Denise Fairchild is the inaugural President of Emerald Cities. She has dedicated over 30 years to strengthening housing, jobs, businesses and economic opportunities for low-income residents and communities of color domestically and internationally. In 1995, Dr. Fairchild founded the Community and Economic Development (CED) Department at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, as well as an affiliated nonprofit community development research and technical assistance organization, CDTech. She helped launch the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI), an initiative of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to provide inner city residents with career and technical education for high growth/high demand jobs in the LA region.
From 1989-1994, Dr. Fairchild directed the LA office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and is credited with raising over $100 million in equity, grants and loans for community-based housing and commercial development projects and, generally, with building the non-profit housing and community development industry in the LA region.
Her civic and political appointments have included the California Commission on Regionalism, the California Economic Strategy Panel, the California Local Economic Development Association, the Urban Land Institute National Inner City Advisor, the Coalition for Women’s Economic Development and the Los Angeles Environmental Quality Board. She recently served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s special advisor for South LA Investments.
How does your current work relate to economic democracy? :
ECC is committed to building sustainable, economically just and inclusive metropolitan economies. We pursue this work through multi-stakeholder collaborations. pushing boundaries of understanding towards shared interests, values and work. Core to this mission is my personal quest to transform the dominant western cultural values with the traditional values of non-western societies in which the commons and community are central to well-being and quality of life.