We are big fans of the Michigan Municipal League, and it was our honor to be their guests in Michigan last month. We traveled to the League’s Annual Convention and engaged with local officials and stakeholders from across the state. I was also given the honor of addressing the MML’s full convention of more than 500 Michigan leaders. You can soon hear some of the thoughts we shared on the MML’s "We Love Where You Live" podcast.
Through our Local Infrastructure initiative, we’ve been working for a year-and-a-half with our good friend and Advisory Council member, Mayor John Cranley, to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of the Cincinnati region through investments in its transit infrastructure. On Monday, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board of Trustees voted 12-1 to put a sales tax increase on the ballot in 2020. Without new funding, Metro is facing a $184 million deficit over the next decade, so getting this measure on the ballot was a critical step in the right direction. If the tax passes in 2020, it will represent the largest investment in public transit in Hamilton County’s history. Read more, here.
The Accelerator, along with the Milken Institute, the Sorensen Impact Foundation, and the Economic Innovation Group announced the launch of a series of regional training programs for public sector professionals on how to leverage Opportunity Zone investments to catalyze local economic development. The first workshop of that series, The Southeastern Regional Opportunity Zone Summit, was held this week in Jackson, Mississippi. Aaron Thomas, our Director of Economic Development & Opportunity Zones, attended the Summit.
The Accelerator has partnered with FUSE Corps to embed four Fellows into four local communities to help attract inclusive investment. Last week, Aaron Thomas, our Director of Economic Development & Opportunity Zones and Charlotte White, our Program Manager of Economic Development & Opportunity Zones, along with our partner, Bruce Katz, traveled to Washington, DC to lead the Accelerator’s first ever FUSE Corps training session. Our new FUSE fellows – Gil Keinan (San Bernardino), Clair Whitmer (Fresno), Stacy Cumberbatch (Riverside), and Angeline Johnson (Wichita) – blew them away with their energy and strategic minds. The training, which was facilitated by the Economic Innovation Group, was a great success. We're excited to see the impact that these leaders will undoubtedly have on the ground -- they start work on October 7!
We’re excited for Buffalo, NY and Mayor Byron Brown, who just created an Investment Prospectus -- the 44th completed through our toolkit -- to attract inclusive investments and create community wealth. Read the full prospectus, here.
California Foundation Opportunity Zone Meeting
October 9, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
The Accelerator will present at the California Opportunity Zone meeting in coordination with The James Irvine Foundation later this month. At this event, we will cover the basics of Opportunity Zones and focus substantively on the role philanthropy can play in maximizing the impact of opportunity zone investments, including highlighting promising case studies. The Milken Institute & Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro): Infrastructure Investment Accelerator Forum
October 18, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA
The Accelerator will attend this interactive forum of interdisciplinary leaders, including government officials, academia, policymakers, financial institutions and other industry experts, to discuss potential market-based solutions to challenges associated with local and state infrastructure investment and development. Mastercard Global Summit on Inclusive Growth
October 21, 2019 - Washington, DC
The Accelerator, along with 300 other cross-sector leaders, will attend the Mastercard Global Summit on Inclusive Growth to share ideas for creating equitable and sustainable economic growth through scalable solutions. We will be moderating a panel with Advisory Council member, Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City, and John Lettieri, President and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG).
October 22, 2019 - Charlottesville, VA
We’re heading to Charlottesville to support the launch of Opportunity Virginia, whose mission is to facilitate productive connections between investors and communities to drive meaningful activity in Virginia’s Opportunity Zones.
Dayton Investor Summit
October 30, 2019 - Dayton, OH
Along with Advisory Council member, Mayor Nan Whaley, the Accelerator is heading to Dayton to host its next investor summit, where elected officials, investors and other community leaders will gather to discuss economic development and investment in opportunity zones across the country.
Watch Accelerator Advisory Council Chair, Mayor Eric Garcetti, speak to the impact that Opportunity Zones can have to empower communities in this Forbes OZ Summit Series video from the Sorenson Impact Center.
We supported the “All for Transport” initiative in Hillsborough Co., FL, but it’s been under constant attack since voters passed it in November. This $9 billion victory is especially critical given the federal failure on infrastructure. Read more, here.
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- Rick Jacobs
Co-Founder and CEO, Accelerator for America