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Denver Selected for New Anti-Displacement Policy Network

Today, PolicyLink is announcing that the City and County of Denver has been selected for the first cohort of the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network. With support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Kresge Foundation, the network of ten cities will work together over the next year on strategies to fight displacement and build inclusive, prosperous cities. The other cities selected for the cohort are: Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; San José, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and the twin cities of Minnesota (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).

“As leaders in their communities, the participants in this network are advancing strategies to halt the forces that are pushing low-income people and people of color out of cities, while creating the conditions for our cities and communities to thrive,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink. “We hope this network will be an opportunity to sharpen these strategies, develop new and innovative ideas, and amplify what is working so that we can spread success across the nation.”

“Joining the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network is an opportunity to work with our peer cities on new ways to ensure our economy works for everyone and address the same affordability challenges we’re all facing,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “It’s our job to bring opportunities to communities that lift people up, not push them out, and our strong economy and market shouldn’t leave a single one of our residents behind.”

“The timing of our selection to this network speaks to the challenges we currently face as a city, and our call to eliminate inequality,” said City Council President Albus Brooks. “Economic growth has the capacity to build both bridges and barriers. Economic success must be shared by all. This network allows us to collaborate on smart policies that will create a truly inclusive economy for all residents.”

Each city has created teams of up to six local leaders, including local mayors and city councilmembers, senior city staff, and community leaders. Denver’s team includes City Council President Albus Brooks; Jenny Santos, Legal Advocate, Servicios de La Raza, Inc.; Sarah Showalter, Citywide Planning Supervisor, Denver Community Planning and Development; Melissa Thate, Housing Policy Officer, Denver Office of Economic Development; and Tracy Winchester, Executive Director, Five Points Business District.

The city teams will advance a range of strategies, including renter protections, community land trusts and community ownership models, commercial neighborhood stabilization, inclusionary zoning and other equitable development strategies. Participants will work to build the power, voice, and capacity of communities directly impacted by displacement in defining the challenges and advancing solutions.

Network activities will include virtual learning labs, individualized coaching sessions with national experts, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The network participants will first meet at the PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, April 11-13, with one additional network gathering in Fall 2018.

Previous research conducted by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) shows that reducing rent burdens, one of the main causes of displacement, would put $124 billion back in the pocketbooks of renters to spend in their local communities. Renters are the majority in the 100 largest cities in America, yet 51 percent are rent burdened (paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent). Over 60 percent of households led by women of color are rent burdened.

The All-In Cities initiative provides policy research, data, and capacity-building and implementation support to city governments and community coalitions as they develop and implement tailored policy solutions to create stronger cities for all. All-In Cities includes: policy research and development through the All-In Cities Policy Toolkit; data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, income, neighborhood, and other demographics through the National Equity Atlas (the partnership between PolicyLink and PERE); and place-based engagements and field building, including the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network.