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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

February 18, 2015


Community Development is a Good Investment Strategy

By Mary McMurtrey, Director of Community Engagement for the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation

Our region fundamentally lacks the community development infrastructure needed to incent local and national development dollars. This is deeply troubling, as it means we are leaving meaningful philanthropic dollars on the table. The community development initiatives we choose to support must make business sense, but they must also help improve the quality of life for the people who live in those communities.

Think about it. Services exist in a place.  A community.  As such, before allocating dollars to a worthy cause, as funders I believe we have an obligation to give equal weight to the quality of life for the people within those communities. We need to think beyond our funding niche, and also focus on community and economic development and give those issues the attention they deserve. 

To read the full article and his suggestions, 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!

Delmar Loop Trolley Construction Set to Begin In March
Officials affiliated with the Loop Trolley project have announce construction will begin on the roundabout at the western edge of the Delmar Loop starting in March. The project is now scheduled for completion in the middle of 2016. For more on this story, click here

Board of Aldermen Approves Use of Eminent Domain For Possible New NGA Site
Last Friday, St. Louis City's Board of Alderman approved the potential use of eminent domain to make way for a new National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) headquarters by a 17 to 11 vote. The site of the proposed new NGA headquarters sits just north of the former Pruitt-Igoe location. To read more about this story, click here.

More Apartment Construction Coming to Area Near SLU
This Post-Dispatch story details plans from Cornerstone Development for a new four-story apartment building on West-Pine in the city's central corridor. This $11 million project will add 77 apartments to the area. To read more about this development, click here.

New Convention Center Proposed In Belleville
A new convention center may be coming to Belleville directly across from the Our Lady of the Snows shrine. The proposed new center would feature two hotels and restaurants. For more on this development proposal, click here.

How Innovation Districts Can Be Platforms for Economic Growth and Opportunity
In this opinion piece for the Living Cities blog, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute describes how innovation districts can connect with and help to revitalize low income communities. Of his suggested ideas, Katz proposes that innovation districts form partnerships between community colleges and invest directly in affordable housing. To read his full opinion piece, click here.

Stay Tuned - STL251
In case you missed it, KETC's weekly program "Stay Tuned" held a conversation on how St. Louis can move forward after its 250th year. Conversation topics included community development projects such as community branded crosswalks and community conversations. To see the episode, click here.

6 Months After Protests, Ferguson Businesses on Path to Rebuild
In case you missed it, NPR aired this story on the aftermath of Ferguson six months later. The story features the perspective of several members of the Ferguson community. To hear this story, click here.

Faith Leaders Gather to Discuss Ferguson Going Forward
This month, several leaders of various faith backgrounds met and discussed steps for moving forward after Ferguson at the John C. Danforth Center for Religion and Politics. Among other topics, the panel discussed the need for the community to pull together and the need for municipal court reform. To read more about this panel discussion, click here.

Mayors of Municipalities Fight Back Against Consolidation, Revenue Proposals
In this episode of KWMU's St. Louis On the Air, host, Don Marsh, discussed  consolidation and Better Together with the Mayors of Normandy and Cool Valley, as well as Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing. To listen or read program highlights, click here.


All-Neighborhoods Forum on Fragmented Government Structure and What It Means to Urban Neighborhoods
SLACO is hosting this forum on Thursday, February 19 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Performing Arts Center Theatre at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. The forum is open to the public and will feature David Leipholtz, Mike Jones, and Gerry Welch. For more information, click here.

Crime and the Transformation of Urban Neighborhoods: Problems and Solutions
The University of Missouri-St. Louis is hosting this panel discussion on crime  and neighborhood transformation, as well the policies and programs that improve communities. Panelists include, Professor Charis Kurbin, Sandra Moore, Professor Todd Swanstrom, and Professor Ralph Taylor. The discussion is set to take place this Friday, February 20. For more information, click here

The Impact of Community and Police Interactions on Individual Civil Rights In Missouri
The Missouri Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights has released a press release announcing this public meeting. The meeting is set to take place on Monday, February 23 at the JC Penny Conference Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. For more information about this meeting and to read the press release, click here.

St. Vincent Greenway Inc Luncheon to Form the St. Vincent Greenway Business Association
St. Vincent Greenway Inc is hosting a free luncheon Thursday, February 26 at noon to discuss resources for small business owners. To attend this luncheon you must RSVP by Monday, February 23. For more information, click here.

Public Meeting: Dutchtown Murals and Lot Beautification
On Tuesday, February 24, Dutchtown South Community Corporation will host this public meeting to discuss and brainstorm the location of 7 new murals and vacant lot beautification. For more information, click here.

People and Places 2015 Community Conference
From March 4 through March 6, the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) will be hosting the 2015 People and Places 2015 Community Conference. Taking place in Washington DC, this three day conference will be an excellent opportunity for community development organizations to learn best practices and network. This is not an annual event. To learn more and to register, click here

Community Development Through Transportation Infrastructure? Transportation's Impact on Neighborhood
Citizens for Modern Transit is hosting this discussion on transit possibilities in St. Louis Thursday, March 12 from 7:30 to 9:30 at the Regional Arts Commission building on Delmar. Speakers at this forum to include Rosa Ortiz, Ken Christian, Don Roe, and Kevin Triggs. For more information, click here.

How Trauma Impacts Social, Emotional and Health Outcomes
Alive, Well STL, the St. Louis Mental Health Board and the Department of Mental Health are hosting this free presentation on Tuesday March 24 at the O'Fallon Park YMCA. The presentation will discuss the impact of trauma on brain development and what the community must do to help. For more information and to register, click here

Missouri Gateway Chapter: U.S. Green Building Council Seminars
The Missouri Gateway Chapter is hosting a series of U.S. Green Building Council Seminars taking place on March 10 and 11, and May 12 and 13. For more information on these seminars and to register, click here.

2015 St. Louis Spring Planning Workshop and Award Ceremony
On Tuesday, March 31, the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association will be hosting their Spring Planning Workshop and Award Ceremony at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall on Chouteau from 1pm to 9pm. This event will feature several speakers, including Chris Krehmeyer, Paul McKee, Todd Swanstrom, and Rosalind Williams. For more information, click here.


Community Builders Network Business District Meeting
On Monday, February 23, the Community Builders Network will host this workshop for business districts in the St. Louis region on the benefits of CBN membership. Business districts will have the opportunity to network and share best practices. For more information and to register, click here.

Working with Youth in the Justice System: A Community Based Alternative to Detention
On Friday, February 20, the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University will host this workshop to feature strategies for engaging and reducing the rate of gang-involved youth. For more information and to register, click here.

Funding Your Neighborhood Project
On February 28, Creating Whole Communities and the Neighborhood Leadership Academy will be hosting this workshop for community developers seeking funds for neighborhood projects. For more information and to register, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank Application Workshop
On Monday, March 23, the Community Builders Network will host this free workshop featuring Rick Bloxham of the Community Investment Department at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. For more information and to register, click here.

Accounting for Non-Accountants: Understanding Basic Financial Information in a Nonprofit Organization
The School of Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is hosting this one-day introductory course on Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 pm at the JC Penny Conference. Registration is required. For more information, click here.

Community Development in Middle Market Neighborhoods
On Friday, March 27, the Community Builders Network in collaboration with Rise will host this training session on best practices from the Healthy Neighborhoods Model in Baltimore. This training will take place from 9am to 12pm. For more information and to register, click here.

2015 Missouri Housing Summit
The 2015 Missouri Housing Summit is set to take place at the St. Louis City Center Hotel from April 29 through May 1. This summit will feature a variety of workshops intended to support practitioners in housing development, mental health services, and community development corporations. For more information on this summit, click here

National Cultural Districts Exchange
Americans for the Arts recently launched the National Cultural Districts Exchange, an online toolkit for organizations interested in fostering and developing cultural communities. This toolkit includes introductions, research, maps, and more. To find out more about this 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!

Federal Funding Economic Development Assistance Programs
The United States Economic Development Administration has announced its 2015 quarterly funding opportunities for economic development assistance programs. Eligible programs need to meet EDA priorities, which include rebuilding distressed communities and promoting sustainability and global competitiveness. The deadlines to apply for quarterly funding are March 12 and June 12. For more information on these funds, click here.

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration Announcement of Notice of Funding Availability
On Friday, March 20, the St. Louis CDA will release its Spring 2015 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). For more information on the NOFA requirements from 2014, click here. More information on the 2015 release will be published on the CDA website, found here.

NFL Foundation Grassroots Program
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is accepting RFPs from non-profit, place-based organizations seeking to improve local football fields that are in poor condition. The deadline to submit a proposal is March 30. For more information on this grant, 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.

Community Capacity Building
The Deaconess Foundation has announced availability of Community Capacity Building funding. Funding is available for advocacy, building collective impact network capacity, and youth support programs. The Deaconess Foundation is also hosting informational meetings for interested organizations on February 20th and the 25th. The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, April 6. For more information on this funding opportunity, 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.

Director of Education
Beyond Housing is seeking a Director of Education to implement youth and education programming in the Normandy School District and community. For more information, click here.

STL Youth Jobs Summer Help
STL Youth Jobs is seeking employers for their summer youth employment program. Youth will be paid by MERS Goodwill. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Regional Community Development Specialist
The University of Missouri Extension is seeking a Regional Community Development Specialist to provide leadership and facilitate collaboration among organizations that improve communities in Ste. Genevieve, Franklin, St. Francois, and Washington counties. For more information about this position, 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.


Chicago Summer Jobs Program for High School Students Dramatically Reduces Youth Violence
The University of Chicago Crime Lab in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania published a study on the effects of summer jobs program on violent crime arrests. The study followed over 1,600 students in high violence neighborhoods in Chicago that were randomly assigned to a summer jobs program called One Summer Plus. The study found that with the students participating in the program, violent crime was reduced by 43%. The study was published in the journal Science. To read more about this study, click here.

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