LISC National

Community Development Symposium – Advancing Equitable Development In Milwaukee: Policy and Practice

LISC Milwaukee

Thank you to everyone who attended LISC’s Community Development Symposium, “Advancing Equitable Development in Milwaukee: Policy and Practice, on November 3rd 2017. LISC’s goal was to ignite civic leadership in policy and practice which results in greater racial and economic equity in Milwaukee.

The symposium began with a presentation by Mary Lee, Deputy Director at PolicyLink, who framed the what and how of Equitable Economic Development from the PolicyLink lens. The presentation was followed by a response panel which included community leaders Jonatan Zuninga, community outreach manager for Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Rick Banks, community engagement specialist for the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative, and Kathleen Prichard, PhD, director of Data You Can

Sven Gatchev, community investment trust analyst at Mercy Corps Northwest, presented an innovative model to “turn REITS on their heads” and help communities move from owing to owning based on a model recently launched in Portland, Oregon.

Esteban Kelly, executive director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), shared his thoughts on how “worker coops can be tools for quality jobs creation, business ownership and shared prosperity.”

The afternoon session focused on equitable housing strategies. Associate Professor Kurt Paulsen, UW-Madison School of Planning and Landscape Architecture, focused on tools for building equity through Land Banks and Land Trusts. Teresa Rufaro Prim, co-founder of Prim Lawrence Group, brought it home with a powerful discussion of housing cooperatives can help address affordability and wealth creation.

A special thank you to the Brico Fund for sponsoring this event, and to Susan Lloyd, director of the Zilber Family Foundation for her deft facilitation.


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1 Mary Lee, Equitable Economic Development

2 Sven Gatchev, Community Investment Trust

3 Esteban Kelly, Worker Cooperatives

4 Kurt Paulsen, Equitable Housing Land Trusts and Land Banks

5 Teresa Prim Rufaro, Cooperative Housing



Community Benefits Agreements 

Ciria-Cruz, R: Advocates Compel Facebook to Like Affordable Housing, Reimagine.

Tulane Public Law Center (2011): Summary of Community Benefits Agreements.

Community Investment Trusts

Johnson, K: REITS Good Nonprofit Turns High Dollar Investment Tool Upside Down, Nonprofit Quarterly, June 2017.

Community Land Trusts

PolicyLink (2001): Equitable Development Toolkit: Community Land Trusts.

Cooperative Housing

Ortiz, Lillian M: Will Limited Equity Co-Ops Make a Comeback? Shelterforce, April 2017.

Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund: Housing Cooperatives an Accessible and Lasting Tool for Home Ownership.

Equitable Economic Development

Treuhaft, S: All-In Cities: Building an Equitable Economy from the Ground Up, PolicyLink, 2016.

Transit-Oriented Development

Hersey, J; Spotts, M. A; Ed. Pollack, M: Promoting Opportunity through Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD): Making the Case, Enterprise Community Partners, April 2015.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R): Affordable Housing Contributes to Equitable Transit-Oriented Development in Saint Paul’s Corridor of Opportunity.

Worker Owned Cooperatives

NYC Department of Small Business Services (2016):  A Report on the Second Year of the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative (WCBDI), Fiscal Year 2016.

US Federation of Worker Cooperatives Creating Better Jobs a Fairer Economy with Worker Cooperatives.



In order of presentation

Susan Lloyd directs the Zilber Family Foundation. The Foundation awards grants to nonprofits that address basic human needs, increase access to opportunity, and improve the quality of community life. In 2008 the Foundation began an Initiative to support local leaders and neighborhood groups as they develop and carry out plans for comprehensive community improvement. Previously, Susan directed grant programs at The MacArthur Foundation for 13 years; conducted academic research on the causes and consequences of violence for six years; and worked in human services agencies for ten years. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in human development and social policy from Northwestern University, where she also was a National Science Foundation fellow on race and urban inequality.

Mary Lee, Deputy Director, at PolicyLink helps guide the organization’s Center for Health Equity and Place, and provides technical assistance and training to public and private agencies collaborating to build healthy communities. A graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, Mary is a practicing attorney with more than 25 years of experience using civil rights, land use, and economic development strategies to revitalize neighborhoods and enhance public participation in the policy arena. At PolicyLink she has co-authored reports on access to healthy food, the built environment, and the impact of place and race on health. She also teaches courses on law, public policy, and civil rights. Mary stays true to her motto “think globally, act locally” by remaining active in local politics in Los Angeles.

Kurt Paulsen is an associate professor of urban and regional planning in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He teaches, researches, and does community outreach in the areas of land use planning, housing policy, and municipal finance.  His research has been published in academic journals including Housing Policy Debate, Urban Studies, Land Economics, and Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research (HUD).  He is the author of the Dane County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment and has consulted with numerous cities on affordable housing strategy and policy. He currently serves as the Chair of the City of Middleton’s Workforce Housing Committee and is an economic-impact consultant to WHEDA (the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority). He has a B.A., Economics, Political Science and Urban Studies, Northwestern University; Master Degrees in Agricultural and Applied Economics and Development Policy and Public Administration, University of Wisconsin; PhD Urban Planning and Policy Development, Rutgers

Teresa Rufaro Prim is the co-founder of Prim Lawrence Group, a community economic development and real estate development consulting firm. Ms. Prim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the firm with more than 30 years of experience in affordable housing development, business development, consumer and worker-owned cooperatives, organizational management and program design. Her firm is responsible for securing both public and private sector financing for over 500 units of affordable housing representing more than 62 million dollars for single family and multi-family housing development projects. In addition, she has secured more than 45 million dollars in financing for commercial real estate and small businesses. Ms. Prim holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master’s of Science degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College. She has completed additional training and/or certification in real estate finance, construction management, multi-family loan packaging, nonprofit management, community development law and accounting.

Sven Gatchev is the Community Investment Trust Analyst at Mercy Corps Northwest. His motto is: Do good while doing well. It has guided him through over a decade of work in community banking, technology, and the nonprofit sector. As the dedicated Community Investment Trust (CIT) Analyst at Mercy Corps Northwest, he leads the launch and replication of the CIT, the first community asset ownership model of its kind. The CIT was conceived from conversations with community leaders, neighborhood focus groups, and elected officials. It utilizes an existing financial tool – in this case, real estate investment trust (REIT) normally only available to wealthy investors – and offers it to all neighborhood residents. Not only do small-dollar contributors have a chance to invest in their community, the CIT provides a path out of asset poverty. Sven received his MBA from the University of Oregon in Sustainable Business Practices and Finance, and holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Wyoming.

Esteban Kelly is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and is a co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op that builds capacity for social justice projects.  Esteban has been an important leader and creative force in solidarity economy and cooperative movements, and has served on many boards including the Democracy at Work Institute, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the National Cooperative Business Association, Mariposa Food Co-op, and the LCA land trust. Esteban is a co-founder and the first board President of the cross-sectoral Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), which works to advance a robust, sustainable economy in the Delaware Valley. Internationally, Esteban has advocated for workplace democracy, land reform and other social movements from Canada to Brazil. He holds a master’s degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the City University of New York, and received a bachelor’s in Political Economy of Environment & Development from UC Berkeley.