Welcome, LEO: New state department provides momentum to tackle economic opportunity challenges
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Welcome, LEO: New state department provides momentum to tackle economic opportunity challenges

By Luke Forrest, executive director This week marks the official start date of Michigan’s newest state agency, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). It’s not an event that seems to have garnered much attention, which maybe isn’t surprising given that it’s August—it’s been more than two months since the department was first announced,...

Can we work to solve the climate crisis by fighting the affordable housing crisis? 
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Can we work to solve the climate crisis by fighting the affordable housing crisis? 

By Natalie Rogers, junior policy associate As temperatures rise, carbon emissions skyrocket, and severe weather continues to strike, cities and communities across the nation are seeking dynamic local policy solutions to combat the growing climate crisis. There is little debate that can discredit the reality that the climate is changing. According to a UN Intergovernmental...

Fellow Feature: A Clean Sweep for Community Development in Ionia
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Fellow Feature: A Clean Sweep for Community Development in Ionia

Ionia’s Sweep the Streets project had one simple goal: Bring pride back to our downtown community. You can use this model in your small town, too. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, check out this simple community development project that can quickly deliver a big dose of community...

Fellow Feature: The Unique Opportunity for Small Towns to Achieve Energy Goals
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Fellow Feature: The Unique Opportunity for Small Towns to Achieve Energy Goals

By Heather Nugen, Eaton Rapids community development fellow I moved to Eaton Rapids, Michigan last fall as part of CEDAM’s year-long community development fellowship. I have been living in larger urban areas for most of my life, but cities with lush landscapes aren’t unfamiliar to me. I grew up in Spokane, Washington, never more than...

New Fellowship Program Catalyzes Community Economic Development Across Michigan
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New Fellowship Program Catalyzes Community Economic Development Across Michigan

By Sarah Teater, Community Development Fellowship coordinator Community economic development projects are underway across the state thanks to a new fellowship managed by CEDAM. Last year, CEDAM was granted the opportunity to find the first cohort of community development fellows for Project Rising Tide. The fellows bring a diverse range of skills to their positions,...

CEDAM’s AmeriCorps Members Get Things Done—Here’s Why you Should be a Host Site
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CEDAM’s AmeriCorps Members Get Things Done—Here’s Why you Should be a Host Site

By Chris Wardell, Administrative Assistant CEDAM members provide critical resources, implement innovative programs and make our communities stronger. You do a lot with a little, and, impressively, you continuously strive to accomplish even more—whether it’s serve more clients, raise more money or offer a new program, you’re working to make it happen.   What if...

Poverty Simulations Can Help You Better Serve Your Clients
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Poverty Simulations Can Help You Better Serve Your Clients

By Susan Andrews, CEDAM membership & event specialist From food insecurity to housing, those who live in poverty face many challenges. With more than 12 percent of Americans living in poverty in 2017 (or nearly 39.7 million people), it is important to understand life in poverty to better serve clients, customers and constituents. A poverty simulation...

Why Can’t We Build Public Support for Affordable Housing and Community Development?
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Why Can’t We Build Public Support for Affordable Housing and Community Development?

By Emily Reyst, communications & training associate    On Wednesday, August 22, Dr. Tiffany Manuel, originally from Detroit herself, took to the podium at our annual Developing Vibrant Communities conference and delivered an inspiring, thought-provoking and engaging presentation on how to build public support for affordable housing and community economic development work in Michigan. A...

Homeownership and the American Dream
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Homeownership and the American Dream

The benefits of homeownership are many, but not everyone wants to own a home or is ready to—and we should support that.   June is National Homeownership Month. It is part of an annual effort by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the White House,...

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Financial Inclusion Happens Where Two Roads Meet

Financial Inclusion can be achieved through the intersection of financial empowerment strategies and community economic development efforts. By Brian Rakovitis As economically depressed neighborhoods and cities begin to see outside investment coming in for the first time in decades, many of the low income individuals living in these communities are often excluded from benefiting from...