Our Initiatives

Advocacy & Leadership

Opportunity Zones promise to be the very definition of what it means to achieve the "double bottom line":  Investors can expect a strong return while easing the burden of capital gains taxation, and under-invested communities will see an influx of capital that revs up the engine of local economies, creates jobs and raises standards of living.

The imperative here is making sure that those communities benefit as the regulation intends. That's called equitable development, and it's part of our mission as an organization: to direct capital to places where access has been closed off, and manage development in a way that benefits residents, businesses and institutions rooted in those communities.

Our time-tested relationships with local leaders and community groups make us uniquely suited to guide investors in the Opportunity Zones.

Our four decades of resident engagement and capacity building for local leaders and community groups, combined with our expertise in bringing about complex deals in these markets, make us uniquely suited to guide investors in the Opportunity Zones.

How we do it:

  • Our policy experts are encouraging the Treasury Department and IRS to move quickly on issue guidance and regulations that will provide investors and Opportunity Funds with clarity, and insure that the legislative intent of Opportunity Zones is being met.
  • We have testified before Congress to stress the priorities of community needs and equitable development as the tax law is implemented (see LISC CEO and president, Maurice A. Jones's testimony before Congress in May 2018).
  • We are engaging with community stakeholders (mayors, county executives and other local leaders) to determine how Opportunity Zone designations line up with local community development goals and begin identifying projects that will benefit from Opportunity Fund investments.
  • We advocate for states and municipalities to create new programs or use existing ones that will insure equitable and inclusive economic growth and protect people from displacement as investment unfolds in the Opportunity Zones.


George Ashton, Managing Director of Strategic Investments