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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

January 21, 2015


The Next Big Game Changer For St. Louis

By Eric Friedman, Co-Founder of TOD BroadBand Fiber Collaborative

High-speed fiber is an economic and community development accelerant. Cities that have installed it, like Cedar Falls, Chattanooga, Kansas City, Lafayette (Louisana), Austin, and Highland (Illlinois), are experiencing economic growth with new companies and job creation. For two years we have been researching and assembling the TOD BroadBand Fiber Collaborative to bring high-speed cable to the St. Louis region and, in particular, Wellston and Olive Boulevard in University City. High-Speed fiber accelerates economic development, and it is critical to advancing equity. By providing digital inclusion and social programs that benefit all citizens, it can help to bridge the digital divide.

To read the full article, click here.

We invite readers to contribute to the civic conversation about community development in St. Louis by writing an op-ed for the Community Builders Exchange. Op-eds should be short (400-700 words) and provocative. If you have an idea for an op-ed, contact Todd Swanstrom at

 2015 Community Builders Network Awards Reception
The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis is excited to host its third annual awards reception on March 19th at Cortex. This awards reception aims to recognize leaders and organizations who display excellence in impacting community building and neighborhood revitalization in the region. Rise collaborative grant awardees will also be recognized. Please join us for an evening of networking, food, fun, celebration, and recognition of the hard work and dedication of community development practitioners in multiple sectors throughout the region. For registration information, click here.

Sponsorship Available for the 2015 CBN Annual Awards Reception
Sponsorship levels are available for the 2015 CBN Annual Awards Reception. If you or your organization are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please take a look at our sponsorship levels found here. Thank you for your consideration, and we hope to see you at the event.

St. Louis Receives HUD Planning Grant For Comprehensive Revitalization Of Near North Side

Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that CBN member Urban Strategies was the recipient of $500,000 in funding from the Choice Neighborhoods grant program. Urban Strategies was one of seven organizations to receive this grant nationwide. The funds from this grant will be used in planning community development projects in O'Fallon Place and the surrounding near northside neighborhoods. For more on this development, click here.

St. Louis Selected for Global Cities Initiative
The Brookings Institution has selected St. Louis to be one of eight US cities to be a part of the Global Cities Initiative Exchange. St. Louis' involvement in the project will span two years, and leaders hope it will expand St. Louis' position economically through global commerce. For more information on this announcement, click here.

Rockefeller Foundation Names St. Louis A Resilient City
The Rockefeller Foundation recently announced six US Cities, including St. Louis, to be named in their second round of 100 Resilient Cities. With this distinction, St. Louis will receive a chief resilience officer, who will help the city develop and implement a resilience plan. To read more on this announcement, click here

Former St. Louis Mayor: Build New Rams Stadium in Illinois
In this KWMU broadcast of St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh interviewed former St. Louis mayor and outgoing president of Grand Center Inc., Vince Schoemehl. The interview focused on development topics in St. Louis, including the proposal for a new Rams stadium and making Grand Center more accessible. To hear the full interview, click here.

Urban League Starts Jobs Program In North St. Louis County
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis recently launched a jobs program intended to train and employ 500 African American men from North St. Louis County. The project, called "Save Our Sons," has received $1.25 million in corporate donations. To read more on this story, click here

Youth In Old North Organize To Fix Parks
The Youth Council of Old North is comprised of young men from the Old North neighborhood dedicated to learning about community organizing. The council was established in the fall with the help of Metropolitan Congregations United. The council is working on a petition to send to City Hall that requests improvements for their neighborhood parks. To read more on this story, click here.

Cortex to Construct New Building; TechShop Will Anchor
Scrapping plans to renovate the Brauer building at Boyle and Forest Park, Cortex will instead build a new 60,000 square foot building that will better suit the functional needs of TechShop. For more information on this development, click here.

To Set Future Course, Ferguson Commission Turns to Young People
On Saturday, January 10, the Ferguson Commission hosted "Youth Speak!" at the Florissant Valley Community College campus. The forum sought input from area youth in light of the unrest in Ferguson and divisions between the police and the community. To read more about this story, click here.

Building Upon What Works for a Brighter Future
In this blog post from Living Cities, Jeff Edmondson writes about various cradle to career projects across the country and describes how collaboration and data analysis have made these projects more effective at closing the achievement gap. To read the full blog post, click here.

Strong Neighborhoods Task Force Releases Report
Throughout 2014, members of the Metropolitan St. Louis CRA Association and the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis along with representatives from the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, United Way of Greater St. Louis, and IFF came together to develop a set of recommendations on building a strong regional community development system. In December they completed a report outlining their findings. To read the report, click here. To read the summary of the recommendations, click here


Creating a Just and Inclusive America
The Brown School of Social Work is hosting this talk with Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President of the Ford Foundation's Economic Opportunity and Assets Program, this Thursday, January 22 at noon. Registration is not required to attend. For more information, click here.

Funding Your Healthy Food Project with USDA Resources
This webinar will discuss available USDA programs and ways to use the programs and USDA funding to support health choices in low-income urban environments. The webinar is set to take place this Thursday, January 22 at 1 pm central time. To register, click here.

Community Development Summit: Call for Presenters
This May, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group is hosting their 5th Annual Community Development Summit. The group has put out a call for presenters for the summit, and the deadline to submit an application to be a presenter is this Friday, January 23. For more information on their criteria, click here.

Linking Research and Practice: Equitable Economic Growth and Sustainable Water Infrastructure
St. Louis University's Center for Sustainability is hosting this seminar on January 23. The goal of this seminar is to increase and strengthen collaboration and communication among practitioners and researchers that try to foster sustainable communities. To register and for more information, click here.

What's Brewing? Series: Fox Park
On February 19, Creating Whole Communities is continuing its "What's Brewing?" series in the Fox Park neighborhood. Join CWC at 7:30 AM for a discussion on community development strategies in rebound neighborhoods. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, click here.


Planning for Uncertainty: How Big is the Funding Crisis Really?
East-West Gateway is holding this discussion on the outlook of transportation funding at the Missouri History Museum this Thursday, January 22 at 7pm. For more information on this discussion, click here.

Tools for Social Change: The National Equity Atlas
PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC have developed the "National Equity Atlas," a data and policy tool to assist those working to build sustainable communities throughout the nation. This webinar will provide an introduction of the "National Equity Atlas" and how to utilize it to build more sustainable and inclusive communities. To register for this webinar, click here.

Stock Healthy Shop Healthy
The University of Missouri Extension has created this online resource for programs that work to improve community access to healthy and affordable foods. Their online resource also includes several recorded webinar sessions on strategies for community organizations. To see this online resource, click here.



The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is a partnership between the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, the St. Louis Home Repair Network, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to bring you quality up-to-date community development information. Look for the St. Louis Community Builders Exchange every other Wednesday morning!

Partners for Places Round 6
The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is offering this grant for projects that promote and encourage the creation of vibrant and prosperous urban areas.  Grant applications are due January 28. For more information, click here.

Grassroots Grant
Scotts Miracle Gro is offering up to $1,500 in grants for community gardens and green space projects. Nonprofit organizations working in community development and public service are eligible for this grant. The application deadline is February 13. For more information, click here.

Women on Mission-St. Louis Grant
Women on Mission-St. Louis is now accepting applications for its grant for organizations serving the College Hill neighborhood. The last day to apply for this grant is March 31. For more information on this grant, click here.

Sustainable Environments Program
The Surdna Foundation is offering funding for organizations that improve and create sustainable infrastructure in under-served communities. The foundation is offering grants in four categories: Sustainable Transportation Networks and Equitable Development Patterns, Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, Urban Water Management, and Regional Food Supply. For more information about these grants, click here.

Service Project Coordinator
Horizon Housing Foundation is seeking a Service Project Coordinator to manage contracts and donations and work with property managers and outside organizations. The deadline to apply for this position is March 30. For more information on this position, click here.

Administrative Assistant
Skinker Debaliviere Community Council is seeking a part-time administrative assistant to provide organizational support for the Executive Director. For more information on this position, click here.

President and Executive Director
Lemay Development Corporation is seeking a new President and Executive Director who can run and implement economic development projects in the Lemay area of South St. Louis County. For more information on this position, click here.

The Dream Revisited: A "slow debate" on the causes and consequences of racial and economic segregation in neighborhoods and schools
A recent series of blogposts by New York University's Furman Center is entitled "Explaining Ferguson Through Race and Place." The original blogpost by Todd Swanstrom and John Mollenkopf, "The Ferguson Moment: Race and Place," is followed by three "critical responses," including one by Jeff Smith, former State Representative from St. Louis, now teach at the New School in New York City. To see this scholarly exchange, click here.

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