Agents of Impact: Georgia’s organizers

Essential news and insights to keep you ahead of the curve on impact investing and sustainable finance.

January 15, 2021

The Brief

The Week’s Big 6

1. Getting the rules right for a community-led COVID recovery. The COVID disruption could be a watershed moment for the expansion of community lending. The emergency appropriation of $12 billion in last month’s relief package for community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, and minority depository institutions, or MDIs, is intended to bolster the balance sheets of lenders to low-income communities and underserved populations. But details of the legislation may hinder the effectiveness of the capital infusion. In a guest post on ImpactAlpha, Laurie Spengler of Courageous Capital and George Surgeon of GSJ Advisors suggest how the Treasury Department can get the rules right. “We encourage impact investors to join Treasury in this effort by increasing their investment in MDIs and CDFI depository institutions – especially common equity investments,” they write. “The time is now.” Keep reading. 

The Week’s Agents of Impact

Georgia’s organizers. “Welcome to the New Georgia,” proclaimed Senator-elect Raphael Warnock. “It is more diverse, and it's more inclusive. And it readily embraces the future.” Warnock, the first Black person to be sent to the Senate by the state – and fellow Senator-elect Jon Ossoff, a Jewish man, signal the profound demographic and cultural shifts that also helped tip Georgia for President-elect Joe Biden. But demographics alone can’t explain their historic achievement. For that, you have to thank the civic leaders and community organizers that worked for years – decades – to educate, mobilize and register new voters in overlooked, under-represented communities. They knew Georgia was up for grabs long before Democratic party leaders caught on. If demographics shifts are the fire, says Nsé Ufot of New Georgia Project, “organizing is the accelerant.”

The Week’s Dealflow

Low-carbon future. Daystar Power raises $38 million to expand commercial solar power in West Africa… The Rise Fund acquires renewable energy company Element Markets… Electric fleet company Proterra to go public through merger with ArcLight SPAC… SilviaTerra raises $4.4 million to build a carbon marketplace from forestlands… Gro Intelligence secures $85 million to build climate risk-adjusted indexes.   

The Week’s Talent

Maëlle Gavet, previously with Compass, joins Techstars as chief executive officer… Patricia McCarthy, ex- of Common Future, joins Candide Group as managing director. Candide named Hope Newsome, previously with Virtus LLP, as chief compliance officer and promoted Laurika Harris-Kaye to portfolio manager… New Forests names Adrian Williams, ex- of AMP Capital, as chief financial officer… Leticia Peguero steps down as vice president of programs at Nathan Cummings Foundation. 

The Week’s Jobs

BLCK VC is recruiting an executive director… The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility seeks a deputy director… One Acre Fund is hiring an associate writer in New York… Prime Coalition is looking for summer fellows… Global Forest Generation seeks a communications director… is looking for a national technical manager in Pune, India… The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks an impact investment officer in Princeton, N.J.

Editor's Picks

Impact Briefing: Week of January 15

On this week’s podcast, host Monique Aiken engaged Frontline Solutions’ Jessica Barron and Marion Johnson on the political power of women of color.

Agents of Impact: Georgia’s organizers

“Welcome to the New Georgia,” proclaimed Senator-elect Raphael Warnock. “It is more diverse, and it’s more inclusive. And it readily embraces the future.”

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