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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

November 11, 2015


The Leslie Knope Guide for Mayors

By Kim S. Graziani, Vice President and Director of National Technical Assistance at the Center for Community Progress

"What I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring really loudly at me." --Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Parks and Recreation.

Trust us, residents care REALLY LOUDLY about vacant and abandoned properties...including big, empty pits, that could be the next greatest park in places such as fictional Pawnee, Indiana.

You've won the election. You are ready to make change. You can learn from all of those before you (think Shakespeare's "What's Past is Prologue"). This is your time to hone in on your vision and your priorities, and your plan for hitting the ground running once you take office. Why not start with those properties that are causing significant harm to your soon-to-be constituents? Vacant and abandoned properties hurt communities--with studies pointing to negative impacts on everything from crime, to property values, to neighbor's physical health. Consider making this one of your key issues and priorities and, in return, all of us here at the Center for Community Progress will stand behind you.

To read the full 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
The ABCs of NMTCs: How a Federal Tax Incentive is Working to Attract Private Capital to St. Louis's Most Distressed Communities
In this story from CBN member Enterprise Bank and Trust, Mitch Baris, President of Enterprise Tax Credit Services, describes how New Market Tax Credits have played an important role in numerous redevelopment projects throughout St. Louis region. Baris notes that NMTCs have been leveraged to help redevelop large portions of Downtown St. Louis, Pagedale, and Lafayette Square, for example. To read more on this CBN member success story, click here.

St. Louis to Win $1 Million grant to Improve Near North Side
Last week St. Louis Public Radio shared this article on a nearly $1 million Department of Justice Grant that will be awarded to the near north side. The fund comes from the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program and will be partly managed by CBN member, Urban Strategies. To read more on this story, click here.

Long Vacant Detonty site Gets New $10M UIC Plan, December Groundbreaking
New plans for empty lots along Detonty in the Shaw Neighborhood have been released. The plans for call for a $10 million residential development that would bring 72 new housing units to the neighborhood. For more information on this new plan, click here.

Business park starts to take shape on Carondelet Coke Site
After decontaminating the site, St. Louis Development Corporation, Green Street and Alderman Tom Villa broke ground on a new business park in the Carondelet Neighborhood. The business park, called River City Business Park, will sit just north of the River City Casino and is expected to be completed by next year. For more information on this development, click here.

Proposed changes, expanded service coming to north St. Louis County bus routes
Using federal and local dollars to improve transit service, Metro has announced plans for a new transit center and expanded bus lines in north St. Louis County. Metro hopes the new transit center will increase accessibility for communities in the north St. Louis County area. Metro is holding public hearings on the proposed changes to it's bus system, including a hearing tomorrow night at Florissant Valley Community College. For more information on the proposed changes, click here.



The Divided City Initiative Lecture: Joseph Heathcott
Join Harris Stowe State University and the Sam Fox School of Washington University for this lecture tomorrow, November 12. Joseph Heathcott of the New School in New York City, will lecture on race and neighborhoods in the St. Louis during the 20th century. For more information about this upcoming lecture, click here.

SLEHCRA's 2015 Report to the Community
Tomorrow evening, the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance are hosting their 2015 Report to the Community. This event will be hosted at the O'Fallon Park YMCA from 4 to 6pm. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

On Thursday November 19, the St. Charles GIS User Group and Lindenwood University are hosting GIS Day. This will be an opportunity to explore how GIS is used and how to learn more about the mapping program. For more information, click here

The Ethics of Ferguson Policing, Prosecuting, and Protesting
On November 20, Harris Stowe State University and the Center for Ethics in Public Life of UMSL will host the Fourth Annual Public Ethics Conference. This year's conference, will feature keynote speaker Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who will speak on peaceful civil disobedience today. For more information, 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


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.  


November 12
Incarnate Word Foundation's Marketplace of Ideas

November 14
Our Money Matters - The Musical

2015 SLACO Regional Neighborhood Conference

November 17
Mary McHugh Citizens of Character Dinner (RSVP by November 6)

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 of the Community Builders Exchange, we are sharing a map of Historic Tax Credits allocated throughout the state of Missouri from 2000 through 2014. To see this week's map, click here. To view maps from previous editions, 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!

Urban Waters Small Grant
The EPA is currently accepting Requests for Proposal for the Urban Waters Small Grants, which aims to address urban runoff pollution. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 20. For more information on this grant, click here

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.

Community Development Research Analyst
The Planning and Urban Design Agency of the City of St. Louis is seeking a Community Development Analyst. The deadline to apply for this position is November 20. 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 

Chief Resilience Officer
After being selected as a Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient City, the City of St. Louis is seeking a Chief Resilience Officer to develop a Resilience Strategy. To read more about this position and to apply, click here.

Government Affairs Manager
Beyond Housing is seeking a Government Affairs Manager to manage and maintain the organization's relationships with the various governmental entities within its footprint. For more information on this position, click here.
The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares
In response to the recent and widely publicized research from Raj Chetty and Nathanial Hendren of the Equality of Opportunity project, the New York Times shared this interactive and article on how growing up and living in different neighborhoods affects your future earnings. The article highlights the St. Louis region and shows how your projected income changes depending on your home county and your economic status during childhood. For example, children growing up in families of the 25th income percentile in the City of St. Louis have projected incomes that are on average about $3,000 less than the national average. Alternatively, children who grow up in Monroe County in families of the 25th income percentile are projected to earn over $5,000 more than the national average. To see this interactive and read the accompanying article, click here.
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