Community Wealth Blog

Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative (the host of and author of the newly reissued America Beyond Capitalism, will be joined by author and Public Citizen founder Ralph Nader; Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder and Executive Director Ted Howard; and John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, at a free forum and book launch event, which will take place Wednesday, December 7th, at 7pm at the 14th & V Streets (NW) location of Bus Boys and Poets.

The Democracy Collaborative was one of 15 participating organizations contributing to the report, authored by John Cavanagh and David Korten, and published by the New Economy Working Group

Ted Howard will be speaking on the Delivering on the Promise of Growth and Inclusion: New Local Job Development Strategies panel at the Equity Summit 2011.

Bill would jumpstart cooperative development in underserved communities.

Gar Alperovitz, the founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative and, recently relaunched his personal website.  In addition to blog posts and news announcements, the site features information about Dr. Alperovitz’s many books, online versions of many of the articles he has written on history and political economy, and a growing collection of audio and video, including a multi-part video interview on “Movements, History, and Economic Transformation.”

One of the founders of the Democracy Collaborative, Gar Alperovitz, described the vision of a interlocking network of community-wealth building initiatives as a “pluralist commonwealth”: rather than one model for all situations, every community would develop their own unique paths to economic democracy and neighborhood sustainability, learning from each other’s approaches and developing their own variations on the basic themes.

At their recently concluded 2011 convention, the United Steelworkers passed a resolution expressing a commitment to the development of worker-owned cooperatives. The resolution recognizes the role that worker-ownership can play in both stimulating long-term economic development and protecting the rights of worker.

NCB Capital Impact, the non-profit affiliate of NCB, has been selected as one of the five winners of the 2011 Social Innovation Fund grant competition organized by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The SIF is an innovative federal program which seeks to address the needs of low income communities by leveraging the existing knowledge and capacities of proven non-profit intermediaries in the funding process. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is moving forward with an interesting pilot program that will attempt to use established non-profit community organizations to help make much-needed loans to communities and enterprises which may have previosuly not enjoyed full access to available funding.  The Intermediary Lending Program, a 2-3 year pilot program, is beginning this year, with 20 local organizations empowered by the SBA to make loans of up to $200,000 to new and existing businesses.

One of the things we are most excited about here at is the way in which individual strategies of community wealth building can reinforce each other when they intersect.  An explicit effort to create this kind of synergy is underway with the effort to start a credit union for members of worker cooperatives.  We asked Mike Leung, one of the bottomliners of the new project, to share an update with us.

The report, How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule, examines the operation of the traditional banking system in the United States in the wake of the financial crisis that began in 2008, and argues that a reorientation of the financial system towards local communities, local businesses, and local needs—Main Street instead of Wall Street—is increasingly necessary. 

The University of Missouri Extension is offering two intensive five day courses from September 19th through the 23rd at their Community Development Academy, one focusing on “Building Communities from the Grassroots” and the other on “Creating Capacity for Dynamic Communities.”