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Home to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights movement, Coca-Cola, and startup successes like MailChimp, Atlanta is steeped in cultural history and thrives on its shared entrepreneurial spirit. Inclusivity is certainly what makes Georgia's capital unique and in recent years, has attracted a diverse influx of new city dwellers with its 22-mile Beltline trail development, a burgeoning film and hip hop industry and nationally acclaimed chefs, mixologists and food halls like Krog Street and Ponce City Market.True to its Southern core, the booming restaurant community in Atlanta has brought us together with authentic soul food and ethnic cuisines from Buford Highway. But if you live in Atlanta, the effects of our current industrialized food system are too visible to ignore. Neighborhoods lined with gas stations and fast food chains, without a grocery store in sight, are commonplace. We also see the effects in our school lunches, in our rising rates of obesity, in our depleted soil and in our separation from where food is actually grown.It is in these neighborhoods and schools where leadership and innovation have taken root, quite literally. Born out of necessity, urban agriculture has brought fresh, sustainably grown food to the Atlantans who most need it. Today, it has the potential to ensure that our ever-evolving, multicultural city boasts a resilient local food system just as vibrant, forward thinking and accessible as its parks, music and art.
Partnership for Working Families;
This study explores labor conditions in the construction industry across six key Southern cities in the U.S. and finds that far too often construction workers across the South face working conditions that should not exist in the twentyfirst century in the richest country in the world. The study documents the alarming prevalence of jobs with wages too low to feed a family. It captures the impact of disabling work injuries on workers and their families that are made even more devastating when the employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, or misclassifies a wage worker as an independent contractor ineligible for compensation payments.
California HealthCare Foundation;
The John A. Hartford Foundation, Cambia Health Foundation, and California Health Care Foundation commissioned PerryUndem Research/ Communication to conduct focus groups among health care clinicians and patients on the topic of end-of-life care and wishes.
This qualitative research comes on the heels of a national survey we conducted in spring 2016 among primary care providers and specialists who regularly see patients 65 and older. The national survey showed that nearly all physicians consider advance care planning conversations important, while, as of early March 2016, only a fraction had billed Medicare for such conversations using a new Medicare reimbursement code implemented in January 2016.The national survey identified key barriers to having these conversations, such as not having a formal assessment process in place, feeling uncertain about what to say in conversations with patients, feeling unsure when to have the conversations, and having difficulty dealing with family disagreements.
The goal of the qualitative research was to explore experiences and ideas from both clinicians and patients around starting and having quality conversations about advance care planning and end of life. This qualitative research focused on various types of clinicians in contrast to the spring 2016 national survey, which only included primary care physicians and specialists.
A study found that signs placed in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to promote passengers walking to airport gates rather than taking shuttles resulted in several hundred more passengers a day choosing to walk (ceiling-mounted infrared sensors were used to count travelers entering and exiting the study location). The project was supported by Kresge and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study also produced a guide, "Promoting Airport Walking," intended primarily for airport managers who want their airports to encourage healthy habits and improve customer experiences.
Many community development initiatives traditionally funded by foundations and the federal government evolved to respond to the economic conditions and barriers facing communities in big cities of the northeast and midwest. But conditions are dramatically different in Houston and other fast-growing metros like it. Neighborhood Centers, Inc. is developing and testing strategies for connecting underserved people to opportunities that reflect the realities of Houston's geography, demographics, and economy. This paper is intended to start a discussion about how these strategies differ from more traditional place-based antipoverty strategies, and how similar approaches may suit other metros like Houston.
Atlanta's largest and most popular foundation, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation is an independent private foundation established by the former Coca-Cola president. The foundation has had tremendous positive impact on the city's physical landscape, and can do more to strengthen its social fabric. Atlanta is changing, and for Woodruff the real question is whether they're changing with it. What are they doing to bring groups together to solve pressing issues? How are they incorporating the voices of diverse community members?
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored two major experiments to test whether housing choice vouchers propelled low-income households into greater economic security, the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing program (MTO) and the Welfare to Work Voucher program (WTW). Using data from these programs, this study examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants.
The underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) generates millions of dollars annually, yet investigation and data collection remain under resourced. Our study aimed to unveil the scale of the UCSE in eight major US cities. Across cities, the UCSE's worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million in 2007, but decreased since 2003 in all but two cities. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement revealed the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade -- and shaped the policy suggestions to combat it.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
The Great Recession created fiscal challenges for the 30 cities at the centers of the nation's most populous metropolitan areas that continued well past the recession's official end in June 2009. For most of these cities, the fiscal brunt was borne later than for the national and state governments and recovery has been slow.
Cities dealt with fiscal strain in a variety of ways: dipping into reserve funds, cutting spending, gaining help from the federal or state governments, and increasing revenue from tax and nontax sources. Although these strategies offered short-term solutions, many cities still faced declining revenue in 2011, the consequence of reduced spending, shrunken reserves, and rising pension and retiree health care costs.
Property taxes, which can be slow to respond to economic swings, helped delay the early fiscal effects of the Great Recession for most of these cities, but they began to decline in 2010, reflecting a deferred impact of the housing crisis. This trend was compounded by increasingly unpredictable aid from states and the federal government that were dealing with their own budgetary constraints.
Researchers from Pew standardized data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 2007 through 2011, the latest year of complete data available, for all of these 30 cities. This report examines key elements of each city's fiscal conditions, including revenue, expenditures, reserves, and long-term obligations, and adjusted them for inflation to facilitate comparison across the years. These adjustments allow insight into fiscal trends across cities and over time. Direct comparisons between cities may be limited, however, by differences in cities' tax structures and the range of services each city provides
National League of Cities;
Mobile food vending generates approximately $650 million in revenue annually. The industry is projected to account for approximately $2.7 billion in food revenue over the next five years, but unfortunately, most cities are legally ill-equipped to harness this expansion. Many city ordinances were written decades ago, with a different type of mobile food supplier in mind, like ice cream trucks, hot dog carts, sidewalk peddlers, and similar operators. Modern mobile vending is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations. Vendors utilize large vehicles packed with high-tech cooking equipment and sanitation devices to provide sophisticated, safe food usually prepared to order.
Increasingly, city leaders are recognizing that food trucks are here to stay. They also recognize that there is no "one size fits all" prescription for how to most effectively incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a community. With the intent of helping city leaders with this task, this guide examines the following questions: What policy options do local governments have to regulate food trucks? What is the best way to incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a city, taking into account the preferences of all stakeholders?
Thirteen cities of varying size and geographic location were analyzed for this study. Information on vending regulations within each of these cities was collected and analyzed, and supplemented with semi-structured interviews with city staff and food truck vendors.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
"Making Connections" was the Annie E. Casey Foundation's signature place-based, community-change initiative of the 2000s. It sought to build on previous work and launch an effort focused firmly on the framework of family strengthening. The Foundation started "Making Connections" in 22 places, focusing eventually on first 10, then seven sites, eventually investing in the initiative for more than 10 years and spending more than $500 million.
This effort led to a range of innovations in the field and both started and strengthened many local initiatives. Making Connections' positive outcomes are still influencing Casey and the broader field. In many notable cases, the programs and partnerships created during the initiative continue to thrive.
Assessments of "Making Connections" have already produced a variety of lessons on program development, implementation, evaluation and other topics, with valuable implications for practitioners, public policymakers, funders and others involved in community development. This report takes a step back and outlines key findings from the initiative that can provide guidance to those involved with community-change efforts in the future.
These principles can serve as guideposts at an exciting time in the community-change field. Many smart and promising initiatives are underway, fueled by foundations, nonprofits and others in the private sector. The federal government is also making important investments at the neighborhood and community levels. And learning communities of local leaders and state and local officials are actively sharing information and hard-won insights. The principles and strategies in this report can help inform and sustain these efforts and those to come in a field with so much to contribute to the strengthening and success of families living in disinvested communities.
Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative;
Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report
looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.