Joe Kriesberg

Could 2012 be the best year for Massachusetts CDCs since 1982?

Starting in the mid 1970s, Mel King and other visionary leaders of the community development movement worked systematically to build a support infrastructure for CDCs in Massachusetts. They understood that such a system could grow what was then a nascent movement of community based development organizations, largely in Boston, and transform it into a robust, statewide field that could achieve impact at scale. So they created CEDAC, CDFC, the CDC Enabling Act, Chapter 40F, the CEED program, LISC and ultimately, in 1982, the Massachusetts Association of CDCs.

What do Roxbury and Arlington have in common?

In many ways, the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston and the suburban town of Arlington, Massachusetts are very different. Roxbury is a low income urban neighborhood with per capita income of about $16,000 and 86 percent of the population comprised of people of color. By contrast, Arlington has a per capita income of $44,000 and 86 percent of the population is white. And, of course, they sit on opposite sides of the Charles River.

How to hire great employees

Last Sunday, while Hurricane Irene roared through Boston, I had extra time to read the Sunday New York Times and found my way deep into the Business Section where I found a very interesting interview with Andy Lansing, the chief executive of Levy Restaurants in Chicago.  Mr Lansing is asked about how he hires good employees and he gave an answer that I thought was fascinating. He says, "I have a pretty nontraditional approach to hiring. I hire for two traits — I hire for nice and

The right to smoke versus the right to breathe

The first advocacy campaign of my life did not involve housing, community development, civil rights, the environment or even Vietnam. Instead, it was a years-long effort to get my mother to quit smoking! Every day, for years, I would interrogate her after school about how many cigarettes she had smoked that day. I was relentless, using every tool I had – facts, nagging, shame, and most of all guilt (“you are going to die!”)  Eventually, my mom finally acquiesced and quit smoking when I was about 11 years old.

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