A Comprehensive Community Wealth Building Federal Policy Proposal. The following report draws upon practical experience accumulated over the years in many areas and proposes a strategic approach to integrate, expand, and coordinate a powerful array of activities focused on promoting community wealth building in the nation’s distressed communities. Or, to put it more simply, to place community wealth building squarely at the center of federal economic revitalization policy. Specifically, it proposes a new 10-year, $100 billion initiative to bring federal, state, and local community wealth-building strategies to a new level of sophistication: The National Community Wealth Building Initiative.
The crisis faced by our nation’s metropolitan communities is severe. But the community wealth approach, which hardly existed four decades ago, offers considerable promise. Today there are tens of thousands of innovations and models across the country, many of significant financial scale. There now exists a nationwide network of practitioners, policy makers, researchers, trade associations, and, increasingly, local and state elected officials with a wealth of expertise and experience in this field. In addition, many new innovations have shown how to effectively link wealth building to the creation of jobs in the growing green economy.
Given current political and fiscal realities, policymakers who are committed to regenerating our great metropolises need to rethink how to achieve our country’s most important urban goals. The nation faces an unusual, and we believe, historic opportunity to fundamentally change direction. By acting boldly, the federal government can develop a new framework that can rejoin economic and community development and thereby begin to build wealth in low- and moderate-income communities across America.