Our Local Economy

YearofMeadville-logo-no-opacityBuilding a sustainable and just future means establishing an innovative, equitable, thriving local economy.

We will spend this month exploring ways in which we can create a sustainable and equitable local economy and celebrating the local and independent businesses here in our community.

Stacy Mitchell

Codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Public Presentation
Thursday, March 10, 7 pm
Tillotson Room, Tippie Alumni Center, Allegheny College

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise. Stacy has led collaborative efforts to build stronger organizing and advocacy networks among local businesses and is the author of several books including Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses.


Local Economies Panel Discussion

Saturday, March 12, 10:30am – 12pm
Shops @ the Bank, 940 Park Ave.

In addition to Stacy Mitchell, we are excited to welcome the following panelists:


Evelyn Burnett

Evelyn Burnett is Vice President of Economic Opportunity at E. Burnett HeadshotCleveland Neighborhood Progress, an intermediary whose mission is to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Evelyn also consults with the Admiral Center, an initiative of Living Cities that helps celebrities use their resources and influence to develop sustainable and impactful solutions to the most pressing social problems. Prior to joining CNP, Evelyn served as Associate Director for Program Strategies with Admiral Center at Living Cities, project director in the city of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability, as a coordinator in the Division of Workforce and Economic Development at Cuyahoga Community College and as a 2007-2008 Cleveland Executive (Coro) Fellow. Evelyn holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Public Administration from The University of Akron.


Dan Conant ’07dan conant

Dan Conant, founder of Solar Holler, is dedicated to repowering and revitalizing Appalachia’s economy with clean energy. Solar Holler works to bring solar within reach of those who need it most: Appalachia’s non-profits, churches, and affordable housing communities.  Solar Holler’s first project, at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, was recognized by Interfaith Power & Light as the 2015 national Renewable Role Model.

Dan graduated from Allegheny College in 2007 and earned his masters in Energy and Climate Policy from Johns Hopkins University, before settling down in his native West Virginia with Laura Nagel (’07) and their daughter Lucy

 Jenifer Kaminsky

Jenifer Kaminsky is an urban planner whose work focuses on kaminsky photocommunity development and creation of affordable housing. She currently resides in Buffalo, New York, where she serves as Housing Director for the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Co (BNSC), the housing development arm of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo). In this capacity, she leads BNSC’s efforts to create high quality, green affordable housing on Buffalo’s West Side and reclaim vacant lots as opportunities for stormwater management and community green space. She also serves as a member of the organization’s leadership team. Prior to coming to Buffalo, she helped create shared-equity housing cooperatives with the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) in New York City and develop affordable housing in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston with the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp (JPNDC).

Register for the Year of Meadville Community Reading Series!

Leading up to Stacy Mitchell’s visit, folks from all over the community will be reading her book Big-Box Swindle in small resident-led reading groups. Groups will run from the week of February 21st to Stacy’s visit on March 10th. Books will be provided free of charge to our first 30 registered participants. Interested? Sign up for a group here!