Communities of Innovation: Seattle, Washington


The ability to address community challenges collectively and adapt to changing needs is critical to community sustainability. Those towns that are able to work cooperatively are usually linked by both economic and social relationships and are able to develop a deep sense of community and even entrepreneurship. Furthermore, these communities encourage diversity, inclusivity and acceptance, and innovativeness, features that contribute to overall quality of life and attracting and retaining new residents. Through a combined approach of visionary leadership, long-range planning, departmental coordination, public-private partnerships, and public funding for innovative programs, the Seattle municipal government is taking a leading role in strengthening the regional food system. The following feature highlights a few of the municipal government’s landmark efforts to improve access to healthy food for its residents while simultaneously improving the viability of regional agriculture.

Fresh food fund helps open grocery store in Waukegan 'food desert'


A cheery, well lit, Save-A-Lot grocery store — featuring fresh produce, lowcost cereals and meat packaging on site — opened this month on Waukegan's southwest side, an area officials called a "food desert" for underserved residents.The store employs 35 local residents and plans to hire two assistant store managers soon, said Save-A-Lot district manager Thomas Hill, after a dozen officials toured the 10,000squarefoot facility Saturday morning.

The Vermont Farm to Plate Investment Program


This profile highlights the Farm to Plate (F2P) Investment Program, which was designed to strategically strengthen the state’s food and farm sector and encourage the purchasing of local foods.
The Vermont Legislature commissioned the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to develop a strategic plan to revitalize its food and farm sectors and increase purchasing of local foods. Implementation is under way with more than 350 organizations working together as the Farm to Plate Network, including the Farm to Institution Task Force focused on increasing institutional local food procurement.

Continually Improving Promise Neighborhoods: The Role of Case Management Data


A robust case management system is critical to tracking progress and success while executing a cradle-to-career continuum of services and supports. Authored by the Urban Institute, this report provides guidance on how to review and utilize case management data to accelerate the achievement of Promise Neighborhoods results.

Postsecondary Success in Promise Neighborhoods


Authored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), this guide is a resource for Promise Neighborhoods as they work to improve college and career success for young people living in Promise Neighborhoods. It lifts up strategies to sustain postsecondary results over time and it profiles successful place-based efforts led by the Harlem Children's Zone, the Education Fund of Miami-Dade County, and the Center for Educational Partnerships at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).

January 2016

Early Learning in Promise Neighborhoods


As Promise Neighborhoods execute strategies to ensure that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed, it is critical to examine: efforts to track and measure progress, challenges experienced, and lessons learned. Authored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), this guide lifts up early learning results and identifies challenges and lessons learned for three Promise Neighborhoods: Berea College Promise Neighborhood, Hayward Promise Neighborhood, and the Northside Achievement Zone. 

Read Experts of Color Letter on Flint Water Crisis

Originally published by the Center for Global Policy Solutions

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The Honorable Rick Snyder
State of Michigan
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
As a coalition of more than 200 experts who are focused on building wealth for communities of color, we believe that it is vital for all public leaders in the U.S. to commit to advancing an inclusive democracy that fairly treats and affirms the value of all of its diverse residents. We have a number of concerns about the governance and water crisis in Flint, as well as some recommendations for remediation and change.

Our perspective is embedded in Article I of the Constitution of Michigan, which you have sworn to uphold, which states:
All power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security and protection. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his civil or political rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of religion, race, color or national origin… The people have the right peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives and to petition the government for redress of grievances.[i]
Based on the criteria established by Michigan’s constitution and embedded in other state laws, it is reasonable to conclude that rights of the residents of Flint, MI have been abrogated. The people of Flint have not received equal benefit, security or protection from their government. They have been denied equal protection of the laws and seemingly discriminated against because of class and race. Their right to petition government for redress of grievances has also been obstructed.

Communities of Innovation: Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas


The local governments of Douglas County and the City of Lawrence, Kansas work collaboratively to strengthen their food system through planning and public policy. This innovative, intergovernmental partnership along the urban-rural continuum recognizes that food system challenges and thus their solutions cross jurisdictional boundaries.

Communities of Innovation: Minneapolis, Minnesota


Building on existing community food system efforts and public interest in local foods, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota has successfully developed a broad range of food systems related policies. The municipal government and its strong non-governmental partners take a full systems approach, addressing food system areas ranging from urban agriculture to local food business, community kitchens, public markets, food retail and access, and neighborhood connections.

Communities of Innovation: Cleveland, Ohio


The City of Cleveland municipal government began advancing food policy in 1976 with support for urban agriculture, namely community gardening, which has remained the city’s key area of focus. In 2008 other food systems issues, beyond urban agriculture, began receiving unprecedented municipal government support. For example, the municipal government began linking food production policies with strong food access goals.