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In 2014, the Citi Foundation launched Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative in the United States to help 100,000 low-income youth -- ages 16 to 24 -- develop the workplace skills and leadership experience necessary to compete in a 21st century economy.
To achieve its ambitious goal, the Foundation enacted a multi-tiered strategy in ten cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The U.S. strategy also includes complementary national and local investments, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the National Academy Foundation, and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. In addition to the core and complementary program investments, the Citi Foundation's multitiered strategy includes substantial volunteer engagement by Foundation employees, and a significant communications platform -- augmenting grantee organizations' efforts to share their impact with the field.
In its efforts to advance youth economic opportunity on a significant scale, the Citi Foundation has invested in solutions that offer promise of sizeable and replicable impact.
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity;
In April 2014, a convening of national housing equity experts was hosted in Jacksonville, Florida by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The convening's purpose was to gain insight from national stakeholders on affordable housing and equitable development challenges and opportunities in Jacksonville. From this two-day engagement, a number of major challenges and opportunities facing Jacksonville's housing development were clearly identified. Two of these findings directly inform this research effort.
First, to meet the needs of Jacksonville's marginalized communities, an intentional focus on equity must stay at the forefront of community housing and development strategies. Second, if equity-focused development efforts are better aligned with health and/or educational stakeholders, affordable housing and equitable development could blossom in Jacksonville.
Stable and affordable housing is essential to educational success and positive health outcomes for families and for communities. While the linkage between housing and educational and health outcomes is clear, educational and health stakeholders have not traditionally been deeply engaged in meeting housing need. Emerging initiatives across the country are countering this disengagement, demonstrating the important role that anchor institutions can play in supporting local housing needs. Community anchor institutions, such as educational entities (particularly higher education) and health care organizations can be powerful institutional resources to support equitable housing and community development. Throughout the nation, successful anchor institute-led housing interventions have been transformational in addressing community housing needs and community revitalization. These efforts have been most effective when equity goals are integrated into the design and implementation of anchor institute-led housing efforts.
The following report provides select case studies with a strong social equity focus and comparability to Jacksonville. We identify lessons learned and summarize models which can be equally transformative in Jacksonville from these case studies. We also draw upon recent research and scholarship, and our own interviews with experts and practitioners. The goal of providing these lessons learned and model practices is to help inform, and potentially engage, various anchor institutes in Jacksonville -- organizations with resources that could help meet community housing needs and support equitable community development. This could help strengthen social, educational, economic and health outcomes for all of Jacksonville, including its most vulnerable residents.
Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund;
Across the country, municipal Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEPs) provide hundreds of thousands of young people, often from low-income communities, with short-term work experience and a regular paycheck. Building off this existing, widespread infrastructure and connection to young people, the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) saw an opportunity to connect young workers to bank accounts and targeted financial education, turning this large-scale youth employment program into a linchpin for building long-term positive financial behaviors. More broadly, Summer Jobs Connect (SJC) demonstrates how banking access efforts can be embedded in municipal infrastructure, a core goal of the CFE Fund's national Bank On initiative.
Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment;
This report is intended to put forth an array of reforms that, if enacted, would dramatically transform the municipal courts and eliminate a structure that has perpetuated racism and poverty in the St. Louis region for far too long.
Police Executive Research Forum;
In the summer of 2014, Better Together initiated discussions with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to conduct a study of the state of policing in the City and County of St. Louis. The August 9, 2014, fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson, and the civil unrest that ensued, gave new urgency to this initiative. In September 2014, Better Together and PERF entered into an agreement to conduct this examination and issue a report with recommendations. PERF is an independent research organization, based in Washington, DC, that focuses on critical issues in policing. PERF identifies best policies and practices on fundamental issues, such as strategies to minimize police use of force; developing community policing and increasing public perceptions of legitimacy and procedural justice in policing; new technologies for improving police accountability, such as body-worn cameras; and civil rights and racial issues in policing. The purpose of the study is two-fold: 1. To examine how policing services are currently being delivered in St. Louis County/City, assess the state of police-community relations, and compare the status quo with best practices in the policing profession. 2. To provide recommendations for moving forward, including identifying policing models and operational options to improve policing in the region.
Institute of Public Policy, Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri;
The status of women in Missouri reflects the status of women throughout the United States. Missouri women have the same opportunities, but also face similar challenges. The Institute of Public Policy, in concert with an academic advisory committee at the University of Missouri, has worked diligently to examine existing data, analyze actionable steps at the state level, and understand women's successes and challenges through a series of focus groups across the state. These focus groups gave the researchers the opportunity to hear from very engaged and diverse groups of women, and also a group of men.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
This paper documents the resurgence of entrepreneurial activity in St. Louis by reporting on the collaboration and local learning within the startup community. This activity is happening both between entrepreneurs and between organizations that provide support, such as mentoring and funding, to entrepreneurs. As these connections deepen, the strength of the entrepreneurial ecosystem grows. Another finding from the research is that activity-based events, where entrepreneurs have the chance to use and practice the skills needed to grow their businesses, are most useful. St. Louis provides a multitude of these activities, such as Startup Weekend, 1 Million Cups, Code Until Dawn, StartLouis, and GlobalHack. Some of these are St. Louis specific, but others have nationwide or global operations, providing important implications for other cities.
Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings;
As the United States slowly emerges from the great recession, a remarkable shify is occurring in the spatial geogrpahy of innovation. For the past 50 years, the landscape of innovation has been dominated by places like Silicon Valley - suburban corridors of spatially isolated corporate campuses, accessible only by car, with little emphasis on the quality of life or on integrating work, housing, and recreation.
A new complementary urban model is now emerging, giving rise to what we and others are calling "innovation districts." These districts, by our definition, are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators. They are also physically compact, transit-accessible, and technically
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.
Saint Louis University;
There is growing awareness that the conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play have a strong impact on their health. In fact, policies that address factors like education could have a bigger influence on health than all medical advances combined.
They may also help to prevent early death, giving families and communities more years of life to enjoy.There is good news. Our community has come together to increase access to health care for its vulnerable citizens, and in the past ten years we've seen improvements in health among St. Louis residents.
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.