3 TED-Style Talks: (1) Practicing Equity in the Rio Grande Valley (2) A Sustainable Funding Stream for Resident-Led Community Development (3) Ending the Criminal Justice Debt Trap

Location: Salon II
Date: Fri, June 2
Time: 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

(1) Practicing Equity in the Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande Valley struggles. The Valley’s growth over the past decade, like many regions in the Sunbelt, has resulted in sprawling peri-urban development that link the region’s larger cities. However, they are also commonly underdeveloped, under resourced, and are characterized by a low-regulatory environment indicative of Texas’ regulatory heritage. . This presentation will discuss support for equity in policy, housing, and drainage infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley, and the power of partnerships in fighting inequality with sustainable solutions. 


(2) A Sustainable Funding Stream for Resident-Led, High-Impact Community Development

The theoretical conception for the Community Investment Tax Credit, it's structure, and it's track record after three years of implementation. The CITC is an exciting and replicable tool for supporting resident-led, high impact community development. It supports organizing; it supports comprehensive approaches; and it generates new revenue and it supports capacity building. I believe it is one of the best programs in the country for sustaining and growing a diverse network of well funded community based development organizations.


(3) Ending the Criminal Justice Debt Trap: Strategies to Stop the Overuse of Court Fines and Fees

Over the last several decades, as the prison population has increased, there has been a stark reduction in state and local government budgets . In response, many municipalities resorted to charging “user fees” — fees for room and board, court time, public defense, etc. — as a strategy to address budget gaps. The assessment of fines, fees, and additional charges is distinctly promoting the financial insecurity of low-income households. These practices play an integral role in wealth and income inequality, and contribute to the growing racial wealth gap in our country.Organizers can put pressure on the justice system to ensure that governments are not taking advantage of low- income people and perpetuating household financial insecurity. This session will review promising practices as the state and local level to stop the harmful overuse of fines and fees.

Vehicles for Investment: Sponsored by Woodforest National Bank

Slides - John Fitterer

Slides - bcWORKSHOP

Slides - Alexandra Bastien

Handout - Alexandra Bastien