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Legislative Changes Affecting the Tools in the North Carolina Water Finance Toolbox

July 28, 2017

Water and wastewater utilities have a wide range of capital project needs. Most utilities have existing assets (treatment plants, water storage tanks, underground lines) that have reached the end of their functional life and need significant rehabilitation and replacement investment. Some utilities … Continued

Our Shared Fate

July 11, 2017

Our Shared Fate was the title of an Aspen Institute report from 2008, which argued that bridging the rural-urban divide created new opportunities for prosperity and equity.  A Brookings Institution report published in the previous year, made the case that rural and urban areas are interdependent and … Continued

Local Governments and Non-Profits: Building Community Through Partnership

February 14, 2017

NBC News recently aired a short feel-good story during its Nightly News broadcast about a code enforcement officer working for the City of Petaluma, California. Joe Garcia had received multiple complaints about a dilapidated home surrounded by overgrown weeds. Clearly the home was out of compliance, … Continued

Current Positive Economic News? Cheer, Then Take a Breath and Look Deeper at the Divided NC Economy

January 17, 2017

There have been numerous national reports of positive economic information over the past six months. Unemployment is low, economic growth is steady and even growing, jobs are being created and 10 years later, we are finally moving beyond the devastating impacts of the recession. It would appear that … Continued

Understanding the Tools Available for CED Professionals: How Far Do NC Local Governments Go in Social Media Presence?

October 18, 2016

This past Friday, at the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration 2016 Annual Conference in Raleigh, second year UNC MPA graduate student Sabrina Willard accepted the Robert Klein Award for her paper on the presence of social media in North Carolina jurisdictions. The results of her paper r … Continued

Asset Building and the Shrinking Middle Class

September 13, 2016

The shrinking middle class is a continuing theme in the political discourse this election season. This comes as no surprise because what it means to be middle class is at the heart of the American Dream.  As the White House Task Force on the Middle Class led by Vice President Biden noted, being midd … Continued

Is Your Local Community Partner Ready To Go?

July 19, 2016

In July 2013, I wrote a blog proposing a four-part framework for understanding if specific local organizations have the capacity to implement CED programs. How well does this framework hold up when actually used?  We answer this question using interviews with 31 local partners, over the past two yea … Continued

New Book of Interest: This is Where You Belong

June 14, 2016

I am just finishing a pre-publication version of a forthcoming book by Melody Warnick titled “This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live” (available June 21, 2016). Warnick is a fellow-blogger on the Community Engagement Learning Exchange, writing about all things com … Continued

Live Long and Prosper: Does CED Impact How Long We Live?

April 19, 2016

I often think about ways in which local government matters in the daily lives of citizens. This month, a major study was released showing how local conditions, and community and economic development, infrastructure, and planning in particular, may have a direct impact on the most basic quality of li … Continued

Capacity Matters For CED, Part 2: News For the NC Food Industry and Farmers

January 19, 2016

Food is in the news, and CED professionals should look below the surface images and arguments to a fundamental question raised about local capacity issues important to the NC farm and food industry. In honor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Food for All all-university 2015-2017 aca … Continued