Ensuring that Opportunity Zones investments benefit the people who live and work there was the crux of a recent roundtable led by LISC and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. An article on Medium.com by LISC’s George Ashton III and the Fed’s Adrian Franco describes the insights—and important takeaways—from community and economic development leaders on the front lines of helping stakeholders shape Opportunity Zone activity in their areas.
If Opportunity Zones are to empower residents, then directing OZ funds to education must be part of the investment equation. That’s the message of an in depth article in Education Next (published by Harvard’s Kennedy School) which cites LISC’s work in the Opportunity Zones—and our OZ playbook for community partners—as vital to helping residents reap the promised benefits of the tax legislation.
There is an exciting new development regarding LISC’s involvement in Opportunity Zones. The Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana, of which LISC of Indianapolis is a part, officially launched an online portal to aid in matching Opportunity Zone projects in need of funding to potential investors.
Maurice A. Jones and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) co-authored a blog for The Hill, making a strong case for how Opportunity Zones can attract unprecedented capital to underinvested places—if the necessary oversight and guiderails are in place. Under the right circumstances, OZs could channel some $6 trillion into American communities, leveraging local talent, assets and inclusive development already underway.