Community Wealth Blog

At the 2013 Cooperative Issues Forum, hosted by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) on May 8th at the National Press Club, representatives of three equally exemplary, but very different projects, outlined how they had used regional collaboration to advance the cooperative economy.

This infographic shows the wealth inequality of the top 400 richest Americans compared to the the wealth of 60 percent of Americans.

Last week, the New Era Windows cooperative celebrated its opening in a former Campbell’s Soup building in Chicago, the culmination of a hard-fought struggle by workers to save their livelihoods. Their well-documented struggle began in 2008 when the workers of Republic Windows and Doors occupied the factory to keep it from closing, attracting national attention.

These are the people who will inevitable be creating the next American politics and the next American system.

Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice. 

Next week in Chicago, Democracy Collaborative executive director Ted Howard will present testimony before the Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. The presentation will focus on a set of actionable policy recommendations to help position Illinois as the nation’s leader in community wealth building.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the Fed’s Community Affairs Research Conference in Washington, DC, opening his speech by acknowledging that successful strategies to rebuild communities require “multipronged approaches that address housing, education, jobs and quality-of-life issues in a coherent, mutually consistent way.”


This infographic shows the general long-term trends of our broken system.

Last week, The Democracy Collaborative's Stephanie Geller had the opportunity to chat with Ellen Macht, President and CEO of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, about an exciting new project launched by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to bring quality jobs, assets, and sustainable economic growth to Atlanta’s most marginalized neighborhoods. 

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin gave a powerful keynote last Friday, March 22nd, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s (NCRC) annual conference, emphasizing the role that private business must play  — specifically, anchor institutions — to stabilize communities, create better jobs, and stimulate local economies.

On May 8th, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will host a special event to mark the release of the report The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth, featuring The Democracy Collaborative’s Executive Director Ted Howard.

Earlier this month, Meche Sansores of Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES) in Oakland, CA, wrote an insightful piece about the economic benefits of cooperatives on the Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity’s Executive Commentary blog. Focusing specifically on low-skilled, and therefore often low-wage, workers, Sansores argues that co-ops provide increased earnings, better benefits and asset-building opportunities for these individuals.