance highlighted the importance of building a national policy agenda that supports local ownership. Mitchell addressed why changing public policy is essential, the need for framing a compelling narrative to assert change, the importance of building the appropriate components of a national policy agenda, and indicated some first steps to take. Using compelling examples from specific sectors, such as local food and local banking, Mitchell shows that while real change is occurring, major structural forces impede progress and that remaking public policy is critical to moving past those barriers. Read More»

New Book Advances a National Policy Agenda Focused on Equity 


This new book from PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress offers policy recommendations for building a prosperous economy by ensuring that all are able to participate and achieve their full potential – particularly communities of color that are quickly becoming the nation’s majority. As the nation undergoes profound demographic shifts, equity has increasingly become an economic imperative. Comprising essays and policy solutions from leading thinkers and trailblazing activists across multiple policy arenas, this collection explores issues from education and workforce development to democratic participation. The book aims to advance the national conversation beyond focus on what’s wrong to looking for what works. Read More»

Featured Websites

Modernizing Asset Limits


A project of the New American Foundation, this website is designed to help build understanding about how caps on savings that preclude receiving public assistance in the form of SNAP (Food Stamps), TANF, and LIHEAP have counterproductive effects. These can include discouraging saving, increasing financial insecurity, and making it harder to achieve financial independence for low-income families. Users of this site can search by state to better understand the complexity of asset limits for specific programs and learn how programs in their communities compare to the rest of the country. Find Out More»

Community Economics Collective

The Community Economies Collective is a collaboration of academic and community researchers and activists in Australia, North America, Europe and Southeast Asia that works to represent and ultimately enact new visions of economic life throughout the world.  The site provides research and resources that highlight the extent of alternative economies, build sustainable non-capitalist economic alternatives, foster ethical economic experimentation and promote collaborations between activists, academics, and communities. Find Out More»

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