The Bottom LineThe Bottom Line

Economics in Brief: A Co-Op Grows in a Food Desert

And in other economics stories this week, a new documentary highlights black entrepreneurship, and Pittsburgh releases a second equity report.

(Photo by jpellgen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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D.C. Residents Hope to Found Food Co-Op in a Food Desert

The Community Grocery Cooperative is working to open a co-op somewhere in D.C.’s east-of-the-river neighborhoods, DCist reports. This region has been historically marginalized and, despite having 150,000 residents, has only three of the city’s 49 grocery stores, DCist writes.

The co-op, which does not yet have a physical location, will “be a way for residents to really have a sustainable store in their neighborhood that they can control and doesn’t just up and leave,” Community Grocery Cooperative member Clarice Manning told the site.

The co-op is in its early stages, with a goal of 300 paid members — right now it has just a dozen, Manning said.

New Documentary Spotlights the History of Black Businesses

A new documentary that premiered on PBS this week highlights the unsung history of African American entrepreneurship. “Boss: The Black Experience in Business”, by Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, tells the stories of Chicago Defender publisher Robert Abbott, inventor Annie Malone, and investor John Rogers, among others.

The documentary spans the history of black entrepreneurship from enslavement — when enslaved people might be loaned out to other white families but might, if they were lucky, receive a portion of the payment to save to buy their own freedom — to the present day. Block Club Chicago has an interview with Nelson for more.

Pittsburgh Equity Indicators Report Shows Disparities Prominent

The city’s second “equity indicator” report shows that inequalities by race, gender and income are still prevalent in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette reports.

The city’s “equality score” was 55 out of 100, the same as the number from the baseline 2017 study.

A few takeaways from the report, via NEXTPittsburgh:

  • Median household incomes and poverty rates improved for white residents, but declined for African-Americans;

  • Civic engagement among African-Americans rose in 2018, relative to whites; and

  • Access to childcare improved across all groups.

“This analysis is a start towards untangling the deep roots of inequality that exist in this city,” said Mayor Bill Peduto in a press release about the new report. ”By integrating the Equity Indicators into our work, we are aligning budgets, staff and policies to increase effectiveness and efficiency, and providing a government that better serves the people, planet, place and performance of this great city.”

This article is part of The Bottom Line, a series exploring scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. Click here to subscribe to our Bottom Line newsletter.

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Tags: pittsburghfood deserts

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