1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Tony Chenhansa <tonyc@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 15:34:29 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: "Stakeholder to Stockholder"
Partners in Progress Newsletter 4/99 article from the
US EPA Federal Facility Cleanup and Reuse Office

Stakeholder to Stockholder

A Tool for Environmental Justice and Public Participation

by John A. Rosenthall

   For years, communities have felt alienated from Superfund cleanups,
military base closures, and Brownfields redevelopment projects because
they were not involved in remediation and land use decisions. As a
result, residents were often unable to change unwanted land use
patterns, reduce pollution levels, or maintain economic and employment

   A new business venture is changing this situation, enabling residents
to become both stakeholders and stockholders. Community members' partner
with organizations to purchase stock that allows them to own all or part
of a business dedicated to environmental cleanup, community
redevelopment, or related services. As stakeholders, community members
gain meaningful participation in decisions that impact their lives. As
stockholders, residents have greater access to timely and correct

   The general principle behind the Stakeholder to Stockholder idea is
to maintain the proper balance of professional managers and community
members to ensure sound and profitable practices are carried out in the
best interest of the community. The Stakeholder to Stockholder strategy
enables residents, who might lack the business skills or capital
necessary to develop and manage a profitable business, to own all or
part of this new business. Residents can buy stocks at a price as low as
$1 per share while professional business managers and others with
sufficient capital own the remaining shares of stock. Cleanup and
redevelopment decisions and the resulting profits are therefore shared
among all stockholders.

   The four goals of Stakeholder to Stockholder are:

* Empower community residents to meaningfully participate in
environmental and economic development: Residents who own all or part of
a for-profit business will gain a larger voice in their community’s
cleanup, redevelopment, and sustainability. A business owned in whole or
in part by the community is in a unique position to help shape the
commercial development of the neighborhood.

* Empower community residents to meaningfully participate in
environmental decisionmaking: Community residents with a present or
future equity interest will demand more information about the
remediation component of a redevelopment project, and have a greater
influence in how the cleanup and redevelopment proceeds.

* Improve communication between business and the community:
Traditionally, businesses that operate in low-income or minority areas
do not keep local residents informed about company activities. A
business partially owned by the community provides a model for how
businesses can interact more positively with the surrounding community.

* Create wealth in the community by developing a profitable business:
Since Stakeholder to Stockholder will create a for-profit business,
residents should expect the enterprise to turn a profit, of which they
will receive their fair share. In addition, the enterprise will create
other kinds of wealth such as new job skills, opportunities for spin-off
businesses, and social connections that come from broad-based community

   Stakeholder to Stockholder businesses may be created on publicly or
privately owned Brownfields or military bases that are being disposed of
as part of the base realignment and closure BRAC process. The individual
steps for business formation are identical, but the order of those steps
might differ slightly depending on a variety of factors. The desired
outcome, however, will be the same—a profitable business owned in whole
or part by impacted community residents and operated in the best
interest of the community.

  An Added Benefit

   Increased participation by residents speeds up the pace of
Brownfields and BRAC projects. With broad-based community support,
projects tend to have less opposition and move more quickly through the
approval process. Waivers and exceptions, for example, tend to be easier
to grant when there is a cross-section of community support for the

   John A. Rosenthall is Director of the Howard University Urban
Environment Institute in Washington, DC. Stakeholder to Stockholder, a
project of Howard University Continuing Education and Arthur  Andersen,
LLP, was developed through a cooperative agreement between Howard
University   Continuing Education and EPA’s Federal Facilities
Restoration & Reuse Office (FFRRO).   Stakeholder to Stockholder pilot
projects are currently in progress at Brownfields and BRAC sites. For
additional information about Stakeholder to Stockholder contact John
Rosenthall at 301-585-2295 or   jrosenthall@con-ed.howard.edu.



Tony Chenhansa,  Program Coordinator
Center for Public Environmental Oversight (CPEO)
425 Market Street 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA  94105
ph: 415-405-7751 fx: 415-904-7765
e-mail: tonyc@cpeo.org

A program of the San Francisco Urban Institute

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