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.
Public programs that pave the road into the middle class are an investment in our country’s greatest asset—its people. As LISC and other organizations weigh in on the USDA’s proposed rule changes to the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program, Maurice A. Jones, LISC’s president and CEO, discusses the imperative of protecting federal assistance that helps catalyze financial stability for our country’s most vulnerable residents—and boosts the health of our economy.
LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have launched a new grant program to help charter school operators open facilities in Opportunity Zones and other under-capitalized communities. Applications are available beginning October 1.
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.
This year, the Federal Reserve is taking a “listening tour” of America in order to update its economic policies and strategy. In an article for Vox, economist Jared Bernstein analyzed a recent Fed panel where LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones described how the tight labor market has the potential to help those the economy has long left in the dust. The Fed, noted Bernstein, would do well to heed that insight.