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Presentation prepared for: North American Students of Cooperation Ann Arbor, Michigan: November 6, 2010 Mapping Your Community Assets Steve Dubb Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation prepared for: North American Students of Cooperation Ann Arbor, Michigan: November 6, 2010 Mapping Your Community Assets Steve Dubb Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation prepared for: North American Students of Cooperation Ann Arbor, Michigan: November 6, 2010 Mapping Your Community Assets Steve Dubb Research Director The Democracy Collaborative University of Maryland

2 2 What is Community Mapping? Most basically, a community map is an inventory of available individual and organizational resources, capacities, and abilities. Mapping is never just about collecting data; it is about building a vision and a coalition of people and groups to achieve common goals. Mapping aims to identify areas where you can bring together people and groups in new ways to achieve common goals. Outside resources are still needed, but mapping allows you to leverage external resources to help you achieve pre-determined community goals.

3 3 Key Benefits - Why Do It? Mapping can help you analyze and build political power within a community. Mapping helps you identify hidden strengths – in people, things, services, and resources. Learning how to ask what communities have brings knowledge, skills, and capacities out into the open. As the web of assets grows, so does the potential for the community. An asset map identifies the strengths and gifts of the people who make up a community. Asset mapping reveals the assets of the entire community and highlights interconnections. Connections to people can also become connections to resource-filled institutions.

4 4 Key Steps Start with what is already present in the community. Concentrate on agenda-building and problem- solving capacity of your community. Focus on local determination, investment, creativity and control. Learn your community inside-out through detailed surveys and conversations. Use survey results to mobilize people and groups to make connections and build capacity. Develop a vision and plan around which you can mobilize a community to employ its assets to work towards solving its own problems.

5 5 The Democracy Collaborative and Community Mapping Who we are: 1)A research institute with knowledge in a broad range of cooperative and other community development strategies. 2)A nonprofit organization that also has an affiliation with the University of Maryland. 3)A group of people committed to using community ownership tools to help communities solve problems.

6 6 Getting Started: Develop Your Vision and Get Your Message Out Steps we took: 1)Publishing a study (Building Wealth) 2)Developing a web portal ( 3)Bringing groups with common objectives together (“breaking down silos” -- better known as “coalition building”) 4)Being visible (attend conferences, publish summaries in electronic newsletter) 5)Presenting within our community (speaking opportunities)

7 7 Know your Context Some facts about the context in Cleveland were: Past community development efforts in Cleveland had failed to reduce poverty. With capital flight, what remained were wealthy nonprofit “’anchor institutions.” They were poised to spend $2 billion in 5 years on construction but business as usual would mean little economic impact. Indeed, some of the poorest areas of Cleveland were immediately adjacent the “University Circle.” Frustration led Cleveland’s community development activists and others to be open to something new.

8 8 Baby Steps If the leading city hospitals and universities collectively spend billions, maybe they should talk to each other Action Step: The local community foundation (The Cleveland Foundation) got hospital & university leaders to agree to quarterly meetings to share information. Take easy steps that are in the institutions’ self-interest Action Step: a Foundation match program for employer- assisted housing benefits. If existing strategies aren’t working, maybe community leaders should discuss new strategies. Action Step: Cleveland foundation leaders hired the Democracy Collaborative to run a mini-conference on community wealth building.

9 9 Host a Conversation: The Community Roundtable Idea: bring together a group of about 50 “thought leaders” from diverse organizations — Chamber of Commerce, unions, employee ownership (ESOP), labor, religious, university, hospitals, community development corporations — along with city and county officials to have a conversation. Combination of outside presenters, local presenters and “break out” small group facilitated discussions. Considerable pre- and post-event work to build trust.

10 10 Conduct a Community Survey to Create a Strategic Plan Initial goal: Identify five potential lines of community- owned business that have a high potential to satisfy anchor institution needs while providing jobs & ownership for community residents. No quick way to do this — over 100 interviews of “decision makers” both at area universities and hospitals (e.g., human resources, purchasing, investment, real estate) and, on the other end, leaders in the community development world (to assess the community capacity to meet the identified procurement needs).

11 11 Take to Heart Your Survey Results Many university and hospital officials were skeptical — had to be persuaded that this wasn’t charity. Alleviating poverty in the areas immediately adjacent to the hospitals and universities, although desired, was not a major goal of University Circle institutions. Achieving carbon emissions reductions, however, was a major goal of University Circle institutions. Result: Any community-owned businesses that were designed would be “green” by necessity, as this was the only way to attract anchor interest and hence business.

12 12 Build the Team Partnerships are critical for success. Ours include: 1)The Cleveland Foundation: provider of staffing, grants, expertise, and initial business seed capital. 2)The anchor institutions -- has to be a willingness to talk about business possibilities 3)Business plan and employee ownership specialists (Ohio Employee Ownership Center) 4)Financing specialists (Enterprise Cleveland, New Markets Tax Credits consultant) 5)Workforce development specialists (local workforce nonprofit, Cuyahoga Community College) 6)Land trust specialists (Burlington Associates) 7)City of Cleveland: Dept. of Economic Development

13 13 Refine the Vision to Meet Common Goals Create new community-based businesses using employee ownership and related means to build community wealth Focus anchor institution purchasing locally into neighborhoods Build on national momentum to green our cities and catalyze “green collar” jobs Ensure financing

14 14 Do Your Homework: Market Studies Not all businesses ideas were equally viable. For instance, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center was first asked to assess the viability of four businesses. Only two of the four were found viable. Sometimes your plans change: Initially, we imagined a community land trust would be a way to provide permanently affordable housing — after market study, focus changed to using the land trust to provide stable land leases for the community businesses being developed.

15 15 Evergreen Criteria Business plan that projects profitability Hires majority of employees from GUC (“Greater University Circle”) neighborhoods Located in or nearby GUC neighborhoods Matched to procurement needs of anchors Pays a “living wage” Green Builds toward 100% employee ownership Contributes % of profits to Cooperative Development Fund

16 16 Demonstrate feasibility of developing start-up cooperative linked to needs of GUC anchors Location: Enterprise Cleveland Hire staff from the neighborhoods; pay above industry-standard wage; significant investment in training; equity ownership in company and build-up of employee asset accounts Cleveland Foundation granted $750,000 for the launch of the laundry and to seed the Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund Greenest commercial scale laundry in NE Ohio Launched October 2009 Employs 25 and has 6M pounds of annual linen washing and cleaning contracts; at full capacity, these numbers will double Evergreen Cooperative Laundry

17 17 Concept: –Cooperative for-profit enterprise –Based in neighborhoods around University Circle (inner-city Cleveland) –Owned/operated by local residents (typically low-income) –Business installs/owns PV projects –Initially serving large institutional customers in nearby area Outcomes: –Launched October 2009 –Training and employment opportunities for low-income residents –Wealth creation for local residents –Began weatherization work in fall 2009; first installations: spring 2010 –Aims to install 3 MW of solar power by 2012 –Employs 25; at full capacity will employ 75-100 Ohio Cooperative Solar (OCS)

18 18 Year-round hydroponic vegetable greenhouse located in GUC 5 acre facility; construction to occur in 2011; scheduled launch: fall 2011 Provide produce to large anchors and other institutions; > 5 million head of lettuce, enough to meet 3% of Northeast Ohio’s need Wind turbine (118 meters high) on site will generate 1.5MW or 30- 40% of total power needs Energy efficient and renewable energy sources Employ about 45 neighborhood residents at full capacity Become a major player in regional food distribution network Green City Growers COMMERCIALFOOD PRODUCTION GREENHOUSE

19 19 Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund Fundraising to date: $6 million Seed capital for coop start-ups Multiple investors May incorporate an LLC to attract more traditional investment capital Technical assistance and support Projected Fund Impact 10 new worker co-operative start-ups 500 new jobs (direct) by 2015 Asset accumulation of $65,000 per employee

20 20 Do-It-Yourself Mapping Survey skills, knowledge, areas of expertise a.Child care b.Community organizing c.Grant-writing d.Office or finance e.Construction or maintenance f.Cooking or food preparation g.Arts skills h.Educational skills i.Computer skills j.Organizational linkages

21 21 Do-It-Yourself Mapping Map the Connections a.Associations (e.g., neighborhood groups) b.Clubs c.Networks d.Community allies (e.g., NASCO) e.Family f.Identity groups g.Institutions (churches, schools, foundations, universities, hospitals, food co-ops, city government) h.Organizations (unions, CDCs, social service agencies)

22 22 Mapping Your Local Economy Who does it include? a.Banks b.Locally owned businesses c.Corporations and branches c.Business associations d.Consumers e.Community business (e.g., co-ops, credit unions) c.Barter and exchange Variables to look at: local purchasing, local investment, local hiring, local involvement

23 23 Additional Steps Figure out how people relate to your community: Member, Volunteer, Alumni, Worker, Friend, Contributor, etc. Identify physical spaces you may have access to: Library, Local parks, Co-op, Board room,Community Garden, Vacant Lot, etc. Inventory money, labor, and tools on hand: Money (Grants, Contributions), staff and volunteer time, Copy machine, Digital camera, Computers, Vehicles, etc.

24 24 Lessons for Efforts Large or Small Need to work to develop vision even when the resources needed to implement that vision seem impossible to obtain. Listening and follow-up are key. Be proud of the co-op model. At the same time, realize that the co-op model is just one tool to achieve community goals and, to be successful, may need to be combined with other tools. Be prepared to adjust your vision to build a broader coalition. Know what you don’t know. Partnerships are key to getting things done.

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