Opportunity Zones

Public Democracy America has been leading the way in creating market-actionable data around the priorities and interests of the local communities living in Opportunity Zones. Our work was recently recognized by the U.S. Census as one of the top tech solutions to empower local communities and better align investment with community priorities.

At a national and local level, we have been creating opportunities for local residents to share their insights and demonstrate to investors that the most profitable investments will be those that best meet local market demand and strengthen, rather than disrupting local communities.

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Birmingham Case Study

We refined our tools and insights through a partnership with the City of Birmingham’s BIG program to engage and map community interest as part of Birmingham’s national leadership in this area.

 

Our program enabled BIG to communicate with over half its OZ residents, generated over a thousand survey responses, mapped community behavior and priorities in the digital and physical space, and opened up communication lines that provide government and investors with greater understanding and residents with greater agency.

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  • Created a more dynamic, bi-directional “conversation” between City leaders and residents by sending emails to 165,000 Birmingham OZ residents 

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  • Improved insights into community priorities, which led to important shifts in messaging to community – so that they know their input matters.​

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  • Created new market insights into economic opportunities and priorities for development, which changed policy priorities (in this case, towards workforce/training and child care).​

Outcomes

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93%

of children in these zones live with a single parent. 

Through direct community engagement, we were able to determine that Birmingham Opportunity Zones would succeed or fail because of one demographic: single moms. To ensure success, policies must be tailored to uplift and empower single mothers.