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Lessons for CED from Europe: Inclusive Communities and a New City-Run Food Pantry

October 17, 2017

The photo was eerily familiar to anyone interested in CED.  The headline from the New York Times article on September 20, just days before the German national election, read, “Merkel Says Germans ‘Never Had It Better.’ But Many Feel Left Behind.”  The accompanying photo by Gordon Welters, shown here … Continued

Vending Machines or Barn Raising: The Role of Local Government in Community Building

October 10, 2017

I recently was asked to speak to a joint meeting of town councils of four communities in Eastern North Carolina. The subject they asked me to speak about was community engagement. What I ended up spending most of my time talking about were two frames for thinking about the role of local government i … Continued

Property Buy-Outs: A Good Option for Local Governments and Homeowners?

September 5, 2017

The devastating impact of flooding is once more in the public spotlight following the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Nearer to home, residents in Princeville, Fair Bluff, Seven Springs, Windsor, Kinston and Lumberton NC are planning how to build stronger and safer after Hurri … Continued

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