Is Opportunity Knocking: Can Opportunity Zones Aid Distressed Neighborhoods?

Is Opportunity Knocking: Can Opportunity Zones Aid Distressed Neighborhoods?

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Location: Harvard Kennedy School
Speaker(s): Laurel Blatchford, Maria Cabildo, Jeana Dunlop, Chris Herbert

The federal 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act created a new program that is supposed to spur long-term, transformative investments in low-income communities throughout the United States.


With the right regulations and guardrails in place, Opportunity Zones might catalyze inclusive economic growth in some of the nation’s most distressed neighborhoods. However, less ambitious guidelines might instead fuel investment in already gentrifying areas while too ambitious guidelines might further stymie desired improvements. This presentation and panel discussion not only will provide an overview of the Opportunity Zone initiative, with a focus on whether and how the initiative might achieve its backers’ ambitious goals.



Laurel Blatchford, President, Enterprise Community Partners



Maria Cabildo, President, Fireflower Partners; Co-founder, former President and CEO, East L.A. Community Corporation; 2018-2019 Loeb Fellow

Jeana Dunlop, Director of Redevelopment Strategies, Louisville Metro Government; 2018-2019 Loeb Fellow

Chris Herbert, Managing Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

Harvard Kennedy School
Bell Hall, 6:30 pm
Free & open to the public