By Clay

Exciting New Developments:  ARPI and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs are working out a long-term partnership to not only bring social impact bonds to north Georgia but other rural areas throughout the country.  We'll keep you posted.

Speaking of SIBs:  Taxpayers often have no idea whether they are paying for a winner or a dud, which programs deliver results, or whether service providers use resources wisely.  There's a new approach catching on across the country. From Massachusetts to South Carolina to Oregon and even right here in Colorado, government entities are beginning to use social impact bonds to help increase accountability, save taxpayer dollars, and engage creatively with the private sector to find innovative ways to provide more effective services.  The core idea is simple: pay for success. Governments will only pay for projects that deliver agreed-upon results, whether it's increasing employment at workforce centers or reducing recidivism at prisons.

I haven't read the specifics of the bill in the Senate, but it is good to see that there is some bipartisan support.  Now the question do we get these instruments to communities that need the investment but don't have the organizational capacity?  That's a question on which we are working.

I agree with this.  Already starting the legislative advocacy in order to make those changes--but the question remains what is the regulatory and legal framework going to look like.  Will it make investing in the instruments and communities more attractive and easy or just burdensome? 

Cooking...Something Only the Rich Can Afford:  "Cooking, of course, is easier for people with predictable working hours, true living wages, and access to ingredients and efficient mass transit. And the fact that many people cook, despite schedules that would make many of us melt, points to cooking’s necessity."

Good Question: "What is at stake for the poor on Tuesday?  It is not a question that was asked much in the lead-up to Election Day."

Remember, Remember: "The plot to destroy Parliament and assassinate the king is believed to be the brainchild of Robert Catesby, a Catholic veteran of the Earl of Essex’s rebellion against Elizabeth. To implement this plan, Catesby recruited several men, including, Guy (Guido) Fawkes, who had fought for the Spanish against Protestant Dutch rebels in the Netherlands. As a man with military experience, Fawkes was the one to handle and set off the gunpowder."

Honoring my wife's British heritage we will celebrate Guy Fawkes's Day.  Besides the personal connection, what does Guy Fawkes have to do with rural poverty?  Read this and this.  Fawkes grew up in rural England and faced impoverished conditions after his father died when Fawkes was 8.  With that background, he nearly became the catalyst for a religious war that would have been an unmitigated humanitarian disaster for all of Europe.  Fawkes's story shows that England had no answer for disaffected and poor rural youth who were coming back from the continent's wars seeking revolution.  I'm certainly not suggesting that this is a concern here, but it serves as one example of the historical consequences of ignoring rural economic issues.