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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

November 25, 2015


Why child development accounts are smart

By Jason Q. Purnell and Michael Sherraden

Child development accounts are nest eggs, or investment accounts, for long-term goals like postsecondary education. CDAs are progressive, “seeded” with an initial deposit of $50 to $500, and put in extra for the poorest children. The accounts are universal. Every child is included. Children, parents and others can contribute.

There are many benefits. With interest and new savings, these accounts grow over time. Companies and governments can set up savings matches and other incentives. For children and their families, the accounts are learning opportunities. All participants have a stake in good financial management. In communities near Ferguson, CDAs are taking root. Next door, the 24:1 Initiative — organized by Beyond Housing in partnership with 21 small municipalities and the Normandy School District — has opened a Promise Account for every child entering public school kindergarten. In the city of St. Louis, the treasurer’s office recently announced College Kids, a program that will deposit $50 in the accounts of all public school kindergarten children, funded in part with revenue from parking meters.

To read more of this commentary, 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
How do you define urban development? Stadiums or schools, ponder Richard Baron and Sandra Moore
On Wednesday, November 11, St. Louis Public Radio aired an interview with Richard Baron of McCormack Baron Salazar and Sandra Moore of Urban Strategies on urban development in St. Louis. The two responded to questions related to the definition of urban development and who it is for. To hear the audio from their interview or read a summary, click here.

Checking in with Pagedale's new movie theatre, 24:1 Cinema, and what else is in the works
On Monday, November 16, St. Louis Public Radio aired this interview with Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing on his organization's work with the Pagedale community. Beyond Housing recently opened up a new theater on Page Avenue in Pagedale. This new opening is among the many accomplishments that Beyond Housing has helped with in this community. Among its other accomplishments are opening a new grocery store, a senior living center, and a bank all near the corner of Page and Ferguson Avenues. To listen to this interview or to read a summary, click here.

TheBANK Opens Bilingual Banking Center
Last week, TheBANK of Edwardsville, a CBN Member, celebrated the grand opening of a bilingual banking center in Fairmont City, the first of its kind in the St. Louis region. TheBANK plans to reach out to communities traditionally underserved by banks, particularly the Hispanic community. Through a partnership with the Mississippi Valley District Library Board, TheBANK is located in the Fairmont City Library. To read more about this story, click here

Report: St. Louis Banks Improving Outreach To Underserved Communities
A new report out from the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) finds that banks are increasing their investments in underserved communities in St. Louis. SLEHCRA found that in the past three years, seven banks have opened up in underserved communities. Additionally, the banks surveyed reported investing over $2 billion in typically underserved communities. Banks are also hiring more people to work in the field of community development. To read a summary of this report from St. Louis Public Radio, click here.

Gentrification: Is St. Louis Ready?
Earlier this month, Washington University shared an article on how to balance the effects of gentrification in St. Louis. In the article Hank Webber and Molly Metzger of Washington University describe how paying attention to the pressure of gentrification in St. Louis is important even though St. Louis is largely affordable. While economic progress is important for the region, they state, it is also important to "make sure the benefits of community development are shared with long-term residents." To read the full article, click here.

Rooftop restaurant and bar planned in Grand Center
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting on new plans for the Big Brothers Big Sisters building at Grand and Olive. The plans call for the addition of a new rooftop restaurant. In addition to this new development, the Grand Center district is also expecting the renovation of the Missouri Theatre Building and a new streetscaping project to improve Washington Boulevard. For more information on these developments, click here.



Building Resilience Conference
On December 8, the Missouri Department of Economic Development will host this conference on building economic resiliency. Registration is now open for this event. For more information and register, click here.

What's Brewing? West End
Join Creating Whole Communities on December 10 for the next session of the What's Brewing? series. This session will feature the emerging neighborhood, the West End. For more information and to register, click here


EHOC Workshop on Tenants' Rights
On November 21, the Equal Housing and Opportunity Council and the Dutchtown South Community Corporation hosted this workshop on tenant rights. The workshop was recorded and is available for viewing online. To view this workshop, click here.

Community Arts Training from the Regional Arts Commission
The Regional Arts Commission is accepting applications from artists, community organizers, and social activists to participate in the Community Arts Training Institute (CAT). This training spans five months from January through May of 2016. The deadline to apply is December 1. For more information, click here

Affordable Housing & Mixed Income Community Management
Registration is open for this professional course until December 22. The course is hosted by the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and will run from January 4 through January 8. For more information and to register, click here.  

Building an Effective Fundraising Organization
Between January 22 and September 23 of 2016, the Brown School of Social Work is hosting a CEO seminar series on how to build an effective fundraising organizations. This seminar series is intended for organizations with annual revenues between $500,000 and $2 million. For more information, click here.

Economic Development Certificate
The University of Missouri St. Louis School of Public Policy and Administration along with other partners is offering a Chancellor's Certificate in the Fundamentals of Economic Development from January-March of 2016. For more information, click here.  


December 5
Skinker-DeBaliviere's Wintermarkt

Through December 23
Images of Grace at the RAC

The Community Builders Exchange would like to highlight a map relevant to community development in each issue. Please let us know if you have a map that would be of interest to our readers.

In this week's edition, we are sharing maps on vacancy rates and how they have changed in the St. Louis region from 2000 to 2013. To see where vacancy rates have improved over the past 13 years, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, 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!

Citizen's Institute on Rural Design RFP
The Citizen's Institute on Rural Design has issued an RFP for a $10,000 cash grant and in-kind technical assistance support to support community development efforts in small towns of 50,000 people or less. The deadline to apply for this opportunity is January 12. For more information, click here.

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program
The EPA is accepting proposal packages for funding of $120,000 for community-based efforts that address local environmental or public health issues. The deadline to submit a proposal is February 12. For more information, click here.

Data Management Coordinator
Rise Community Development is seeking a Data Management Coordinator to manage, analyze and present data related to the St. Louis region and Rise's community work. For more information on this position, click here.

Volunteer Services Manager
Habitat for Humanity is seeking a Volunteer Services Manager to work with programs that recruit, train and support volunteers, AmeriCorps workers, and interns. For more information about this position, click here.

Visualizing Philadelphia's Neighborhood Change Process
This report shared through the Penn Institute for Urban Research examines neighborhood change in Philadelphia. The report examines correlations between home sale prices and the distance to the central city, crime, and quality of schooling. This report also looks at various community "walls," or points at which home sale prices diverge. For example, the report examines home sale prices in comparison to the home's distance to a school catchment boundary. On one side of the boundary is a new quality school. Overtime, homes outside the school catchment zone but close to its boundary saw an increase in home sale prices. To read the full report, click here
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