Community Wealth Blog

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.

Last month I posted a blog about the complexities in the housing market and detrimental side effects of foreclosures for communities and individual wealth preservation.  Soon thereafter the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Committee issued a report entitled Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy that contained recommendations for a new housing finance system and for reforming housing assistance programs to better meet the needs of America’s most vulnerable households.

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, discussions of healthcare policy in national politics and the mainstream media have overwhelmingly focused on the law’s impact on health insurance rather than public health. For example, the 2 percent of the population that will be affected by the individual mandate provision have received an inordinate level of attention.

In 2012, credit unions passed an important milestone: collectively, these cooperatively owned, one-member-one-vote financial institutions hold more than $1 trillion in assets. Taken together, they would equal the fifth largest U.S. bank, knocking Goldman Sachs out of the top five.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said that our “housing market is healing.”  Still he conceded that more needs to be done for families struggling to buy a home and to simplify regulations that prevent them from doing so. All of which negatively impacts our entire economy in the process.

The United Nations designated 2012 the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC) with the theme of “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”  Tapping into a growing interest in cooperative business models, the goal of the IYC was to encourage the global growth and establishment of cooperatives all over the world while also recognizing the contribution that cooperatives already make to their communities, through poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. 

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 a panel of distinguished scholars along with municipal and institutional leaders. 

Anchor institutions—a term used to describe public and nonprofit hospitals and universities—are today widely recognized for their role in community economic development. But they have the potential to do a lot more.

Starting next month, you could have some Cleveland winter lettuce with that sandwich.

That's when Green City Growers Cooperative, a worker-owned business, expects to harvest its first crops from one of the largest urban greenhouses in the country, a 3 1/4-acre hydroponic operation off East 55th Street in the city's Central neighborhood.

A sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the Wall Street Journal found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners—around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.

While the two major party presidential candidates had many differences, both agreed on the primacy of free enterprise.  Mitt Romney in his speech six weeks ago to the Clinton Global Initiative said, “Free enterprise has done more to bless humanity than any other economic system.” For his part, President Obama, remarked in his closing statement at the second presidential debate, “I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known.”