When we launched the Center for Community Progress in January of 2010, our goal was to become a potent source of information, tools and support for communities and cities fighting to prevent abandonment or to create strategies for productive reuse of vacant, abandoned and distressed property.
Building on that vision, over the past two years we’ve developed a variety of tools and strategies and expanded relationships with advocates and government leaders across the nation.
At a time when many U.S. cities and towns continue to struggle under the dual burdens of a national foreclosure crisis and a tough economy, a growing number of communities have reached out to us for help. Our work – and the results – have been enormously gratifying. We’ve helped a growing number of civic leaders and local advocates embrace an expanding toolkit of strategies to repurpose vacant and abandoned properties – from improving the way they handle tax lien sales and code enforcement to identifying new mechanisms for financing land banks. Our new annual report documents both the practical assistance we bring to the table for communities in need, and a series of powerful examples of the kinds of sweeping transformations that our work has produced on the ground.
The future promises to be as intense as the past has been, with a full schedule of conferences already well underway, as well as a range of new legislation and revitalization activities in localities across the country. The strength of our work is built on our partnerships – with funders, civic leaders, stakeholders and experts in the field. These collaborations make possible the transformation of whole communities.
This week, I begin a leave of absence from Community Progress in order to run for Congress. I am confident that this organization will continue to be the important voice and source of ideas for the people of America’s cities and towns.
President, Center for Community Progress