Building Community Wealth
To tackle the enormous racial and economic disparities in Minneapolis, we need to start having a more expansive conversation not just about income, but about Community Wealth Building.
Community Wealth Building is a place-based strategy for community economic development that creates local and shared ownership, develops cooperative economic businesses and enterprises. It works with and invests in people of color, women, and small business owners. It encourages and provides pathways for big institutions -- like hospitals, universities and government agencies -- to build these investments and partnerships as well.
What do we mean when we say wealth? Wealth comes in a variety of forms. From trusting, loving, and mutual relationships, to our spiritual or physical health. (How many times have we heard the phrase “health is wealth”?) The Northside has a wealth of arts, creativity, pride, and love for each other. But for too long communities of color and Indigenous communities -- like the Northside -- have been denied the opportunity to build the kind of wealth that comes from owning land or homes, businesses or inheritances.
Community wealth building, rooted in racial, social and economic justice is an approach to remedy economic development harms and ensure that all people have opportunities to build economic wealth.
Our city has a great opportunity to transform economic injustice by using community wealth building. Rather than assuming a one-size-fits-all solution, building a community wealth building ecosystem is a dynamic process, and one that I am committed to helping create in North Minneapolis and the rest of the city.
We will do this by:
- Deeply supporting and investing in cooperative ownership enterprises, especially targeted to cultural communities and communities of color.
- Prioritizing and incentivizing shared ownership of city owned land and properties
- Working to finally operationalize the City’s own procurement goals with women and people of color owned businesses.
Right now our Northside is fast tracked for the kind of economic development that will displace many of the wise, creative, and hard-working people that have made it such a desirable neighborhood. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is our duty to come together collectively to determine what our community wealth building strategies are and to work hard to make them a reality. Together, we will build and grow our community, building roots, spaces, art and wealth in North Minneapolis.