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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

January 18, 2017


Aldermen Should Protect Current Language of Board Bill 227

By Sal Martinez, CBN Board President (representing CBN's Board of Directors) and Executive Director of North Newstead Association

The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN) recognizes that the City of St. Louis is facing a sizeable opportunity to invest in the economic development of our region through a proposed ballot initiative for a 1/2 cent sales tax increase. The current proposal dedicates funding to the varied aspects of economic development including neighborhood revitalization, expansion of MetroLink, safety, workforce development, and infrastructure improvements. CBN must emphasize the importance of retaining this comprehensive use of funds for economic development in Board Bill 227 (BB227).

To read more of this op-ed, 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
Survey: Help Us Improve This Newsletter! 
We're working on some improvements to this newsletter and would like your feedback on how we could enhance our content and format. Click here for a short 11-question survey on how the Community Builders Exchange could serve your interests better. Thanks!

Save The Date For CBN's Fifth Annual Awards Reception! 
CBN will be hosting their Fifth Annual Awards Reception on April 27th from 6:00-8:00 pm! The event will be held at Washington University's Clark-Fox Forum at 6350 Forsyth Boulevard. CBN will be accepting nominations for awardees through February 22nd. Click here for a nomination form and save-the-date flyer. We'll be sharing more details in the coming weeks.

Ben Carson's Senate Confirmation Hearing To Become HUD Secretary 
During his Senate confirmation hearing to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week, Ben Carson said that he "thinks the rental assistance program is essential" and would not want to eliminate safety net programs without alternatives. Some remain skeptical of Carson given his past criticism of government programs, including Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. NextCity recently analyzed the hearing according to five major issues facing U.S. cities.

New Markets Tax Credit Coalition's Letter to Congress
The New Markets Tax Credit Coalition is circulating a letter urging Congress to protect the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) during tax reforms that could be coming with the new administration. The letter emphasizes the NMTC's role in economic development of distressed communities. Supporters are asked to sign by January 25th.

St. Louis Community Debates Potential 1/2 Cent Sales Tax Increase
In a public forum last week, the community weighed in on the 1/2 cent sales tax increase proposed for St. Louis City in Board Bill 227. The tax would generate an extra $20 million per year. Half would support MetroLink expansion. The remaining $10 million would be split ($2.5 million each) to fund neighborhood redevelopment, workforce development, public safety, and infrastructure.

Region's Political Leaders Discuss Priorities at State Of St. Louis Event
The region's political leaders discussed the MetroLink expansion, crime, and other issues at the St. Louis Business Journal's State of St. Louis event last week. All expressed concern over Gov. Greitens' criticism of public subsidies. Both the City and County are proposing sales tax increases this spring; the County plans to funnel its increase toward additional police officers. St. Clair County is finishing a revamp of the East St. Louis Riverfront, and St. Charles County plans to add jobs in 2017.

Deadline Approaching For Fantasy Food Fare Competition in Old North
Community members interested in applying to win two years of rent-free finished restaurant space in St. Louis City's Old North neighborhood have until January 31st to apply. The Fantasy Food Fare Competition is sponsored by Equifax, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center, the North City Business Development Center, and Rise Community Development (Rise). Rise President Stephen Acree spoke to Fox News about the competition last week.

You're Invited: Preservation Day 2017 at The Missouri State Capitol
The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation) invites you to participate in Preservation Day 2017 on February 1st at the Missouri State Capitol. This annual gathering convenes preservation organizations in Missouri to help promote the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Visit Missouri Preservation's Public Policy and Historic Tax Credit pages to learn more about historic tax credits.

Nominations Open For Annual What's Right With The region! Awards
FOCUS St. Louis is accepting nominations for the 20th Annual What's Right With The Region! Awards, which highlight 20 individuals, organizations, and/or initiatives working to make a difference in the St. Louis area. Nominations span five award categories and will be accepted through February 6th. An awards ceremony is scheduled for May 11th.

Survey: Help Shape Questions For Mayoral Forum on February 22nd
On February 22nd, ten community organizations (including CBN) will host a mayoral forum featuring candidates running for St. Louis mayor. The forum is intended to shine a light on issues that are crucial to a unified and thriving St. Louis community, and organizers want your input. You're invited to take this 5-10 minute survey to help shape what issues will be asked about at the forum. The survey is anonymous. Thank you!

New Research: Best Way To Address Gun Violence Might be hyperlocal
The Guardian used geocoded data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive to compile this analysis of gun violence in U.S. cities, including St. Louis. The article argues that although political rhetoric on gun violence often advocates broad, macro-level solutions, most gun violence is geographically concentrated and limited to specific, high-risk human networks. Some researchers argue that gun violence trends "resemble the spread of a contagious disease" and require a public health approach.

Fact Sheets on the Impact of Federal Rental Assistance Programs
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a new series of fact sheets, charts, and downloadable data on the impact of federal rental assistance programs at the state level between 2004 and 2015. These resources focus especially closely on the Housing Choice Voucher program. 

New Video about the Grove from Grain
Grain, a St. Louis creative firm, recently created this video about The Grove, its special qualities, and the people who live and spend time there. It's the debut of Grain's efforts to explore and promote St. Louis' many diverse neighborhoods. 


New Partners For Smart Growth Conference
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, the U.S.'s largest smart growth and sustainability event, will convene in St. Louis on February 2nd-4th. This year's conference is focused on "Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities."

Hunger and Food Deserts in St. Louis
FOCUS St. Louis is hosting its first policy forum of 2017 on February 9th. This seminar will discuss the impact of hunger in our region and how it can be addressed. The event is free, but donations to Operation Food Search are encouraged.

2017 St. Louis City Mayoral Forum
On February 22nd from 6:00-9:00 pm, a group of regional initiatives focused on creating a more racially equitable St. Louis will partner to host a forum to address candidates in St. Louis City's upcoming mayoral election. The forum will focus on regional issues outlined by priorities of the Forward through Ferguson report. Registration is free and required.

OneSTL Sustainability Summit
OneSTL's inaugural Sustainability Summit will foster conversation on how organizations and individuals can help identify, set, and achieve metrics and targets for sustainability in the St. Louis region. The event will be held on April 5th on the Washington University campus.

EHOC 2017 Fair Housing Conference
The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) will host its 2017 Fair Housing Conference on April 6th. The keynote speaker this year is Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted. Other speakers and a full agenda will be announced soon.

People & Places Conference
The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) is partnering with several other organizations to host the peer-learning People & Places Conference for community development practitioners May 31st through June 2nd in Arlington, Virginia. Registration opens February 1st.


Landlord Training: Tenant Selection and Fair Housing
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting another series of free Landlord Training workshops this year for all city landlords, investors, and other interested parties. The January 24th training session will discuss tenant selection and fair housing.

Sue Shear Institute Pipeline to Local Office Program
The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life will host its two-evening Pipeline to Local Office Workshop on January 25th and 26th. This program is designed for those interested in running for municipal office or volunteering on a campaign.

Homebuyer and Credit Builder Workshop
Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc. and the Central Bank of St. Louis are hosting a workshop on January 28th to discuss homebuyer counseling, down payment assistance, the home purchase process and role of a Realtor, and legal components of credit and credit reporting. Please RSVP by January 25th.

Civic Leadership Programs From FOCUS St. Louis
FOCUS St. Louis is currently accepting applications for its 2017 leadership programs: Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs (due today, January 18th), FOCUS Impact Fellows, Leadership St. Louis, and the Diversity Leadership Fellowship.

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference Technical Assistance Workshops
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is coordinating with local partners to host two technical assistance workshops in St. Louis on February 1st: a Protected Bike Lane Pop-Up Event from 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and a Do-It-Yourself Great Cities Workshop from 1:00-6:00 pm. Both events are open to the public.

Funding Your Neighborhood Project Workshop
UMSL, Creating Whole Communities, and the University of Missouri Extension are hosting a workshop on February 18th that will share tools and techniques for funding your neighborhood project. The event costs $45; please register by February 15th.

Neighborhood Leadership Academy
The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building strategies and principles, project planning, and organizational leadership practices. NLA 2017 will be held March 8th through May 17th. Scholarship opportunities are available. The early registration deadline is February 20th; otherwise, sign up by March 1st.

Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism
City Garden Montessori School, Crossroads Preparatory School, and US Bancorp Community Development Corporation are hosting eight anti-racism workshops designed for organizations during 2017. These sessions focus on the role that institutions play in perpetuating and dismantling systemic racism. When signing up, please indicate all dates that could work for you. 


January 18
Tower Grove Master Plan Open House

January 21
CAASTLC Home, Health, and Energy Resource Fair

February 1
Preservation Day at the Missouri State Capitol

February 6
Public Forum on Central West End One Hundred Development

February 11
North Patrol Police & Business Partnership Trivia Night

February 23
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2017 Job Fair

April 27
Community Builders Network 5th Annual Awards Reception

May 11
Give STL Day 2017



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.

This week, we're sharing a map that reviews voter turnout in Missouri and St. Louis from the November 2016 election. To view this week's map, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is put out by the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, with the support of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision at UMSL, to bring you quality up-to-date community development information, analysis, and opinion.

St. Louis County January 2017 CDBG NOFA 
The January application period for the St. Louis County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is now open. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) can be accessed here. All applications are due January 31st by 4:00 pm.

PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program
PeopleForBikes is accepting Letters of Interest (LOIs) through January 20th for its Community Grant Program, which supports bicycle infrastructure projects and advocacy initiatives focused on making it easier and safer for all people to ride bikes. Funding requests up to $10,000 are accepted and additional funding partnerships are encouraged.

Partners for Places, Round Ten
This grant matching program builds partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. Through Partners for Places, national funders invest in local community improvement projects and relationships that make urban areas more livable and vibrant. Applications must come from a team that includes a city or county sustainability director and a local foundation. Applications are due January 30th.

Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Community Health Grants 
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) supports pediatricians seeking to collaborate within their communities to ensure all children have access to health services. CATCH is accepting applications for three community health grant opportunities: Planning and Implementation Grants, Resident Grants, and Resident Obesity Grants. Applications are due January 31st.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Program
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is inviting applications for its Culture of Health Leaders Program, which is developing a 2017 cohort of up to 50 leaders from diverse sectors to work with organizations, communities, health systems, and policymakers to build a Culture of Health in America. Those selected have access to up to $20,000 per year for three years alongside other tools and resources. Applications are due February 15th.

Karma for Cara Foundation Youth Microgrants
The Karma for Cara Foundation provides youth 18 and under with microgrants of $250-$1,000 to fund service projects in their communities. Application deadlines are seasonal; the next round is due April 1st.
For the Sake of All: Communications Manager
For The Sake Of All is seeking a Communications Manager to help formulate, lead, and implement the overall communications strategy for For the Sake of All's initiative. This role is responsible for strategic branding and development of online and print communications products for external and internal audiences. The job is posted on under "Communications Manager – Public Health / Social Work – 35504."

SLACO: Part-Time Neighborhood Trainer
The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) is hiring a part-time (16-20 hours per week) Neighborhood Trainer to recruit residents for training on neighborhood analysis and revitalization, recruit presenters, and manage class logistics.

Webster Groves: Planner
The City of Webster Groves is looking for a full-time Planner to perform a variety of administrative, technical, and entry-level professional tasks related to zoning, land use, and land development. The Planner also serves as staff to the Plan Commission and Board of Adjustment, and maintains databases and the Department's webpage. Applications are due January 20th.

Beyond Housing: Staff Accountant
Beyond Housing is seeking a Staff Accountant to join the Accounting Team. An ideal candidate should be an experienced self-starter with an adaptable skill set, strong attention to detail, an ability to think critically and logically, and the capacity to multitask with time sensitivity to deadlines. Visit Beyond Housing's Careers page here.

Justine PETERSEN: Credit Building Counselor
Justine PETERSEN is looking for a Credit Building Counselor to support local clients, clients and financial coaches at nonprofit partners, and internal team members in furthering Justine PETERSEN'S mission: to connect institutional resources with the needs of low- to moderate-income families so that they can build long- term assets.

Positions Available at Great Rivers Greenway
Great Rivers Greenway is looking for a Director of Finance, a Vice President of Development, a Greenway Operations Supervisor, and a Summer 2017 Intern. Intern applications are due February 22nd. For all other roles, preference will be given to applications received by January 20th.

Positions Available at Gateway Greening
Gateway Greening is looking for a Food Distribution Coordinator, a Horticulture Instructor, a Communications & Fundraising AmeriCorps VISTA, and a Food Distribution AmeriCorps VISTA to join their team. Click here to visit Gateway Greening's Careers page.
Country's Most Dangerous Metro Areas for Pedestrians, Ranked
This report from Smart Growth America ranks 104 U.S. metro areas according to their "pedestrian danger index" (PDI), which measures pedestrian deaths against the number of pedestrian commuters in a region. St. Louis comes in at #52 with 1.25 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people annually. The study also explored demographics associated with pedestrian fatalities. It found that people of color and older adults were more likely to be struck and killed by a car, and that places where less individuals are insured and median household incomes are lower tend to be more dangerous for pedestrians. Click here for a study recap from NextCity.
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