What's Working in Emerging Neighborhoods Across America Showcased Through Friday


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            Contact: Suzanne Gunther

March 4, 2015                                             301-547-1058

What's Working In Emerging Neighborhoods Across America Showcased Through Friday


Shown left to right: Noel Poyo, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders; Frank Woodruff, Executive Director, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations; Seema Agnani, Director of Policy and Civic Engagement, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development; Naomi Camper, JPMorgan Chase Office of Nonprofit Engagement; and Richardson, Senior Vice President, National Urban League address the People & Places Community Conference March 4-6 in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC, March 4-6, 2015 - Community-based organizations from across America are convening today through Friday to share local solutions to poverty, disinvestment and inequality at the People & Places Community Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC.

The most diverse and inclusive community development conference in more than a decade, this peer-learning event showcases models for advancing opportunity and prosperity in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Some 500 community developers will attend the event, more than 100 of whom will present community-based solutions.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams will deliver keynote remarks March 5 at 12:30 pm. Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu will address the conference March 5 at 8:45 am. DC community development tours coordinated by local host CNHED will depart March 5 at 2:30 pm.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Managing Director Naomi Gendler Camper delivered opening remarks. "Unemployment and income inequality are significant challenges that stand in the way of economic progress in low income communities.  Building the capacity of community-based organizations by investing in their ability to deliver high quality services means greater opportunity for all," said Camper, who heads the JPMorgan Chase Office of Nonprofit Engagement.

Four national organizations convened the conference to connect and inspire their networks: the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), and the National Urban League.

"Our networks are drivers of local economies in communities where the for-profit sector hesitates to venture," stated NACEDA Executive Director Frank Woodruff. "We're seeing transformative models arise at the local level that our nation can use to address poverty, disinvestment and inequity over the long term. For example, a community development corporation in Brownsville, Texas developed an alternative to the rampant predatory lending in their border city that's being replicated across the state and has the potential to go national."

Nick Mitchell-Bennett of the Brownsville Community Development Corporation and Matt Hull of the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations will describe how the Community Loan Centers work in Texas and how to bring this small dollar loan program to other cities and states on March 6 at 11:00 am.

"NALCAB is proud to stand with our partners at the People & Places conference to recognize the economic power in our diverse communities and to shape the future of our industry," said Noel Poyo, Executive Director.Roberto Barragan, President and CEO of Valley Economic Development Corporation in Los Angeles will discuss debt financing and technical assistance strategies for under-served and minority-owned small businesses. His organization has provided services to 95,000 businesses, resulting in the creation of more than 17,000 jobs, graduated more than 3,000 individuals from entrepreneurial training, and has provide more than $300,000,000 in direct and guaranteed lending to small businesses. Barragon will address the "CDCs and CDFIs" panel March 6 at 11:00 am.

"This historic collaboration gets to the heart and roots of neighborhood development - community control," noted Seema Agnani, National CAPACD's Director of Policy and Civic Engagement. "Innovative strategies around the country ensure that local residents assert their stake in the future of their communities.  For example, San Francisco's Chinatown Community Development Center is engaging low-income residents in the land use and planning process to address gentrification in this hot real estate market. In St. Paul, the Asian Economic Development Association is organizing small businesses to preserve and improve the Little Mekong business and cultural district as the city's new light rail system moves to the neighborhood.

Malcolm Yeung of the San Francisco's Chinatown Community Development Center is on the "Hot Market Perspectives" panel March 4 at 2:45 pm. Va-Megn Thoj of the St. Paul's Asian Economic Development Association is on the "Place Promotion" panel March 5 at 9:30 am.

"As a Movement deeply rooted in the civil rights tradition of issue advocacy and community mobilization, the Urban League's extensive network of affiliated local nonprofit organizations works to stabilize and revive inner city areas with a key purpose of building communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect," stated National Urban League's Senior Vice President Cy Richardson. "The benefit of this conference is that it affords the Urban League the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with other community development practitioners to help build relationships with key people and organizations and to identify common concerns. A key organizing principle for all of us is that within any community there is a wealth of knowledge and experience which, if used in creative ways, can be channeled into collective action to achieve the communities' desired goals.

"The Urban League's particular asset-based community development approach seeks to uncover and use the strengths within communities as a means for sustainable development, social inclusion and equality. Affordable housing development is a primary mechanism in this

regard, and the Urban League of Lexington and Fayette County will share its experiences structuring housing deals that react and respond to community needs," Richardson added.


Photos available by request. Contact sgunther@naceda.org or 301-393-6150.

Available for interview:

Frank Woodruff, Executive Director, NACEDA. Contact sgunther@ naceda.org,


Noel Poyo, Executive Director, NALCAB. Contact hbustos@nalcab.org, 210-215-4031

Seema Agnani, Director of Policy and Civic Engagement, National CAPACD. Contact Melvin Tabilas, Melvin@nationalcapacd.org, 310-709-5191

Nick Mitchell-Bennett, Brownsville Community Development Corporation, and Matt Hull, Texas Association of Community Development Corporations,matt@tacdc.org, 512-916-0508

Roberto Barragan, Valley Economic Development Corporation, contact Lisa Winkle, lwincle@vedc.org, 818-907-9977

Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director, Chinatown Community Development Center,myeung@chinatowncdc.org, 415-742-1028

Va-Megn Thoj, Asian Economic Development Association, vamegn@aeda-mn.org,651-361-9615

NACEDA - The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Association leads the community development field and its partners in shaping and influencing strategies that advance community prosperity. Our member organizations are champions, stewards, and thought leaders for community development at the state and local level. Through 43 state and regional associations in 28 states, more than 3,500 community-based organizations are represented by our members.

NALCAB - The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders is a San Antonio based national nonprofit organization that represents and serves over 100 members that are a geographically and ethnically diverse group of nonprofit community and economic development organizations that are anchor institutions in our nation's predominantly Latino communities. NALCAB's mission is to build financial and human assets as well as real estate and technology resources for Latino families, communities, and organizations. For additional information, visit nalcab.org. Follow NALCAB on Twitter @NALCAB and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/NALCAB.

National CAPACD - The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development's mission is to improve the quality of life for low-income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by promoting economic vitality, civic and political participation, and racial equality. Our membership encompasses a diverse base of nearly 100 community-based organizations and individuals spanning 19 states and the Pacific Islands.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of direct service programs and through the public policy research and advocacy activities of the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Today, there are 94 local Urban League affiliates in 35 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than two million people nationwide.