State & Local Investments

2019 NAST Annual Conference

October 6th, 2019 to October 9th, 2019
Naples, FL

2019 National Association of State Treasurers Annual Conference: Convening Leaders Read more about 2019 NAST Annual Conference...

Our Common Wealth: The return of public ownership in the United States

Thomas Hanna

Public ownership is more widespread and popular in the United States than is commonly understood. This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the scope and scale of U.S. public ownership, debunking frequent misconceptions about the alleged inefficiency and underperformance of public ownership and arguing that it offers powerful, flexible solutions to current problems of inequality, instability, and unsustainability- explaining why after decades of privatization it is making a comeback, including in the agenda of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in Britain. Hanna offers a vision of deploying new forms of democratized public ownership broadly, across multiple sectors, as a key ingredient of any next system beyond corporate capitalism. This book is a valuable, extensively researched resource that sets out the past record and future possibilities of public ownership at a time when ever more people are searching for answers.

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TDC's Public Comments to Surgeon General's Call to Action: “Community Health and Prosperity”

Ted Howard
Federal Register Comments

TDC's public comments discussed how anchor mission and anchor collaborative work helps to address the social determinants of health and builds community wealth. 

Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting

Oscar Perry
Next City

Oscar Perry, writing for Next City, highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative in "Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting." In this long form piece, Perry writes about why New York City has doubled their contracts with women-and-minority-owned firm. As well as, the work of Democracy Collaborative's thought leadership, direction, and work with anchor instutitons through the Healthcare Anchor Network: 

Corporations and anchor institutions like hospitals and universities are stepping up MWBE contracting commitments and programs, too. The Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit that does research and builds leadership around equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, has been working with anchor institutions to support more diverse contracting through the lens of building stronger local economies. In January 2017, it formed the Healthcare Anchor Network, consisting of 30 healthcare systems nationwide.

“Healthcare systems are recognizing the need for intentionality to overcome the history of discrimination,” says David Zuckerman, who manages the network. Yet such programs remain in danger of going away when there’s a leadership change, he notes.

“If you can institutionalize it, and build it into your strategic plan, that’s what’s powerful,” he says. “We’re not there yet, but I think in the next year we’re going to see more health systems build this local impact work into their strategic plans.”

One way to institutionalize it: Make it someone’s job.

“There might be an official statement that ‘we’re going to prioritize the effort to increase our spend to MWBEs,’ but it’s not any one person’s job, it’s something extra,” Zuckerman says.

Read more in Next City

Tacoma Housing Authority

The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) is a public agency that owns over 1,500 affordable housing units and serves 11,000 people on an annual basis.  Focused on providing quality housing and supportive services to people living in the Tacoma area, THA develops housing and real estate, owns and manages affordable housing units, provides rent assistance to those in need, and supportive services to ensure its tenants can succeed.  Recognizing that successful schools are necessary to ensure children’s success and the creation of strong, healthy neighborhoods, THA launched its Education Project, which is now in an experimental phase.  One Project initiative is a children’s savings account program, which provides students living in New Salishan with a $50 post-secondary education savings account, matched savings to incentivize family deposits, and financial literacy programs.

Harvest Pierce County

Harvest Pierce County aims to engage Pierce County residents in a just and healthy food system.  Through its Community Garden program, Harvest Pierce County helps develop new gardens, orchards, and food projects; boosts the capacity of garden volunteers and community gardens through training, networking opportunities, one-on-one support, and other resources; and plans events to engage the broader community in its work.  About half of Pierce County’s 70+ community gardens are located in Tacoma, 11 of which are on city-owned lots.  To help the gardens thrive, the City donates TAGRO, its organic gardening product made from recycled wastewater byproducts.

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

Established in 2016 to ensure that the growth of downtown Chicago catalyzes equitable development across the city, Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund uses revenue from downtown developments to finance commercial and cultural projects in neighborhoods lacking private investment.  The fund aims to support projects that will have a catalytic impact on the neighborhood and lead to the development of new commercial spaces or cultural establishments.  Included in the criteria used to select grantees is a project’s impact on community wealth, which includes an assessment of how communities benefit from the project and the extent to which local entrepreneurs, property owners, and residents are included.  The Fund’s first round of grants is expected to disburse about $4 million.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI)

Launched in 2016, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) focuses on helping Atlanta women business owners succeed.  To do so, it provides free incubator space to grow their businesses and workshops and mentorship to emerging and future women entrepreneurs.  Its incubator program currently includes 15 women, all of whom have been operating small Atlanta businesses for at least 2 years.