Community Wealth Blog

In December 2011, New York became the seventh state to pass bi-partisan legislation to create a new type of corporation that is quickly becoming a household name – a Benefit Corporation. A B-Corp, for short, is required to do what other corporations cannot - consider its impact on equal ground with its bottom line.  B Corporations must make a material positive impact on society and the environment and must meet higher standards of accountability and transparency than traditional corporations.

The belief in economic mobility – or the ability to climb the economic ladder from rags to riches - is at the core of the American Dream. However, as Jason DeParle, author of American Dream, explains in a January 4th New York Times editorial and as Angela Glover Blackwell founder and chief executive of PolicyLink, elaborates on in a Letter to the Editor a week later, if “American exceptionalism” is taken to mean a society with a high level of class mobility, then the phrase may actually be more applicable to Canada and Europe than the United States.

Gar Alperovitz, Democracy Collaborative co-founder, made the case for a transition to a new economy, characterized by more democratic forms of ownership, in an op-ed which appeared in the New York Times on December 14th. 

Grist recently featured Democracy Collaborative co-founder Ted Howard as part of The Change Gang series that presents profiles of people who are leading the way to a more sustainable society and planet through practical solutions. The Evergreen Cooperatives is highlighted as it provides an opportunity for the low-income communities of Cleveland, Ohio to take part in the environmental movement, but more importantly by taking ownership of their workplace.

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.