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Many Americans see the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a windfall for the wealthy. But a piece of legislation within it, the Investing in Opportunity Act, has the potential to be a game changer for distressed communities in all 50 states... [N]onprofit leaders are stepping up to balance investors' interests with positive community involvement....The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth launched a million-dollar partnership with Accelerator for America to arm city leaders with data to attract investments.
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An entire constellation of organizations and resources have crystallized around realizing Opportunity Zones’ potential. Emphasizing the need for policymakers to provide stakeholders with the tools and resources to attract investors and advocate for community interests, the Impact Investing Alliance collaborated with the Beeck Center at Georgetown University to create the Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework, which is designed to help Opportunity Funds measure the impact of their investments. Other resources include Accelerator for America’s Investment Prospectus Guide, Smart Growth America’s Equitable Investment Atlas, the Urban Institute’s tract-level data and state by state analysis, and the Opportunity Exchange’s marketplace of proposed community investment projects.
Anu Varadharajan & Michelle Thompson
Our Opportunity Zone toolkit and work encourages a diverse array of stakeholders to develop a cities' investment prospectus. This podcast from Opportunity Database and Michelle Thompson of the Mastercard Center For Inclusive Growth discusses academia's role and notes our work to convene government, investors, non-profits and others across America to lift local communities.
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Opportunity Alabama’s efforts have served to turn Alabama into an epicenter for OZ-driven investment, underscored by the presence of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the announcement of the American Life Building project, as well as a national summit on OZ impact tracking that was held in Birmingham this past week.
Source: Economic Innovation Group (2018 Distressed Community Index)
Thanks to the work of the Economic Innovation Group, Accelerator for America, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, there are more ways for participants to share best practices, but philanthropic support of capacity-building organizations will be critical to the program’s long-term success.
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For community leaders to build a case for investments... they need access to timely data insights about what's actually happening in their Opportunity Zones at a neighborhood level. That is why Mastercard and Accelerator for America, a non-profit formed by mayors and leaders to fight economic insecurity, have joined forces to provide 50 American cities with data insights and tools to develop investment prospectuses that will attract inclusive investments to their Opportunity Zones.
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Katz has been intimately involved with the nonprofit Accelerator for America, the brainchild of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, which brings Silicon Valley-like support in the form of networks, mentorship, and capital to civic entrepreneurs on the front lines of building ladders to the middle class. Their slogan reads: “With Washington broken, local innovators are taking action.”
Smart Mobility
"Cities are always working to harness the power of technology for the public good. The Open Mobility Foundation will help us manage emerging transportation infrastructures, and make mobility more accessible and affordable for people in all of our communities," said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who also serves as advisory council chair of Accelerator for America, which showcased the MDS platform early on."
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Summit is part of Accelerator's work with Kansas City to make sure that OZ's bring inclusive growth to underserved areas, not just private sector returns KANSAS CITY, MO -- Accelerator for America Director of Economic Development and Opportunity Zones Aaron Thomas, and Accelerator Partner and policy expert Bruce Katz will attend the Kansas City Opportunity Zone Investor Summit in Kansas City, Missouri on June 26 and 27. The summit which was developed in collaboration with Accelerator partner Bruce Katz and led by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will bring investors and entrepreneurs together with local policymakers, experts, and community leaders to ensure that investments in Opportunity Zones benefit their local residents.