Recent Blog Posts
  • A Truly “Business Friendly” Leader

    Where I live, in Montgomery County, Maryland, this is a critical election, because we finally have an opportunity to elect a leader, Marc Elrich, who really understands the meaning of economic development. His principal opponent, Nancy Floreen, is justifying her quixotic, independent bid to become County Executive with the claim that she is the only “business friendly” candidate. As someone who has spent his 25 years working on economic development Read more

  • A Tax Revolt Against Corporate Subsidies

    Many thanks to the WASHINGTON POST for publishing on June 7th my latest take on the Takoma Junction Redevelopment Project. I argued that Takoma Park is now the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The era of communities giving huge subsidies to developers may be ending, and progressive revulsion at the practice may turn out to be as powerful as the conservative tax revolt ushered in by Proposition 13 in Read more

  • More on Takoma Junction

    The analysis I summarized in the previous blog post generated numerous responses from the public, the City, and the developer.  One central theme of the responses has been skepticism over my contention that the City is subsidizing the developer, NDC. What follows are my further comments on the debate for the Takoma Park City Council:   Is Takoma Park Subsidizing NDC? My preliminary answer was “yes.”  Compared to the lease Read more

  • Rethinking The Takoma Junction Redevelopment Plan

    A basic mantra of progressive economic development should be to deploy public land for public purposes.  This has become clear to me as I’ve watched the nearby City of Takoma Park, Maryland, struggle to move ahead on a controversial development project on a 1.4 acre site called Takoma Junction.  The site is largely undeveloped except that the neighboring Co-op grocery store leases part of it for parking and deliveries. In many ways, this Read more

  • An Interview With Transition Towns

    One of the most influential drivers of localization worldwide is the Transition Towns movement, launched by Rob Hopkins in the United Kingdom, which has inspired initiatives in literally thousands of communities.  “The Transition Network,” according to its web site, “is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.  Read more