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Earth Policy Institute;
Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Community Food Banks of South Dakota. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network.
The FA system served by The Community Food Banks of South Dakota provides emergency food for an estimated 105,200 different people annually.40% of the members of households served by The Community Food Banks of South Dakota are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).49% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 67% are food insecure and 7% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 18.104.22.168).34% of clients served by The Community Food Banks of South Dakota report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).17% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).32% of households served by The Community Food Banks of South Dakota report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Community Food Banks of South Dakota included approximately 389 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 356 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 179 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.63% of pantries, 52% of kitchens, and 37% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 75% of pantries, 53% of kitchens, and 87% of shelters of The Community Food Banks of South Dakota reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 67% of the food distributed by pantries, 37% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 44% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 89% of pantries, 78% of kitchens, and 71% of shelters in The Community Food Banks of South Dakota use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
The Bush Foundation launched the Native Nations Initiative in 2009 to support governance reform efforts of all 23 Native nations that share geography with Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Five years into this 10-year initiative, the Foundation hired Wilder Research as an independent evaluator to assess our progress and challenges. Wilder interviewed program participants, tribal leadership and regional leaders from the field. This learning paper summarizes Wilder's evaluation.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
Pacific Community Ventures;
Impact measurement is central to the practice of mission investing, allowing mission investors to understand if their investments are meeting their goals and furthering their mission. The Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) has worked with PCV InSight for eight years to evaluate and understand the impact of its mission-related investment, Invest Northwest. In this white paper, we detail how the fund has delivered consistent social impact since its inception, including: strong job growth; steady increases in annual median wages; and higher employee wages than at other private businesses nationally and regionally.
Surveys the use of evidence-based parole supervision practices based on a risk reduction approach across states; obstacles to their implementation; and approaches to enhancing parolee motivation. Profiles efforts to improve practices in three states.
Wilder Research Center;
The American Cancer Society seeks to promote the use of community health workers throughout their midwest region. Wilder Research conducted an assessment designed to increase understanding of the community health worker workforce in four states: Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. WR also conducted a study to demonstrate the economic value of investing in cancer outreach via community health workers.
Contains letter from the president, 2010 program highlights with links to program information, grantee and partner profiles, financial summary, investment commentary, lists of Bush Fellows, and lists of board members and staff.
Presents focus group findings about South Dakotans' views of the state and quality of life, civic engagement, and concerns including the economy, K-12 and higher education, access to and cost of quality health care, and race relations. Proposes solutions.
Laura and John Arnold Foundation;
State and municipal pension systems are in financial trouble. According to a 2012 Pew Center on the States report, state pension plans estimate that they were collectively $757 billion short of the funding needed to meet the pension promises that had, as of that publication, been made to public employees. Moreover, that figure depends on a risky set of assumptions (e.g., expected rate of return and life expectancy) and may be considerably larger if reality does not match the predictions made by each system. Estimates produced using more conservative assumptions, similar to those used for private sector pensions, approximately double the shortfall.
Regardless of the exact size of projected deficits, rising annual pension costs have already spurred financial distress in many jurisdictions. For instance, Central Falls, Rhode Island, recently declared municipal bankruptcy because of unaffordable pension costs. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pointed out that the city faces $20 billion in unfunded liabilities and will soon spend a staggering $1.2 billion per year solely on pension costs, or roughly 22 percent of Chicago's entire budget. As Mayor Emanuel stated, "Our taxpayers cannot afford to choose between pensions and police officers, or pensions and paved streets."
In light of looming deficits, states and municipalities across the country are taking steps to reform their pension systems. While some reforms are relatively modest, a few jurisdictions have enacted comprehensive reforms that aim to solve their pension problems permanently. Enacted reforms generally have addressed the following: cost-of-living adjustments, increases in retirement age and contribution rates, and establishment of defined contribution, cash balance and hybrid plans.
In 2012, the Bush Foundation invested over $31.4 million to support leaders and improve community vitality across Minnesota, North Dakota,South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.These investments took a variety of forms and focused on myriad issues, but all were aimed at ensuring that great ideas and the people who power them have opportunities to create positive change in communities.
This report is a snapshot of some of the work the Bush Foundation's resources supported in 2012, including:
Investing in the development of emerging and proven leaders
Creating opportunities for community-driven problem solving
Investing in educational effectiveness to increase educational achievement and close achievement gaps