Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

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Fighting Poverty through Community Development

The Great Recession forced families and communities to confront the worst economic collapse most of us had seen in our lifetimes. When President Obama took office, the economy was shedding 750,000 jobs per month, and foreclosures were rising to record levels. Since then, the economy h…

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Future of Community Development: How CDFIs Can Best Ride the Impact Investing Wave

Think of the community development finance industry as a small boat with an outboard motor. For four decades, pioneering leaders have helped to build this boat, take it out of port, and chart new waters. This boat has served as a lifeline, bringing essential resources to previously cu…

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Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio

In September 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics about poverty in the United States. According to the Bureau’s analysis, fully 25 percent of very young children (below the age of five) in America are now living in poverty. Further, 46.2 million Americans lived in pove…

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Transit-Oriented Development Is Good Community Development

The steady dispersion of people and jobs across core cities, suburbs, and exurbs has contributed to more fragmented lifestyles, with people often living in one neighborhood, working in another, and shopping and recreating in another. There are myriad reasons for this fragmentation of …

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Deep Democracy Is Not Meetings that Last Forever: Community Development Next

Community development has long been part industry, part social movement. At its core is an idea that American educator and philosopher John Dewey would have recognized but that many of today’s activists, entrepreneurs, and change agents sadly do not. It is the idea of deep democracy. …

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.