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Suzette's Letter, August 19, 2016


  1. New Markets Tax Credit Public Data Release: 2003-2014 Summary Report

The CDFI Fund released data collected on New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments across the nation through fiscal year 2013. The CDFI Fund requires all Community Development Entities (CDEs) that have been awarded NMTC allocations to submit an annual report detailing how they invested Qualified Equity Investment (QEI) proceeds in low-income communities.

  1. New Efforts Implemented to Combat Opioid Abuse
    Aug 12, 2016 -- Indian Health Services (IHS) has implemented a policy which will require doctors and other medical practitioners to check State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain treatment lasting longer than a week. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs allow prescribing and dispensing medical practitioners to track opioid abusers and prevent them from going from doctor to doctor in an attempt to acquire more opioid pain medication. This is an especially important implementation for IHS because prescription opioid misuse is more than 2% higher among the American Indian population.
  1. White House Drug Policy Director Writes Governors about Need for Trained Doctors to Provide Treatment for the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic in their States
    Aug 12, 2016 -- The Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, wrote to all 50 state governors concerning the need for more physicians to be trained and certified to treat opioid use disorders. In order to assist states in meeting this urgent need, the Obama Administration is offering free buprenorphine trainings for providers across the county and online as Medication-Assisted Treatment is more effective at helping people achieve long-term recovery. In February 2016, 1,498 counties did not have a single medical professional who could provide buprenorphine, with the majority of the need concentrated in rural areas. President Obama is also calling on Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding for states to help expand access to treatment for opioid use disorders.
    Source: The White House
  1. New Study Shows Communities Can Reduce the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences
    Aug 9, 2016 -- A study commissioned by the Adverse Childhood Experiences Public-Private Initiative (APPI) of Washington State found that communities can create effective local strategies to reduce the long-term problems related to abuse, neglect, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), as evidenced by several communities in rural Washington detailed here. ACEs trigger a stress response which can create lasting damage on a child's developing brain, as well as increasing the risk of future social, emotional, and physical health problems.
    Source: Mathematica Policy Research
  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LX&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">Report Calls for 'Big Bet' on Reducing Unintended Pregnancies

A philanthropic investment of $1 billion in efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies could generate an economic return of between $3.2 billion and $6.4 billion for American children and families, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LY&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Bridgespan Group finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LZ&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Billion Dollar Bets: Reducing Unintended Pregnancies (21 pages, PDF), examines how philanthropy could support a nationwide effort to improve women's access to the most effective contraceptive methods and drastically lower the number of unintended pregnancies — one of the "billion dollar bets" //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=La&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">identified in an earlier Bridgespan report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lb&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">"Billion Dollar Bets" to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (33 pages, PDF). According to the report, nearly 38 percent of children born in the United States each year are unplanned, and rates of unintended pregnancies and births are higher among unmarried, African-American, less educated, and/or low-income women. The report also found that women who have unplanned or unintended pregnancies are more likely to lack access to information about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Previous research has shown that unplanned children are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of high school, and/or become teen parents themselves....


  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Ld&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">'Giving Days' Create Long-Term Gains for Community Foundations

One-day online fundraising events known as "Giving Days" not only raise millions of dollars for local charities but also help strengthen the community foundations that organize them for the long term, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Le&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">John S. and James L. Knight Foundation finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lf&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Beyond the Dollars: The Long-Term Value of Giving Days for Community Foundations (26 pages, PDF), evaluated a Knight Foundation initiative launched in 2012 that helped eighteen Giving Day organizers run forty-nine events over four years and found that the events mobilized the participation of 20,297 nonprofits and engaged 367,495 donors who made more than 600,000 donations totaling some $116.3 million. The report also found that Giving Day events boosted the visibility and credibility of community foundations among donors and nonprofits and helped position them as information and data-collection hubs for their local nonprofit communities. According to the report, 48 percent of the surveyed nonprofits and donors heard about their local community foundation for the first time as a result of a Giving Day, while 36 percent of donors said they made a larger donation as a result of a Giving Day than they would have otherwise....


  1. http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/08/12/using-data-for-social-good/">Using Data for Social Good

We are entering a new era of information openness and transparency.  Open data has the potential to spur economic innovation and social transformation.   Focusing just on economic impacts, in 2013, for example, the consulting firm McKinsey estimated the possible global value of open data to be over $3 trillion per year…

  1. Changing rural demographics contributed to rising child poverty

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and a modified official poverty measure, ERS researchers found that rural child poverty rose from 18.7 percent in 2003 to 22.1 percent in 2014. The bulk of this 3.4-percentage point increase—3.2 percentage points—was due to rising income inequality, and not a decline in average incomes. A portion of this increase in inequality, in turn, was driven by changing rural demographics. An increase in the number of children in the average rural family raised poverty by 0.6 percentage points, while declines in the number of adults of prime working age and in the share of household heads that were married raised rural child poverty by 0.9 and 0.7 points, respectively. A slight increase in the average age of the household head helped reduce rural child poverty by 0.5 percentage points. The most beneficial demographic change was a rise in the share of rural household heads with a college degree, which rose from 15.8 to 19.5 percent, helping to reduce child poverty by 0.9 percentage points. The net impact of all these demographic changes was to contribute 0.9 percentage points towards the increase in rural child poverty.


  1. Health Extension Toolkit
    Intended for a wide audience and designed as a tool for states to use as they collaborate to improve the quality of primary care practices as well as community health, using a model based on the agricultural Cooperative Extension Service. Includes chapters on engagement, the Health Extension model, primary care, population health, and sustainability, and features profiles on lead states Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.
    Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  1. Redemption rates of WIC benefits at large stores differs across States

In fiscal 2015, 8 million women, infants, and children under age 5 participated in USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Participants in 48 States and the District of Columbia received paper vouchers or electronic benefit cards redeemable at authorized retail stores for a set of nutrient-rich supplemental foods. WIC participants in Mississippi pick up their WIC foods at distribution centers, and prior to 2016, Vermont participants had their WIC foods delivered to their homes. Using two USDA administrative data sources, a recent ERS report found that over three-fourths of the WIC benefits redeemed in stores in fiscal 2012 were redeemed at large stores (supercenters, supermarkets, and large grocery stores), ranging from 50 percent in California to 99 percent in Nevada. Large stores accounted for 91 percent or more of WIC retail redemptions in 17 States and 81-90 percent in 13 States. Other types of stores, such as medium and small grocery stores and WIC-only stores, account for a sizable share of WIC redemptions in some States.


  1. Learn More About the Benefits of NMTCs | New Markets Tax Credits Webinar - Last Chance to Register! August 25th 1-4pm EST

To many economic development practitioners, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) offers promise as a tool to get deals done - but understanding how to use it in an actual project is often very challenging. This course takes participants through a general understanding of the program to its detailed, step-by-step application in actual deals. NDC, as the recipient of one of the nation's largest, total NMTC allocations, is at the leading edge in developing and applying the best models for this powerful economic development tool.

  1. Mapping Broadband Health in America
    Mapping tool for visualizing broadband access, demographics, and health data at the national, state, and county levels. Includes a rural filter based on the percent of the population that is rural.
    Sponsoring organization: Federal Communications Commission

Suzette's Letter, August 5, 2016


  1. 1.Social Determinants of Health for Rural People
    This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural resident’s experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health. The guide is maintained by Maren Niemeier, RHIhub Information Resources Manager.
  1. 2.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J3&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_blank">Foundations Combine Forces to Improve Health Care, Reduce Costs

A coalition of five national health foundations has announced the launch of a collaboration aimed at transforming care delivery for chronically ill patients with the greatest need. In an article in the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J4&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">New England Journal of Medicine, leaders of the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KV&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Commonwealth Fund, the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KW&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Peterson Center on Healthcare, and the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KX&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">John A. Hartford, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KY&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Scan, and //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KZ&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Robert Wood Johnson foundations said their organizations would contribute resources in an effort to meet three urgent goals: help health system leaders and other stakeholders develop a deep understanding of the population of chronically ill patients and their needs; identify effective ways to deliver higher-quality, integrated care at a lower cost to that population; and accelerate the spread of those approaches across the country. In their article, the foundation leaders argued that their target population merits heightened attention both because it has complex and costly health and social care needs and because it is disproportionately affected by poor quality care. What's more, the need is urgent, they argue, because the number of such patients, many of them older adults, is growing....

  1. 3.Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study

Counting Values presents a set of financial and operational performance benchmarks for food hubs. This study aims to establish the basis for comparing results across a business sector that is both new and multipurpose.

  1. 4.HUD Publishes the Renewable Energy Toolkit for Affordable Housing

This toolkit enable recipients of HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) grants to integrate renewable energies into their affordable housing development programs under HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). Integration of renewable energy into affordable housing is important because it maintains affordability through reduced energy costs, which can facilitate improved operations and maintenance.

  1. Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
    Examines the characteristics of families eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) who receive WIC benefits compared to those who do not. Includes information on rural versus urban families participating in WIC. Identifies nonparticipating WIC-eligible families that could be targeted for outreach.
    Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
    Date: 2016
    1. 6.Food acquisition locations differ by household income and SNAP participation

Understanding where U.S. households acquire food, what they acquire, and what they pay is essential to identifying which food and nutrition policies might improve diet quality. USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) provides a complete picture of these key aspects during a 7-day period in 2012 by including both food at home and food away from home acquisitions. Higher-income households are more likely to visit large grocery stores (88 versus 83 percent) and small or specialty food stores (20 versus 14-15 percent) than households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and lower-income non-SNAP households. SNAP households are more likely to report an acquisition in the ‘all other stores’ category compared with both non-SNAP groups (51 versus 39-41 percent), which includes convenience stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Considering food away from home, SNAP households are least likely to visit restaurants/other eating places when compared to lower-income non-SNAP and higher-income households. In addition, a larger share of SNAP households obtain food from schools (20 percent) than lower-income non-SNAP households (12 percent) and higher-income households (14 percent). Finally, higher-income households are twice as likely to get food from work than the other two groups, which is not surprising given their greater employment rates. The data for this chart can be found in the ERS report, Where Households Get Food in a Typical Week: Findings from USDA’s FoodAPS, released on July 27, 2016.


  1. 1.What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health
    A guide for rural community health improvement. Explains how to find strategies that are likely to be effective. Identifies interventions related to health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.
    Sponsoring organization: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
    Date: 07/2016
  1. 2.EPA Round-Table Discussion for Environmental Justice Communities on the Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

The U.S. EPA is providing a round-table discussion for Environmental Justice Communities as an opportunity to share information, find common ground, work collaboratively with community groups, and acknowledge stakeholders perspectives on a variety of topics about the Presidents Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan.

Event Details: You must register to attend this event. Register Here.

Who Should Attend: Environmental Justice Communities and Organizations

When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

Location: EPA Region 5 -- Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Lake Michigan Room (77 West Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604)

Cost: FREE (There is Limited Seating Available. First Come, First Served)

  1. 3.Announcing OBLR's "Leveraging for Brownfields Revitalization" Webinar Series

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) is proud to announce a webinar series focusing on tools and best practices for assisting communities in successfully leveraging resources for brownfields revitalization. Individual webinars will provide useful information for communities on how to establish effective strategies to build support for revitalization projects, and how to use existing resources to attract additional funding for critical community revitalization projects. The "Meet the Funders" webinars in the series will highlight funding resources and technical assistance available from specific federal agencies or from philanthropic organizations.

Suzette's Letter, July 22, 2016


  1. WA State Office CED Video

We are so proud to share this video from Washington State Office about what CED is for them. In the video, you will notice that program staff were interviewed as to how they view CED and what that looks like operationally.  The video offers a diversity of perspectives but also communicates a common vision – “making all of the pieces in the community function together.” Special thanks to Paul Johnson (CED Lead) and our friends in Washington, nicely done!


  1. ‘Economic Development’ Most Mentioned Topic in Mayoral State of City Speeches

A recently released analysis of mayoral State of the City addresses finds that economic development was the most frequently mentioned topic in such speeches for the third straight year. The National League of Cities’ (NLC) State of the Cities 2016 report reviews speeches from 100 mayors across the United States and in cities with populations ranging from 50,000 to more than 300,000. Economic development was mentioned in 75 percent of mayoral speeches, making it the biggest issue on mayors’ agenda – ahead of public safety (70 percent) and city budgeting (52 percent) – according to a NLC press release. Read more...

  1. Bank of America Commits $40 Million for Youth Success

Bank of America has announced a three-year, $40 million commitment to connect a hundred thousand teens and young adults to the skills and employment experiences they need for twenty-first century jobs.

The funding will support a range of programs and initiatives, including summer internships, education and job training, and talent recruitment initiatives at BofA itself. Through its Student Leaders program, for example, the bank will connect nearly seven hundred community-minded high school juniors and seniors from across the country with paid summer internships at local nonprofits. Participants in the program also will gather in Washington, D.C., for a summit focused on leadership and building a more diverse and inclusive society. Funding over the three years of the initiative will be targeted to low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by barriers to workforce participation and nonprofits that are leveraging their expertise to connect youth with employment opportunities, including the Urban Alliance, Jobs for the Future, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America....


  1. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) | Lifeline Program

Provides reduced rates for telecom services to eligible low-income consumers

Since 1985, the federal Lifeline Program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all people across the United States have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family, health care, and emergency services. This benefit is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. In today’s digital environment, there are still over 60 million people without a connection to the internet. The FCC enacted changes to the Lifeline Program to include broadband internet access as a Lifeline service to keep pace with ever-evolving technology and help narrow the digital divide. For more information, contact Jessica Zufolo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read the Fact Sheet. More information is available on the USAC website.

Upcoming Lifeline Program Webinars

July 27, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

August 10, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

September 14, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

October 12, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

November 9, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

December 14, 2016, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT
Register Here

  1. WEBINAR / TELECONFERENCE: August 4, 2016 (1:00-2:00PM ET) – Agricultural Marketing Service e-Round Table

AMS administers programs and offers services that facilitate the marketing of agricultural products domestically and abroad.  To ensure we are making our programs and services as widely available and effective as possible, AMS wants to engage in a two-way dialogue with Tribal Colleges and Universities as well as other institutions and organizations that serve Native American farmers and ranchers. 

Fact Sheet: Creating Opportunities for American Farmers and Business

Please RSVP to this webinar and teleconference by contacting Kimberly Duncan, Outreach Specialist, by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at (202) 260-8605.

  1. PROFIT: Crop Insurance, Financial Management Updates, and Food Safety Risk Prevention

The PROFIT series consists of eight in-person workshops and eight online webinars, each focused on risk management solutions unique to farmers, ranchers and food businesses in Indian Country.

In July, the series will offer two webinars:

  • July 26, 2016 (2:00-4:00 PM CT): “Participating in New Market Ventures – How Best to Evaluate Your Risk”


  • July 27, 2016 (2:00-4:00 PM CT): “Business Planning and Tax Concerns for Farmers and Ranchers, New and Experienced”


  1. IN PERSON / WEBINAR: July 29, 2016 (1:00-3:00PM ET) – Rural Business Lending National Stakeholder Forum

Please join Doug O'Brien, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council, and Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers at a national forum to announce the new final rule for the Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. The forum will highlight major changes to improve program delivery, make the regulations easier to understand, and reduce delinquencies. Additional information is available in the attached flyer.

To participate online, register at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/njphkhxlsyvr&eom

  1. Save the Date! Economic Assessment of Local Foods – Practical Tools and Advice for Local Food Practitioners Conference (Travel Scholarships Available)

We have posted a brief application online for the travel scholarships to the Economic Assessment of Local Foods – Practical Tools and Advice for Local Food Practitioners pre-conference workshop at the Food Distribution Research Society’s annual conference. Please go to the following website, http://www.localfoodeconomics.com/benchmarks/ and complete the brief survey (link is below the Save the Date graphic) by July 27, 2016.


  1. https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/take-your-business-global-introduction-exporting?SOCMEDJULExportingGOVD=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Take Your Business Global - An Introduction to Exporting

This course is intended to be a guide for small businesses to help determine if exporting, as a business strategy, makes sense and whether the basic ingredients for export readiness are in-place.

  1. Webinar | Unexpected Ways to Grow Your Blog Subscriber List

http://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1214981/75B30E67553AF90294A6AAAA99A11A58?partnerref=sba&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Register | Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 2pm ET

 How can we afford to write new content weekly? The internet is cluttered with advice on how to grow your blog subscriber list. In this webinar, you'll learn how to optimize and automate your content marketing to save your team time while building a truly efficient and effective content creation engine.

  1. Webinar | Protecting Your Business Data in Todays Inter-Connected World

http://goo.gl/forms/hGHatBaXu78Bx6n13?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery">Register | Thursday, July 28, 2016 | 8:30am - 9:30am PST

The threat landscape in cyber-space keeps evolving. Cloud technologies are designed to continuously identify and mitigate risks, and can help small businesses leverage the best of breed security and privacy capabilities, while focusing on their core competencies. Join this webinar to learn more about how cybersecurity threats are evolving, what risks they pose, and best practices to protect your business information in the digital age.

Suzette's Letter, July 15, 2016


  1. USDA Cooperative Programs Calls for Articles

USDA Cooperative Programs is again inviting co-op development centers nationwide to submit short articles highlighting any promising new or established co-op(s) they are working with. We also need photos to run with the articles. We will run these articles in the Co-op Month section of the Sept.-Oct. issue of USDA’s “Rural Cooperatives” magazine. Deadline for the articles is Aug. 26. It would be very helpful if you could let us know by July 25 if you plan to submit an article.  Articles should be about 450-600 words. Articles can discuss why a co-op was formed or expanded, who the members are, what the co-op is trying to accomplish, opportunities, and challenges facing the co-op, how your center is assisting, etc. Quotes from co-op leaders or members really liven up the articles. If you have a couple of co-ops you would like to feature, that’s fine, but please try to stick close to the 600-word limit. You may include a paragraph providing an overview of your Co-op Development Center, but please make the co-op the focus of the article. We are happy to give bylines to the writer and photographer, but no payment is involved; articles are considered to be in the public domain once we publish them. Re. photos: We need fairly high resolution photos. A jpg file of about 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 4-5 inches wide will usually work fine. If in doubt, just send us what you have and we will let you know if it will work. Please try to get some people in the photos, and a choice of photos is always appreciated. If you or someone at the co-op plans to shoot some photos for this article, please make sure your digital camera or phone is set to the “high” resolution setting. You can check out the Co-op Month section (starts on page 21) of last year’s Sept.-Oct. magazine on our website at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RDRuralCoopMag_SeptOct15.pdf. Thanks for considering being part of our Co-op Month issue, and feel free to e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

  1. FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Takes More Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic
    Jul 6, 2016 -- The Obama Administration is taking actions to combat the heroin epidemic, including expanding telemedicine in rural areas and funding rural healthcare facilities, thus providing communities with much-needed services.
    Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
  1. With Hospitals in Critical Condition, Can Rural America Survive?
    Jul 5, 2016 -- Nearly 30 percent of the country's rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the next two years. Though rural hospitals have faced closure threats before, this time the challenges run deeper, and call into question whether rural areas themselves can survive in the absence of hospitals.
    Source: Governing

While there is a clear correlation between social progress — as measured in terms of basic human needs, well-being, and opportunity — and per capita GDP, economic wealth alone does not determine social progress outcomes, a report from the Social Progress Imperative finds. Based on fifty-three indicators in a variety of areas, including access to opportunity, health care, and education, the 2016 Social Progress Index (147 pages, PDF) ranked Finland at the top of the hundred and thirty-three countries included in the index, followed by Canada, Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland. The United States ranked nineteenth overall and twenty-first in basic human needs, thirty-second in well-being, and thirteenth in opportunity. Globally, indicators of nutrition and basic medical care and access to basic knowledge — categories aligned with many of the United Nations' Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals — performed well, while indicators of tolerance and inclusion, personal rights, access to advanced education, and environmental quality fared worse....

  1. White House Launches Data-Driven Justice Initiative

The White House has announced the launch of a public-private initiative aimed at encouraging the use of data to reduce mass incarceration in the United States. Through the Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) Initiative, a coalition of sixty-seven city, county, and state governments will work to adopt data-driven strategies aimed at diverting low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system and then connect them with health and social services. DDJ also will work to equip law enforcement and first responders with protocols for de-escalating crisis situations and to reform pre-trial incarceration practices so that low-risk offenders don't remain in jail simply because they can't afford bond. The coalition includes the governments of Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah....

  1. Focus on Equity Needed to Reduce Child Poverty, Illiteracy, Mortality

If the world community hopes to reverse troubling trends in child poverty and mortality by 2030, the target date for the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, governments, private donors, businesses, and international organizations must focus more on addressing the plight of the world's most disadvantaged children, a report from UNICEF warns. The report, The State of the World's Children 2016: A Fair Chance for Every Child (184 pages, PDF), found that if current trends persist, by 2030 sixty-nine million children under the age of five will die from mostly preventable causes, a hundred and sixty-seven million children will be living in extreme poverty, and sixty million children of primary school age will not be in school. Despite improvements since the 1990s in global under-five mortality rates, gender parity in primary school attainment, and poverty rates, progress has been neither even nor fair, the report further notes. Indeed, children from the poorest households are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday and to be chronically malnourished, while girls are twice as likely to be child brides as girls from the richest households. And while the report notes that education helps level the playing field, it estimates that about a hundred and twenty-four million children do not attend primary- or lower-secondary school today, while nearly 40 percent of those who finish primary school do not know how to read, write, or do simple arithmetic....


  1. New Resource for Two-Generation Approaches to Support Children and Parents Together 

The U.S. Department of Education's Place-Based Initiative Pilot Team recently released a resource focused on Two-Generation Approaches. Two generation approaches consider the needs of both vulnerable children and parents, together, in the design and delivery of services and programs to support improved economic, educational, health, safety and other outcomes that address the issues of intergenerational poverty.  Developed by Jobs for the Future, this document is intended to provide local communities and practitioners with an overview of the research, best practices, and resources available to stakeholders interested in two-generation approaches.  Your input on this resource is invited and appreciated!

  1. National Good Food Network Webinar | Before You Leap: Hidden Implications of Food Hub Business Growth

As food hubs strive to reach volumes which enable financial viability, they will often need to innovate - to take chances on new markets, products and approaches.This webinar presents three "roads not yet taken" that your hub or a hub you work with may encounter. Each road has the possibility of great success, but has potholes to avoid (some big enough to lose the whole business in). Tera Johnson is successful food entrepreneur and university lecturer who founded the Food Finance Institute at University of Wisconsin. She will take you on a journey through these three archetypal hub business decision points, and advise how to manage for success. Drawing from her own experience, as well as premier industry data, Tera will present a big picture view of: adding a frozen product line, adding a new distribution channel, and taking on a very large customer.

Thursday, July 28

3:30 - 4:45pm ET (12:30 - 1:45pm PT)

Free! Register Now


  1. Our Town: How to Apply July 2016

NEA Staff will give a 30-minute presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, how to apply, and an overview of the review process. The presentation will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session. The webinar will include guidelines for the Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as the Projects that Build Knowledge about Creative Placemaking. Potential applicants are encouraged to attend live to have their questions answered by Our Town Program Staff. You will be muted and able to ask questions using the Q&A box. You can listen to the webinar using your computer speakers or dial-in to 1-877-685-5350, participant code: 739587. See the Our Town guidelines.

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 15:00

  1. Our Town Proposals: Tips & Tricks for Success July 2016

NEA Staff will give a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. The presentation will include an overview of creative placemaking resources, sample projects that have been successful, the mechanics of a competitive Our Town proposal, and ideas on how to articulate anticipated project outcomes. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session. You will be muted and able to ask questions using the Q&A box. You can listen to the webinar using your computer speakers or dial-in to 1-877-685-5350, participant code: 739587.

Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 15:00

Register for the webinar.

  1. Leveraging Brownfields Resources for Revitalization Webinar Series - 7/26

July 26, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm EDT
The first webinar will discuss available tools to assist communities in leveraging resources to address community revitalization goals and challenges.  It will include a presentation on Dubuque, Iowa's successful efforts to leverage its own resources to attract other federal, state, public and private sources of funding and technical assistance.



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