The Community Economic Development Movement: Law, Business, and the New Social Policy

Duke University Press
Free sample

While traditional welfare efforts have waned, a new style of social policy implementation has emerged dramatically in recent decades. The new style is reflected in a panoply of Community Economic Development (ced) initiatives—efforts led by locally-based organizations to develop housing, jobs, and business opportunities in low-income neighborhoods.
In this book William H. Simon provides the first comprehensive examination of the evolution of Community Economic Development, complete with an analysis of its operating premises and strategies. He describes the profusion of new institutional forms that have arisen from the movement, amalgamations that cut across conventional distinctions—such as those between private and public—and that encompass the efforts of nonprofits, cooperatives, churches, business corporations, and public agencies. Combining local political mobilization with entrepreneurial initiative and electoral accountability with market competition, this phenomenon has catalyzed new forms of property rights designed to motivate investment and civic participation while curbing the dangers of speculation and middle-class flight.
With its examination of many localities and its appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the prevailing approach to Community Economic Development, this book will be a valuable resource for local housing, job, and business development officials; community activists; and students of law, business, and social policy.
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About the author

William H. Simon is Saunders Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is the author of The Practice of Justice: A Theory of Lawyers’ Ethics.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2002
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780822380825
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Metropolitan communities across the country are facing the same, seemingly unsolvable problems: the concentration of poverty in central cities, with flashpoints of increasing crime and segregation; declining older suburbs and vulnerable developing suburbs; and costly urban sprawl, with upper-middle-class residents and new jobs moving further and further out to an insulated, favored quarter. Exacerbating this polarization, the federal government has largely abandoned urban policy. Most officials, educators, and citizens have been at a loss to create workable solutions to these complex, widespread trends. And until now, there has been no national discussion to adequately and practically address the future of America's metropolitan regions. Metropolitics is the story of how demographic research and state-of-the-art mapping, together with resourceful and pragmatic politics, built a powerful political alliance between the central cities, declining inner suburbs, and developing suburbs with low tax bases. In an unprecedented accomplishment, groups formerly divided by race and class--poor minority groups and blue-collar suburbanites--together with churches, environmental groups, and parts of the business community, began to act in concert to stabilize their communities. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul believed that they were immune from the forces of central city decline, urban sprawl, and regional polarization, but the 1980s hit them hard. The number of poor and minority children in central-city schools doubled from 25 to 50 percent, segregation rapidly increased, distressed urban neighborhoods grew at the fourth fastest rate in the United States, and the murder rate in Minneapolis surpassed that of New York City. These changes tended to accelerate and intensify as they reached middle- and working-class bedroom communities, which were less able to respond and went into transition far more rapidly. On the other side of the region, massive infrastructure investment and exclusive zoning were creating a different type of community. In white-collar suburbs with high tax bases, where only 27 percent of the region's population lived, 61 percent of the region's new jobs were created. As the rest of the region struggled, these communities pulled away physically and financially. In this powerful book, Myron Orfield details a regional agenda and the political struggle that accompanied the creation of the nation's most significant regional government and the enactment of land use, fair housing, and tax-equity reform legislation. He shows the link between television and talk radio sensationalism and bad public policy and, conversely, how a well-delivered message can ensure broad press coverage of even complicated issues. Metropolitics and the experience of the Twin Cities show that no American region is immune from pervasive and difficult problems. Orfield argues that the forces of decline, sprawl, and polarization are too large for individual cities and suburbs to confront alone. The answer lies in a regional agenda that promotes both community and stability. Copublished with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
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