NC3 was formed to address economic injustice and bring our economy more in line with the American dream of an equitable, inclusive democracy where power and control are distributed and everyone participates in shaping community life. With demonstrations around the country highlighting the insidious nature of inequitably distributed power – and inspiring millions to stand up against systemic injustice – we’re hopeful that we’re on the verge of some major and long overdue changes.

And we hope some of those changes address the economic inequities that plague our country and our communities. For we believe that consolidated power has no place in a democracy. Widely and evenly distributed wealth, ownership, and control are essential to democracy. It’s not enough for people to simply have a right to vote for politicians. People need ownership and control of real estate and the businesses that shape their lives. They need capital, and they need the freedom and the opportunity to speak with that capital and vote for the sorts of communities they want to live in.

America has a very long way to go to fully address the racism and discrimination undermining our democratic ideals, and we’re under no illusion that a simple solution exists or that the road ahead will be anything less than a continuous, ongoing struggle. Though we’re committed to continuing to chip away at the barriers preventing Americans from accessing capital and investing in their communities, and we’re dedicated to helping folks ultimately gain the sorts of control and ownership of their communities that the American dream promises.

Lately, we’ve been excited to see NC3 members like Mainvest taking advantage of the SEC’s special covid relief exemptions to raise funds for enterprises like Daleview Biscuits and Beer in Brooklyn and launching campaigns like Rebuild Main Street to ensure that recovery from the covid shutdown is a locally driven, inclusive, democratic process that engages the local crowd, increases local ownership and control, and fends off the inevitable power grab attempts by Wall Street. And we’ve been excited to see members like launching special revenue-based programs and members like The Local Crowd launching special rewards crowdfunding programs.

We’re also excited about public / private partnerships like Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s grant program that matches donations made to small Main Street businesses – effectively blending public and private funds to drive local investment and foster greater local ownership, control, and distributed economic power.

And we’re excited about the ways that NC3 members are coming together to share ideas and resources to advance practices around establishing community investment funds, investing in real estate in community-oriented ways, and developing community funded green energy projects (thanks for your leadership Raise Green!). If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved in an NC3 community of practice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]. The task of revolutionizing our economy is a big one, and we believe that the more democratic it is and the more grassroots engagement there is, the better it’ll be.