October , 2018

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Symposium lifts up 10 years of lessons learned from more than 800 nationwide and international community development practitioners who are making a difference in the lives of families                                                                                                       


CHICAGO, IL – After nearly a decade of practice, 800 nationwide and international community development practitioners convened in Chicago for two days to share lessons learned, assess impact and plot the course of future activity at the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development (ICCD) symposium “Getting It Done II.”

As the nation’s first think tank devoted to the study of sustainable community based urban development, ICCD presented practitioners with policy priorities, talking points and coalition partnership opportunities while offering varied sustainable community strategies that will work in the current economic and political climate.

“We gathered to share and expand on your expertise. We want to know what works, what doesn’t and what might work better if done a little differently,” said Michael Rubinger, President and CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Co-chair, ICCD Board of Advisors during his keynote introduction at the symposium.

Twenty years ago, governments and community organizations tackled the challenge of providing decent, affordable housing to low-income people primarily by focusing their efforts on individual families in need. Due to growing understanding about the effects of place on people’s lives, that approach is evolving into one that seeks to transform poor, severely distressed and segregated neighborhoods into resilient and sustainable places that integrate families and neighborhoods into the larger community.

According to Wolfgang Goede of the Munich-based Ntzwerk Gemeinsinn, the techniques of comprehensive community development is winning new attention in Europe as federal social spending declines and urban neighborhoods are increasingly left to fend for themselves.

“Germany works through bureaucracy so a lot of this is new to us,” said Goede. “It’s in the head of the people, especially in East Germany, that someone has to take care of them.”

This continental change – from federal paternalism to self-help – was one of the more revealing themes to surface at the ‘Going Global’ breakout workshop at the conference.

The Getting It  Done II symposium began with The Stampede, the Chicago Bulls drum-line, who called the symposium to order and was followed by a ‘roll call’ presenting the delegations from each nationwide site. Erika Poethig, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), gave a keynote address describing how HUD is making neighborhood revitalization a cornerstone of their urban strategy. The afternoon was devoted to workshops and a plenary session led by Julia Stasch, Mac Arthur Foundation, on connecting neighborhoods to regional economies. Stasch was joined by Alan Berube, Brookings Institution; India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation; and Raul Raymundo, Chicago’s Resurrection Project who expound on how neighborhoods connect residents, real estate and local businesses to the regional economy.

Day two began with a plenary featuring Thomas Abt, Department of Justice; Barbara Burnham, LISC; Douglass Rice, The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; and Peter  Tatian, The Urban Institute on how to secure the assortment of resources from public and private sectors to succeed in comprehensive community development. Their discussion was followed by a riveting keynote address from syndicated columnist Clarence Page who provided an overview of the current economic and political climate – the opportunities and challenges it presents. Page’s remarks were followed by a deeper discussion about topics impacting the future of community development and a call to action.

“Affordable houses are important, but our experience teaches that a housing-centric, project-by-project approach isn’t enough. Today’s successful practitioners have a comprehensive playbook and work on many things at once,” said Rubinger. “Sharing those lessons learned of what works – and what doesn’t  in that same spirit of engagement and collaboration – allows us to reshape the ‘industry’ and the futures of the communities in which we work.”

About the ICCD: Established in April 2010 to advance the field of comprehensive community development and the positive impact it has in urban and rural communities across the country, ICCD has drawn upon the nation’s most extensive network of comprehensive community development practitioners to lift up what is working to promote best practices.

For a full list of speakers and sessions, and for more information about the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development and Getting It Done II, please visit http://www.instituteccd.org/index.html or call Marilyn Katz or Bryant Payne at 312-822-0505

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