looking for a tongue and cheek way of learning about the impact of redlining (who isn’t, am I right?). Adam Ruins everything a truTV show takes on the suburbs. Give it a view!
Elle UK used photoshop to make a profound point- Where are the Women?
They used pictures of leadership, arts and business and took out all the men. It becomes clear that far too often women are either not represented or represented by one sole woman- despite being over half of the world’s population!
Which always makes me wonder? What would the world be like with more women making the decisions?
“Why aren’t there #morewomen making it? There is room for more of us at the top. One woman’s success makes EVERY WOMAN STRONGER! More women for #MoreWomen”
Their film, by Alex Holder and Alyssa Boni is pointed. But maybe skip the comments, you know how the internet can get…
Amazon is looking to grow, and they are putting a call out for bids for a new home to grow in. I think we’re about to see a massive push from cities all over for this new headquarters which will create 50,000 new jobs, and be an economic anchor institution in its new home. I also think we’ll see lots of opinions for and against bringing Amazon into new cities over the next few weeks as well. Massive influx of investment and growth of any kind, when done incorrectly, leads to massive influx or exacerbation of inequality. And the discussion of how to invite Amazon, and should cities invite Amazon are worth having. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how cities woo Amazon, without hurting their current residents and businesses.
CityLab makes an interesting point about bringing Amazon to the heartland (and we support that idea for a whole host of reasons). But regardless of where Amazon sets up shop, we want to throw a suggestion out for how.
Amazon, fill a vacant mall or two! America has malls, (emptied with some help from Amazon…). These large spaces used to serve as anchors for communities growth, but as they dry up and stay vacant, many are serving as anchors dragging down their surroundings. But many would be perfect for your new headquarters campus. just to name a few of the reasons Amazon should consider filling empty American malls for a campus:
- They are usually located near great transportation, given that the heyday of malls coincides with the heyday of sprawl
- They are affordable for acquisition because there are few other uses for the space outside of large office buildings and some other fabulously innovative ideas.
- Cities don’t have to give away the public coffers to help you reactivate/renovate currently vacant spaces.
- Malls come with ample parking so consider that fight about traffic/parking- over
- Reactivating a mall for a headquarters would be so innovative it would give Amazon some wonderful PR. (and set a replicable standard for other large employers wishing to build campuses)
August is for Neighbors
August has been a busy month for Root + Branch. We sponsored and helped organize two neighborhood block parties for the South Side of Columbus, Ohio, and boy are we bounce house-ed out!
Root + Branch gets involved with projects like this because creating spaces for community members to gather, meet each other and celebrate the neighborhood are vital to creating connected, thriving neighborhoods. Enjoy these pictures of all the fun we had. And come join us next time!
One party was put on in partnership with Restoration Hope, South Side Thrive Collaborative and the United Way. The second event was hosted in partnership with the Schumacher Place Civic Association, with help from the United Way. All the thanks to every volunteer, participant, vendor, non profit and attendee for helping put on these fantastic events!
Currently on our Shelves
Currently on our bookshelves and highly recommended:
- An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power- Al Gore
- The Color of Law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America- Richard Rothstein
- Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City- Derek S. HyraDerek S. HyraDerek S. Hyra
What are you reading these days?
Chaffetz finds out D.C. is expensive.
You might have heard recently, congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) suggested in an interview with The Hill, that Congressmen should receive a housing stipend of $2,500 per month (or $30,000 per year). He reasoned, that “D.C. is one of the most expensive places in the world, and I flat-out cannot afford am mortgage in Utah, kids in college and second place in the here in D.C.”
For many of DC natives, this comment sounded quite tone-deaf, as residents making far less than US Congressmen, with far less power than US Congressmen are barely holding on to their housing as it is. Not to mention, U.S. Congressmen, like Chaffetz have refused to give Washington, D.C. full power in the U.S. Congress, despite Congress having full control over D.C.’s budget. Members of Congress earn a $174,000 annual salary, which is nearly twice as much as the DC Metro’s median household income.
The recognition of the skyrocketing housing costs, without any recognition of the impact on DC residents felt like an extra striking blow. Enterprise pointed out that:
“Now that these Members of Congress understand that the rental housing market has changed significantly since they were first starting out on their own, they should take a hard look at the housing needs of their constituents. Members of Congress who truly understand and care about housing affordability in this country must reject the president’s budget proposals and instead provide robust funding for housing and community development programs.”
Read more from Enterprise, about actions we can take to help preserve affordable housing for average D.C. residents.
Good White People
This is an interesting short film about the Over the Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. When considering policy, investment and real estate, we must think through the consequences and impact of our decisions.
Are we displacing successful communities to “improve” areas?
Is that really improvement?
Teaching Students How to Revitalize Their Communities
When we work in communities, we always strive to help build the capacity of local community leaders. Whether that’s through connecting them with resources we know about, or introducing them to other community partners, or transferring skills, our goal is to help communities grow strong and resilient. the foundation of that growth is local community leadership.
Yes! Magazine highlighted a fascinating non-profit, Community Learning Partnership, that is creating college programs that couples classroom work with hands on experience as change agents in their community. CLP provides students, instructors, and community groups a model for preparing local leaders and activists. These college programs “offer fledgling community organizers ‘a sense of optimism about how they can effect change in their own backyard.'”
Programs like CLP are expanding the role of college in communities and building leadership capacity as well. Read more about this fantastic work in Yes! Magazine’s article Where They Teach Students How to Revitalize Their Local Communities.
Sharing the Benefits of Solar in DC: Georgetown University
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first project through the Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative. We have partnered with community centered solar developer, Community Renewable Energy to install 1.1 mW on Georgetown’s campus, making it one of the largest on site solar arrays in Washington, D.C.
Through an innovative project model the system will produce renewable energy for the University and amplify the benefits of solar for the District of Columbia.
We created the model to serve the energy needs of the University, while also ensuring the surrounding neighborhoods benefit from the renewable energy. Profits from the system have been dedicated by the partners toward reinvestment in DC neighborhoods, including through a “Community Investment Fund” which, in collaboration with Georgetown University, will support clean energy projects in low-income areas of the District.
The project is expected to generate about 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of power each year, contributing to a cleaner electric grid and offsetting an estimated 25,506 US tons of CO2 in it’s lifetime, which is the equivalent of planting 593,300 trees in D.C. Installed at no cost to the university, the project is expected to save the university over $3 million on energy costs over 20 years. Furthermore, it’s anticipated to catalyze over $1.5 million more in local community investment.
Read more about our Neighborhood Solar Equity initiative, access the Georgetown University Solar- Press Release 4.22.17, or read more from our friends at Georgetown.
Coal looks to Solar for Jobs
A Kentucky coal company, Berkeley Energy Group, announced this week that it is building a solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop removal coal mine in an effort to bring jobs to former coal country.