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The underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) generates millions of dollars annually, yet investigation and data collection remain under resourced. Our study aimed to unveil the scale of the UCSE in eight major US cities. Across cities, the UCSE's worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million in 2007, but decreased since 2003 in all but two cities. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement revealed the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade -- and shaped the policy suggestions to combat it.
This report presents case studies of 12 nonprofit housing and community development organizations working to stabilize communities. It explains how the "five C's" of community stabilization help define and identify effective local community stabilization.
From 1995 through 2002, P/PV worked with six neighborhoods around the country to develop and institute a framework of "core concepts" to guide youth programming for the nonschool hours. The goal was to create programming that would involve a high proportion of each neighborhood's several thousand adolescents. This report summarizes the basic lessons that emerged from this Community Change for Youth Development (CCYD) initiative. The lessons address such topics as the usefulness of a "core concepts" approach; the dos and don'ts of involving neighborhood residents in change initiatives; the role of research; the role of youth; and the capacity of neighborhood-wide approaches to attract high-risk youth.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by Harvesters - The Community Food Network. 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 Harvesters - The Community Food Network provides emergency food for an estimated 216,900 different people annually.37% of the members of households served by Harvesters - The Community Food Network are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).39% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 78% are food insecure and 34% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 18.104.22.168).48% of clients served by Harvesters - The Community Food Network report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).30% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).25% of households served by Harvesters - The Community Food Network report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)Harvesters - The Community Food Network included approximately 453 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 434 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 340 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.69% of pantries, 73% of kitchens, and 54% 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, 74% of pantries, 82% of kitchens, and 61% of shelters of Harvesters - The Community Food Network 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 73% of the food distributed by pantries, 53% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 35% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 91% of pantries, 82% of kitchens, and 61% of shelters in Harvesters - The Community Food Network use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
Center for Neighborhood Technology;
This report examines the impacts of transportation spending on households in the 28 metro areas for which the federal government collects expenditure data and of rising gas prices on both households and regional economies. It finds that households in regions that have invested in public transportation reap financial benefits from having access to affordable mobility options, even as gas prices rise, and that regions with public transit are losing less per household from the increase in gas prices than those without transit options.
Are parents an untapped resource in improving and reimagining K -- 12 education in Kansas City? What do they think would enhance student learning and what are they willing to do to help their children get the education they deserve? These are among the questions explored in an in-depth survey of 1,566 parents with children now in public school in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This study finds the majority of parents in the Kansas City area ready, willing and able to be more engaged in their children's education at some level. For communities to reap the most benefit from additional parental involvement, it is important to understand that different parents can be involved and seek to be involved in different ways.
The results of this research, detailed in the following pages, show that nearly a third of the region's parents may be ready to take on a greater role in shaping how local schools operate and advocating for reform in K -- 12 education. These parents say they would be very comfortable serving on committees focused on teacher selection and the use of school resources. Their sense of "parental engagement" extends beyond such traditional activities as attending PTA meetings, coaching sports, volunteering for bake sales, chaperoning school trips and seeing that their children are prepared for school each day. Yet, despite their broad interest in a deeper, more substantive involvement in shaping the region's school systems, relatively few of these "potential transformers" have actually participated in policy-oriented activities in the past year.
Moreover, this survey finds that even though the majority of parents seem less inclined to jump into school policy debates, many say they could do more to support local schools in the more traditional school parent roles.
Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative;
Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report
looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.
MZ Strategies, LLC;
Several efforts are emerging in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN (MSP) region (also referred to as the Twin Cities) to support more strategic partnerships and align investment decisions to support regional economic competitiveness. The Twin Cities region is known for its regional governance and collaboration on a range of issues including transportation, revenue sharing and waste water infrastructure. The region is also home to more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other metro region and a population that is, on average, relatively well educated and financially stable.
Concerns have arisen over the last decade that economic and racial disparities are increasing, and that economic growth including business start-ups and wage rates are not keeping pace with regional expectations. In response, the Metropolitan Council (Met Council) and the newly created Greater MSP Partnership, among other regional economic stakeholders,are refining their efforts to advance equitable economic competitiveness for the Twin Cities region.
Through funding from the McKnight Foundation, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and MZ Strategies, LLC (the Project Team) partnered to survey a subset of regional planning agencies and examine efforts in Denver, Kansas City and Seattle metropolitan areas to highlight different approaches to economic competitiveness.
The study provides a snapshot of regional economic innovation and collaboration necessary to achieve equitable economic growth in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.
The survey was distributed by NARC to directors and/ or lead economic development staff at 30 pre-identified regional agencies based on similarities and appropriateness to serve as a model for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. Overall, 16 of 30 regions responded -- a response rate of 53 percent.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
As a typical Midwestern city, Kansas City and its successful entrepreneurs often are overlooked in economic development studies. We find, however, compelling evidence that the region has ample entrepreneurial success to celebrate, study, and share since numerous Kansas City area firms have appeared on Inc.magazine's list of the fastest-growing companies. We recently interviewed the founders of some of these firms in the city's information technology, biotechnology, and business services sectors about their views on the strengths and viability of Kansas City's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We gained valuable insights for area policy and economic leaders.
Key findings of our interviews include:
-Lack of venture capital or angel investment does not hinder the growth of Kansas City firms. Only a small percentage of the high-growth firmsinterviewed reported receiving investment from Venture Capital or Angel investors. Instead, most high-growth firms were self-financed or received financial assistance from founders' close friends and families. Some bootstrapped by adapting their firms to customer needs to achieve growth, while others scaled up only as revenues increased and additional customers were found. No matter how they were funded, the firms successfully grew their revenue.
-Kansas City firms enjoy a substantial pool of talent in the region. Growing firms often have a long-term employee development strategy to hire young people and train them to be first-class professionals, including technical experts. Entrepreneurs also find the region's low cost of living and strong, Midwestern work ethic to be major strengths.
-Most Kansas City entrepreneurs find support from customers, vendors, and/or collaborating firms in the region. This finding runs somewhat contrary to Swiss researcher Heike Mayer's recent conclusion that firms in the Kansas City region are disconnected. These regional connections lead to the firms' innovations and growth.
-A number of high-growth firms serve only the Kansas City area or a limited market of regional cities, yet they see this limited regional focus as a business strength. Entrepreneurs and their support community should take note that a firm does not have to capture a national or global market to be highly successful.
-Most Kansas City entrepreneurs report that locally based mentors have played a significant role in their success. Whether through informal or 2 formal channels, connecting experienced entrepreneurs to aspiring or nascent entrepreneurs and allowing mentor-mentee relationships to grow organically should be goals of the city's entrepreneurial support community. Further research is needed on how best to create and implement local mentorship programs.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
The Great Recession created fiscal challenges for the 30 cities at the centers of the nation's most populous metropolitan areas that continued well past the recession's official end in June 2009. For most of these cities, the fiscal brunt was borne later than for the national and state governments and recovery has been slow.
Cities dealt with fiscal strain in a variety of ways: dipping into reserve funds, cutting spending, gaining help from the federal or state governments, and increasing revenue from tax and nontax sources. Although these strategies offered short-term solutions, many cities still faced declining revenue in 2011, the consequence of reduced spending, shrunken reserves, and rising pension and retiree health care costs.
Property taxes, which can be slow to respond to economic swings, helped delay the early fiscal effects of the Great Recession for most of these cities, but they began to decline in 2010, reflecting a deferred impact of the housing crisis. This trend was compounded by increasingly unpredictable aid from states and the federal government that were dealing with their own budgetary constraints.
Researchers from Pew standardized data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 2007 through 2011, the latest year of complete data available, for all of these 30 cities. This report examines key elements of each city's fiscal conditions, including revenue, expenditures, reserves, and long-term obligations, and adjusted them for inflation to facilitate comparison across the years. These adjustments allow insight into fiscal trends across cities and over time. Direct comparisons between cities may be limited, however, by differences in cities' tax structures and the range of services each city provides
Duke Divinity School;
This paper illustrates the type of creative partnerships and dialogues that are happening in communities of color around the important health issue of end-of-life care. While the work of these three featured organizations is helping to set the standards for outreach within communities of color, they by no means stand alone.
Center for American Progress;
Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.