BlackRock v. Black Gold

Date: 5 Oct 2023 | posted in: Composting, How to Get Away With Merger | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In 2022, international investment firm BlackRock acquired Vanguard Renewables, to help Vanguard drastically expand its number of large-scale anaerobic digestion facilities across the U.S. and BlackRock’s own energy portfolio. Brenda Platt, director of ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative shares her concern that like in many industries, this trend towards concentrated dominance over the inputs and outputs of this new technology control will ultimately harm communities and starve them of the resources necessary to build thriving, sustainable local economies. Dior St. Hillaire co-director of the NYC composting service BK ROT, adds to the discussion with her vision for New York City that centers local economies, community engagement, and educational spaces fostered by community composting.

Reggie Rucker: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Building Local Power. I’m your cohost, Reggie Rucker, and we continue this season, which we are calling How to Get Away With Merger, picking up on the topic of, and I have to put this in “waste.” Luke said it in the last episode, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. And while on the last episode we talked about how mergers and corporate concentration encourages bigger, dirtier, more harmful landfills and incinerators, this episode is not quite as clear cut. You talk about an acquisition that promotes a much better outcome than food scraps ending up in landfills and incinerators but as both of our guests make clear, the private sector, making big investments in new technologies alone is not the answer. For communities, for Justice, we need a holistic approach. To get into the details and speaking of holistic, I’m going to pass it over to my other half, my co-host, Luke Gannon. What’s up, Luke?
Luke Gannon: Oh, thank you Reggie. Now with that great introduction, we’re going to jump right into the interview.
Thank you so much, Brenda for being here. Brenda Platt is the Director of the Composting for Community Initiative, and we are so excited to welcome her back to the show today. So today we are looking at BlackRock, a giant asset management firm acquiring Vanguard Renewables who operates anaerobic digesters nationwide. This acquisition was announced just last year, so we wanted to invite Brenda onto the show to get an idea of what anaerobic digestion actually is and what this expansion means for composters. So Brenda, I want to start by just defining a couple terms. Can you tell us what is anaerobic digestion?
Brenda Platt: Pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me. So like composting, anaerobic digestion relies on microorganisms like bacteria to break down organic material. And that organic material can be animal manure, it can be food scraps, it can be any kind of wastewater, biosolids, and composting happens in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic digestion happens without oxygen. That’s why it’s called anaerobic. And it does produce biogas. So it’s considered a renewable energy, and it takes place in a sealed vessel called a reactor. And it’s those reactors that help those microbial communities break down or digest those materials and produce that biogas. One of the other products that comes out of anaerobic digestion is digestate, which is the solid end products of that process. And those are discharged from the digester and digestate needs to be dealt with as well.
Luke Gannon: Brenda, I’m trying to visualize what these anaerobic digesters look like. Can you give me an idea?
Brenda Platt: Well, interestingly enough, like composting, it comes in all sizes. So when we think of composting, you can have a bin in your backyard or worm bin in a classroom, at a school, at a firm. Large scale industrial anaerobic digestion is very similar. Maybe not at a home scale, although that we’re seeing that in places around the world, like Kenya has some home-scale digesters. But it’s been around for eons, proliferates in China, India, there’s many on-farm digesters handling poultry manure or litter, cow manure. And really what we’re seeing is a trend in this country to build large scale industrial anaerobic digesters alone in conjunction with wastewater treatment. And that’s when we can get into is that really the problem? Is scale the problem?
Luke Gannon: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I actually didn’t know that anaerobic digestion could be at different scales. I always thought of them at such a large scale. And then the second part I want to ask you, and we’ll jump into Vanguard Renewables, but before we get there, can you tell us about what is de-packaging? What does that mean? Can that happen at different scales? What does it look like?
Brenda Platt: So let’s just take food scraps, food waste from a grocery store. So we’ve all been to grocery stores. You go into the produce section, maybe workers have to come in and remove the tomatoes that are rotting or things that don’t look so good. So that’s already clean produce that a digester or composter would want. It’s not packaged. But then you have, let’s say a bag of carrots that no longer has a use, or even a can of soup, those are both packaged goods. So if you want to get that organic material, that food in there that no longer can be sold or rescued to feed people, you have to break it open.
And so what a de-packager is, is a system that’s often, it can be alone, a standalone facility, or it can be installed at the place of an industrial composter or an anaerobic digestion facility. And it’s designed to mechanically share apart that material. Sometimes it’s shredding, sometimes it’s doing other mechanical techniques to break open the packaging. But the idea at the end of the day is you have organic material that can go into say the digester or you have the rejects, which is the waste packaging.
Reggie Rucker: Okay. And then, so we wanted to have you break down these concepts for us because Vanguard Renewables operates in both of these spaces. They both do de-packaging work, and they have facilities where they do anaerobic digestion. And BlackRock, the asset management and investment firm, saw an opportunity to invest in the anaerobic digestion side of this business to the tune of $700 million dollars. Can you explain to us why this anaerobic digestion operation was the thing that BlackRock really wanted to go after? And what does this mean to the landscape of composting and specifically related to our work, community composting?
Brenda Platt: Yeah. I wish I could get inside their head. I’m sure it’s all money, money, money is the short answer. Well, let me just say that if you look at the waste industry as a whole and handling food waste and making biogas out of it, it’s a big industry and it’s dominated by a handful of companies. I think depending on your source, managing waste is anywhere between $80 and $90 billion industry and 50%, more than probably half of it is controlled by just three companies. And so there’s more companies getting into the space. Let me have a slice of that pie. There’s a lot of money there. And when you have market dominance by a handful of companies, they want to control the collection. They want to control the processing. They want to be vertically integrated and control every step of the process. And I think that’s where my concerns with anaerobic digestion lie is that we’re seeing a disturbing trend towards large scale industrial facilities.
These companies and haulers that serve them are basically telling grocery stores, “Hey, you don’t now need to separate that rotting tomato in your produce section from your packaged soup cans. Commingle it all, we’ll send it to our big facility. We’ll have a packager and we’ll handle it.” Well, where do you think that wasted packaging goes? And we are hearing more about microplastics and soils in the oceans, everywhere. So I think it was Einstein who said the smart person solves a problem, but the genius avoids it. So we need to rescue food to feed people, which with the advent of de-packagers are now collecting all this stuff. So less food is being recovered to feed people. It’s not staying local. We’re seeing de-packagers and big anaerobic digesters being built in one state and it’s like a black hole sucking up material in a multi-state area.
So Vanguard operates at least six anaerobic digesters in the Northeast. I understand they have 10 new facilities under construction. They plan to develop a hundred new projects by 2025. That’s really astounding. And so BlackRock Real Assets which acquired the company, is really helping to drive that plan to commission those a hundred new projects.
Reggie Rucker: And then, so I want to make this clear for the people who are listening right now, is anaerobic digestion as a process something that we need to be concerned about? Or is it … We heard you talk about just this scale and this concentration. What’s the thing that we should really be concerned about when it comes to anaerobic digestion and BlackRock’s investment in it?
Brenda Platt: Yeah, no, as a technology, I don’t think anaerobic digestion is the concern. In fact, digesters can handle often different materials than compost sites. They can handle more liquid materials. Composters can handle what we might call materials high-end carbon, carbonation materials like yard trimmings. You don’t want to send your woody material or fall leaves to a digester. So that would be a waste of that kind of technology. Anaerobic digestion tends to be more expensive. It’s a more expensive technology, but it can fit on a smaller footprint. So depending if land is an issue, a digester might make sense and those kind of decisions or criteria. But in general, I don’t think it’s a technology we need to worry about. But what it comes down to is garbage in, garbage out. So if you’re got a composter and you’re putting contaminating materials, we wouldn’t like that so much either.
Reggie Rucker: Right.
Brenda Platt: We want clean materials in, we want clean materials and products out, and that digestate, the reason I explain that solid is that also can be considered a soil amendment. So like compost, it’s going to end up back in the soil. So we don’t want contaminants like microplastics in compost or in digestate. And then as you’re removing de-packaging, you’re also getting a lot of the valuable organic material removed as well. So as you’re screening contaminants out one way or another, it’s very inefficient in terms of maximizing the recovery of that organic material.
Luke Gannon: So while I was reading some articles on this, Brenda, I was wrestling with this question, which is a lot of the articles that I read made it seem like the Vanguard Renewables specifically was one of the only facilities that were going to these large grocery stores and taking all their produce that would go to the landfill and taking it away from the landfill and putting it in an anaerobic digester. So I’m like, “Okay, well we don’t want food in our landfills,” but we still have this issue with all of these microplastics ending up in what becomes the digestate or the soil. How do you level that? Are there composters who have the capability and the resources to go to these grocery stores to take food and process it and not have that issue? Or is this efficient in some way?
Brenda Platt: Our policies, the investment is flowing and privileging large industrial sites that want everything commingled. If you do have packaged food, it’s going to systems that maybe meet some standards on the efficiency of their systems for repackaging. There’s a wide variety of companies out there and some do a better job than others. And we could be setting some of those standards a little higher or working towards higher standards and improving the technology. But this notion that we can’t keep things local and keep these assets and materials local is just nonsense.
Luke Gannon: I want to get your insight, Brenda onto, why is it BlackRock in particular that you find problematic in its investment in Vanguard renewables?
Brenda Platt: Well, interestingly enough, I wasn’t keyed into BlackRock. It was a farmer in Vermont who collects food scraps and compost who was losing market share to these anaerobic digestion companies who’s like, “Yeah, Vanguard’s expanding. And Brenda, do you know it was bought out by BlackRock Real Assets?”
And I was like, “Well, I actually care about that. Let me look into that.” And that’s the real estate and infrastructure investment arm of BlackRock, the big company, which I don’t know if you know, but then I learned it was nominated for the 2022 Corporate Hall of Shame by our friends at Corporate Accountability. And if you look into that award they gave them, they’re very clear in laying out some of the issues. The firm props up the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $260 billion dollars in investments.
So they’re basically propelling in our climate catastrophe. It has nearly $6 billion invested in civilian gun manufacturers and retailers and an astounding $36 billion invested in military weapons companies. So these are the kinds of companies that are now again, driving big waste in this case now called renewable energy, which it is. But when we are talking about we want more renewable energy, we want maybe biogas production, we want clean digestate and soil amendments, what are the systems that we can see? And when you have a technology like anaerobic digestion, that can be farm scale, can be small scale, there’s one small scale anaerobic digestion company has its site next to a tofu manufacturer producing biogas that then fuels that manufacturing facility, that to me is the epitome of local self-reliance right there.
Reggie Rucker: This was very helpful in helping us to understand why, despite anaerobic digestion as a technology, having some potential and having a place, why the pattern of it becoming too large and getting these large investments from a BlackRock and it just sucking up all the oxygen in a way, in this space, why that particular is problematic. And why as we hear these conversations evolving over time for our listeners in particular to be aware not to be fooled by just this shiny new object that promises to deliver everything. So this was a helpful conversation in breaking down a little bit some of the nuances there, but making it very understandable. So thank you so much, Brenda. This is super helpful.
Brenda Platt: And I’ll just say to be clear to something you said, Luke, because we do need to get this material out of landfills and trash incinerators, and so that’s so important, but how we do it also counts too, and there’s more than one option. It’s not landfills or large scale facilities owned by corporate giants. There’s some things in between.
Luke Gannon: A big thanks to the wonderful Brenda Platt for giving us insight into de-packaging, anaerobic digestion, and BlackRock. In the latter half of today’s episode, we are hearing from the executive director of a composting service in New York City. But before we jump in, I’m going to pass it to my co-host who excels at fostering robust, vibrant and dynamic work environments mirroring the vision we hold for neighborhoods and cities across the nation. Over to you, Reggie.
Reggie Rucker: Thank you, Luke. You are way too kind, but I truly appreciate it. So folks, I said this last time and I realized I didn’t stick to it, but I’m really going to keep this break short. You just heard from Brenda really brilliantly break down why this fancy, shiny, big new thing is not going to solve all of our problems. And that nuance and that important distinction between what’s good for some and what’s good for all is what our next guest is going to jump right into. So I want to get you there, but before you do, like I always say, do it now if you’ll forget, pause this episode, find that share button and send this episode with a friend who really likes to engage in thoughtful conversations about building stronger, more vibrant communities. Building these types of conversations and this type of community together is how we will make change and we need you to help us get there. Share this episode and then come right back for the second half. Thank you so much.
Luke Gannon: Now, every episode this season has taught me that oftentimes it’s not what the company is doing, it’s at what scale it is doing it. Bigness is the problem. On the second half of the episode Dior St. Hillaire so beautifully expresses exactly why localizing our economies is a solution. Dior is the executive director of BK ROT, a nonprofit community supported, bike-powered, fossil fuel free waste hauling and composting service in New York City. Today, Dior inspires us as she details her journey, learning about food sovereignty and creating decentralized systems. Here’s Dior.
Dior St. Hillai…: I’m a Bronx native. I was born and raised in the Bronx, lived upstate for a little bit. So I always say that I know the difference and the contrast between the city and the suburbs because I have lived both. My family’s of Caribbean descent, so my family’s from Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and so I came up a lot with Caribbean culture in my upbringing. I would say that I grew up in a very strict household. It’s the West Indian, so that just is what it is. Education was really important and high on the list of responsibilities, keeping the home, things like that. What I was into growing up was really I loved to ride my bike, I loved to draw, actually, I don’t draw like I used to, but that was actually something that I really enjoy doing. And when I hit my teenage years, I started to write.
So I’m also a hip hop MC, so that started in my early teens. I would say life in the city, coming up in the Bronx, there’s many things. You have a good time. There’s talent shows, there’s violence, but there’s also joy sprinkled in there. And I think that even just being able to be outside and run around is different. I don’t know that I would feel comfortable with my daughter doing half the stuff that I did when I was younger in the city now. Maybe we were just crazy to let our kids roam, but I was one of the roamers even though I was with my older brother. So I spent a lot of time with him.
And in the suburbs it was the same, I just was able to explore. Instead of exploring in the city, I was exploring up in the woods, which was completely different. I remember the very first night that we finally slept in the house. Everybody was sleeping in the house and I was up making sure all the doors and windows were locked, because I just knew somebody was going to come and try to murder us. Don’t ask me why, because I just was like, “It’s too dark, it’s too quiet, and it’s very eerie.” And it took me a while to adjust to that lifestyle when you’re coming from so much noise.
Luke Gannon: Dior spent a significant amount of her childhood outdoors, but it wasn’t until she attended a sleepaway camp at the age of 10 that she was introduced to composting.
Dior St. Hillai…: So my mom’s not very nature-based. I shouldn’t say that, my mom’s not really the outdoors kind of person. You’d be lucky if you can even get her to go glamping. So I think that she wanted me to have those skills and have that appreciation. So she sent me to a sleepaway camp, and that’s when I was introduced to compost. Every week each cabin had a different chore. So our cabin, again, this was rotating, so everybody had to do it at some point, but we always knew that when we were done eating our food, we had to go to the buckets that were on the counter and that’s where we would dump our food. We didn’t dump them in trash, we dumped them in these buckets. They were white buckets lined across the entire counter. After we ate, that’s where we put our food.
It wasn’t until it was time for our chores, why I understood why we did that. We had to carry the buckets down to the compost heap and we would dump it, mix it with manure and straw, and leave it and go on about our business. Now, I can’t tell you what my attitude was towards it at the time. Don’t really remember. I just know that this was something very significant and my understanding and awareness of what we did with our food waste at a very early age. It just is a memory that is so vivid in my imagination that I always point to this story when I talk about my introduction to compost. This was my hands-on experience with it. It wasn’t somebody teaching it to me in school. It was literally getting my hands in it.
Luke Gannon: Dior was raised in an artistic family with her mother being a dancer and her stepfather, a musician and a carpenter. Throughout her life, Dior passionately engaged in writing and poetry. However, it was during her college years that she experienced a sudden revelation.
Dior St. Hillai…: Once I got a little bit older, I was in college and I was like, “I got too many soft skills.” I was like, “If the apocalypse came, how am I going to survive? Girl, it’s not going to be on spreadsheets and being able to do operations. What can you do with your hands?” So I was like, “I’m going to take more farming courses.” So I did agribusiness, I studied agribusiness and took a library course in my senior year in undergrad. And then I learned about BUGs, which is Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Conference. And I went to the conference and I was like, “Okay, great.” Then I went to the botanical garden. What I always tell people, they’re like, “How did you get here?” I’m like, “I followed my curiosity.” Literally every time I had a question about something, I figured out where the resources were, who are the people who knew more about it than me, I asked questions. I immersed myself in the spaces, and life continues to move.
Luke Gannon: Dior enrolled in the Grow More Veggies course, completed a master composter program, volunteered with community gardens and pursued farm apprenticeships. However, throughout all her experiences in these courses and roles, Dior couldn’t shake a disconnect between the places she was working for and her own philosophy.
Dior St. Hillai…: I always felt like we were talking a lot about farm to table, but not table back to farm. And so for me, I felt like there was a really big gap, and that’s what I just chose to focus my energy on. So I stepped away from farming a little bit and started focusing a whole lot more on composting. So I was like, “Well, this is a big disconnect.” I was like, “How are we so excited to go to farmer’s markets and get our food if we put it in the trash?” I was like, “This just don’t make no sense to me.” It just doesn’t make any sense. I think part of my curiosity, but also part of my grievance was, “I am going to put more of my energy here,” and so forth I began my composting journey again, also just visiting different sites, learning from different people.
Luke Gannon: In 2018, Dior embarked on her journey by founding her own composting cooperative in the Bronx. Around the same time she began to discover BK ROT. Through a series of conversations and connections, she pursued the role of executive director alongside Nora Joseph. Now she’s able to engage, learn, and teach how composting is both restoring the environment and the people.
Dior St. Hillai…: Compost means community so move as one unit. We all have a part to play, interdependence is the movement, and that’s what I feel with compost. I feel like it just brings people together in ways that you never could imagine. I had a workday the other day, and it was literally from young child to grandparent as far as age was concerned, and that was just so special to me to spend time like that in that particular way. And I think compost has such the capacity to transform many, many, many different things, even things that you didn’t think were connected to compost.
I have a very social justice oriented lens when I’m talking about these things because we’re talking about environmental justice communities and waste inequity and environmental racism, and why are we in this situation in the first place and what do we do in order to talk about what a just transition is and what restitution looks like? So that’s really big for us at BK ROT, and it’s really big out here in the Bronx as well because we’re talking about, these are communities that have to feel the effects of inequitable waste practices. And obviously when I’m composting, that is a form of waste management that isn’t, I guess, traditional because when we think about waste management, we’re thinking about landfills and maybe recycling facilities. But my work grounds me.
Luke Gannon: The majority of individuals working in composting, whether in hauling or processing, share a profound concern for the wellbeing of their communities and the planet. Despite their unwavering dedication and efforts, they continue to grapple with the influence of corporate bigness. As Brenda previously mentioned, BlackRock’s acquisition of Vanguard Renewables has brought about significant expansion within the anaerobic digestion industry. Dior perceives her own work and Vanguard Renewables as two different worlds.
Dior St. Hillai…: I get really frustrated when people try to compare the two. So one of the things that I’ll say is that obviously this is something that we’re dealing with in New York City as it’s now mandatory in order to separate food scraps and to collect them. And what we’re seeing is, okay, a lot of it is already going to the anaerobic digester, it’s not being composted. We’ve lost a significant amount of clients at BK ROT with the city having brought this in. Now, my reaction is absolutely going to again, stay in this justice focused lens. We need more decentralized systems. All anaerobic digestion does is aggregate and centralize yet another system, and that’s not what we need. And to be quite honest, I think it has its place and its role. And I’m not anti-AD, but I also believe that we cannot ignore and phase out composters because this feels easier.
If we are to, as a society, really grapple with a lot of the challenges that we have with access to food, with how we deal with food waste, with how we’re wasting food, these are all things that come in conversation. I always argue that with composting and community composting, you’re always going to get people who learn more about systems in their own habits and connect with them a whole lot more than literally just sending everything to AD. First of all, you need to get people to separate it in the first place. That’s number one. Just because you have a system to deal with it, what’s going to actually make people want to do it, want to get involved? Your method of doing it, and this is just my opinion in that I stand strong on this, the bureaucratic way of addressing this isn’t going to get us anywhere.
We already have difficulty with recycling in and of itself. When I say compost means community, I mean it. There are so many people that have even told us that they love coming to the drop-offs because it allows them to talk with other people in their neighborhood, to meet other people that they haven’t known before. It allows them that opportunity to be able to even talk about composting and why they love it, why they’re doing it, connecting with neighbors. These are things that are important to build a community. You don’t know what resources can be shared. You don’t know what resources you’re taking out of a community when you do things like this.
So I always push back against Big AD because again, it’s yet another system that is meant to make people feel like, “Oh, there’s this great solution,” and then it ignores all of the other ones that have literally come from the community that have had to build these movements as a form of resistance. And then you come and you just step on it because now you have the resources, you have the funding, you have access to the land, which by the way is stolen. So all of these things are implications where we’re trying to bring back an ancestral way of doing something. And I always say compost is really just like the commodification of a thing that is already being done. Compost is just human assisted decomposition. It’s going to happen whether we help it or not.
So it’s not this big fancy thing that anybody has invented, and it’s actually a very indigenous and ancestral practice to give reverence to the land the land gives to you when you give back to the land. That is just an understanding that natives have with their built environment. And so for me, I feel like as we are clawing to get back to that, as human beings, as we are literally trying to figure out how to give that back to us, to ourselves, and to our children, to our community members, we have larger organizations that, again, it’s always just business as usual and they could care less. I think it really just needs to be less of a competition and more collaboration anytime I hear about AD taking over these kinds of systems.
Luke Gannon: Giant corporations are extracting profit from communities, operating from a distant vantage point and lacking a true understanding of the community’s actual needs. Dior envisions a distinct community-centric future for New York.
Dior St. Hillai…: The biggest dream I have around composting specific to New York City, even in New York state, my vision is that we create the systems that allow us to process the food scraps locally. I think that we do too much. First of all, we export a lot of our waste outside of New York City anyway as a whole, and that’s a problem. I want to see all types of systems being utilized locally, but also serve as educational spots where young folks can come in and want to be scientists, that they get their hands on this stuff. It was me getting my hands on it when I was younger that allowed me to have some kind of respect for it. And I think that we need to be able to display, there should be way more demo spaces of what composting looks like and all of the different types of ways that we can support decomposition.
And so yeah, I think for me, what it looks like is, I’m going to say increasing local processing capacity, which that means for me, every community board, every block has something. Something that is supporting handling these food scraps locally and not exporting them outside of the city. I want to see where food is being eaten, cooked, prepared, that not that far away it’s being turned into compost or something else. And then we have another food distribution network. I just want to see us working better with farmers and to utilize land and space within the state and bringing the economy back into our neighborhoods. Because if we’re able to create jobs off of this, that means that we’re able to increase our local economy as well. The use of landfills and needing to have such a disposable culture, but really just having people come back into this really cyclical and circular way of thinking and that that is actually exemplified in our local environment.
Luke Gannon: Dior recommended one of my all time favorite reads,
Dior St. Hillai…: The Alchemist. I think that that book was so inspirational for me as far as transmuting energy, and that’s what composting is for me. It’s literally the transportation of energy. You can put words, phrases, whatever into the compost pile in order to try to inspire something. Like we are such energetic frequencies as humans, and we don’t give enough power to it. And I think that compost is a great example of those energies. This is God’s works, really. You got to just call it what it is. This is why it’s difficult for people to value it as paid work and paid labor.
But at the end of the day, this work is work that if it chooses you or you choose it, we don’t do it for the glitz and the glamour. We do it because it’s necessary work. We do it because the next young person is able to look at us and see themselves. And I think if anybody really wants to get into this work, connect with this work, they have to trust the village, but they also have to be willing to endure. So The Alchemist was a book that when I read it, I was like, “Man, I could really turn energy into something else,” and that was powerful for me. And that’s what I see when I see composting.
Luke Gannon: Dior is one of those storytellers that I could listen to over and over again and learn something new every time. This is a reminder to myself and all of our listeners to go get your hands in some compost. If you’ve never held compost before, I recommend finding a local community composter and dipping your hands into the warm matter. You can feel its energy. A huge thanks to Dior St. Hillaire and Brenda Platt for joining us on the show today.
Reggie Rucker: Yes, thank you both, and thanks to all of you for listening all the way to the end. I assume that means you liked this episode, so please share with even just one person you think will enjoy it too. We have a goal of 10,000 listens for this episode. Help us get there. And if you’re not a subscriber to the podcast yet, make sure to hit that subscribe button so you know when every new episode drops. And of course, your donations are essential to help us keep this podcast going and support the research and resources that we make available on our website for free. We truly welcome and appreciate it all.
And last, if you have feedback for us or wanted to share a story about how your community approaches this issue, send us an email to We’d love to share these on a special mailbag episode one day. We’ll keep an eye out. This show is produced by Luke Gannon and me, Reggie Rucker. This podcast is edited by Luke Gannon and andrew Frank. The music for the season is also composed by Andrew Frank. Thank you so much for listening to Building Local Power.

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Podcast produced by Reggie Rucker and Luke Gannon

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