Opportunity Zones

Identifying behavior patterns that indicate a path toward addiction in order to provide targeted interventions

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

The Opportunity Zones (OZ) was an incentive program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. To ensure OZs work for those who deserve a hand up in our communities, local, state, and federal governments along with civil society and the foundation/NGO community need to improve pathways for direct engagement and actionable data creation from local communities.

 

In 2019, Public Democracy partnered with the City of Birmingham’s BIG program to engage and map community interest as part of Birmingham’s national leadership in the Opportunity Zone movement. 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.

 

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. 

Do you have an idea or project you would like to incubate in the Public Democracy America Lab? 

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