Investing in What Works for America’s Communities

Friday, March 22, 2013 — 9:15 a.m.–10:30 a.m.   

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities
Many Americans are falling further behind and finding it harder to climb out of poverty and into the middle class. Income inequality is at its highest level since the Great Depression and severe poverty is deepening. These shifts have major implications for real estate and community development. To address these issues, the Low Income Investment Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently published a new book called Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place, and Purpose. This session will explore new ideas and entrepreneurial solutions offered by leading experts.

Additional Session Resources:

Speaker Biographies and Presentations

Brian Prater, Low Income Investment Fund (moderator)
Brian Prater is the senior vice president for strategic development and corporate affairs at the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). A national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in San Francisco, LIIF is one of the largest affordable housing, education, and child care facility lenders in the country, and is a five-time recipient of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) awards. Prater oversees LIIF’s federal policy shop, national fundraising, communications, knowledge sharing, transit-oriented development (TOD), and innovation functions. Previously, he led LIIF’s lending and program work in the western region, overseeing the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, including all transactional work, TOD and green programs, and state and regional policy. LIIF is partnering with Enterprise Community Partners to advance equitable TOD nationally, including program, planning, policy, and transactional work. In March 2013, Living Cities released a paper titled “Filling the Equitable TOD Financing Gap” that Prater and Melinda Pollack from Enterprise cowrote.

Prior to joining LIIF in 2008, Prater was a senior vice president and team leader in community development banking with Bank of America in San Francisco, and was responsible for the northern California and Nevada markets. He also spent seven years with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and three years with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

Prater has master’s degrees from Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs) and Syracuse University (S.I. Newhouse School) and a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.

David W. Fleming, Public Health–Seattle & King County, Washington

David Fleming is director and health officer for Public Health−Seattle & King County, a large metropolitan health department with 1,385 employees, 39 sites, and a budget of $318 million, serving a resident population of 1.9 million. Programs and services range from core prevention activities to environmental health, community-oriented primary care, emergency medical services, correctional health services, public health preparedness, and community-based public health assessment and practices.

Prior to assuming this role, Fleming directed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Strategies Program. In this capacity, he oversaw the foundation’s portfolios in vaccine-preventable diseases, nutrition, newborn and child health, leadership, emergency relief, and crosscutting strategies to improve access to health tools in developing countries.

Fleming has also served as the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as the state epidemiologist of Oregon. He has published on a wide range of public health issues, and has served on a number of boards, commissions, and committees.

Fleming received his medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He is board certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine and serves on the faculty of the departments of public health at both the University of Washington and the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Jane Graf, Mercy Housing Inc.

Jane Graf began her career in not-for-profit housing development in Oregon in 1978 through her involvement in housing issues affecting people with disabilities. In 1981, she founded Specialized Housing Inc., a not-for-profit housing development corporation that serves people with developmental disabilities throughout the state of Oregon.

In 1987, Graf joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as the director of housing development and doubled its production of affordable housing over the next six years. In 1993, as part of a merger between the housing development department of Catholic Charities and Mercy Housing, Graf joined Mercy Housing as the president of the California region. Over the course of the last 17 years, her role at Mercy Housing has included responsibility for growing the entire western region, which consists of California, Washington, and Idaho. That oversight resulted in the development of more than 12,000 units of affordable housing in the three states.

Prior to being named COO and then president of Mercy Housing, Graf was the president of Mercy Housing California, which spans the state with offices in Los Angeles, West Sacramento, and San Francisco. During her tenure in California, Mercy Housing California has developed 120-plus multifamily properties and 3,000 affordable single-family homes for a total of 10,000 units of affordable housing in the state of California.

Current board affiliations include the following: president of the board of Jelani House Inc. of San Francisco; chair of the board of directors of Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services; member of the Golden Gate Chapter of Lambda Alpha International; and member of the national housing cabinet for the American Association of Housing and Services for the Aging. Past board roles included ten years on the Affordable Housing Council of the San Francisco Federal Home Loan Bank and two years as chair; six years on the board of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and two years as president.

Graf received a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Oregon and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota.

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