Common Good Collective


This Reader is an expression of Common Good Collective, a vision for an alternative way, rooted in the act of eliminating economic isolation, the significance of place, and the structure of belonging. Whether you come at this from a place of economics, social good, or faith, we hope these reflections help orient your day in fresh, provocative, courageous ways. And most importantly, we hope these lead you into the sharing of gifts in particular communities—into co-creating a common good.

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A Hymn to the Evening

In “Hymn to the Evening,” the legendary Phillis Wheatley writes, “Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind….” So may it be, in the chaos of our world, that we rest deeply, and upon rising, work well together.


A Hymn to the Evening
by Phillis Wheatley

Soon as the sun forsook the eastern main
The pealing thunder shook the heav’nly plain;
Majestic grandeur! From the zephyr’s wing,
Exhales the incense of the blooming spring.
Soft purl the streams, the birds renew their notes,
And through the air their mingled music floats.
Through all the heav’ns what beauteous dies are spread!
But the west glories in the deepest red:
So may our breasts with ev’ry virtue glow,
The living temples of our God below!
Fill’d with the praise of him who gives the light,
And draws the sable curtains of the night,
Let placid slumbers sooth each weary mind,
At morn to wake more heav’nly, more refin’d;
So shall the labours of the day begin
More pure, more guarded from the snares of sin.
Night’s leaden sceptre seals my drowsy eyes,
Then cease, my song, till fair Aurora rise.

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Restauranteurs, Voters, Win At The Polls

Chef Isaac Toups joined WCK’s Relief Team in New Orleans to help with our #ChefsForThePolls initiative. He prepared 300 chicken salad sandwiches for distribution near the City Hall polling location.

Every community problem has a community solution. In a highly anticipated election, long lines and long hours for poll workers are a potential problem. The solution: feed the people! Restaurants, star chefs, and communities around the country are pitching in to take care of voters and the volunteers and staff who make our elections work.

Across the country, initiatives from big names like José Andrés and Uber Eats have promised free food to poll workers and voters waiting on long lines.

Everyone knows that a presidential election is right around the corner. But more so than previous years, a big unknown is what to expect at the polls this year. Between a global pandemic and a historically contentious atmosphere, wait times are expected to be high, as will irritability. So across the country, initiatives are popping up to help offer comfort the old-fashioned way—with food.

One large effort, announced today, comes courtesy of Uber Eats and perennial voter-feeding non-profit Pizza to the Polls. Together, they’ll be sending out a fleet of over 180 food trucks to 25 cities, offering free food from their partners like Shake Shack and Milk Bar to citizens stuck in voting lines. The program is set to start on October 24—aka Vote Early Day—and run through Election Day.

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NYC Tailor Goes Mobile with Pushcart

Urbanist Jane Jacobs likened a New York City sidewalk to a complex ballet. Facing the loss of gigs during a pandemic, Makayla Wray started a microbusiness to help costume the dancers. Using her skill as a tailor, she creates and repairs in the East Village, encountering garments and people with fascinating stories along the way.

Call her Tailor Swift.

Makayla Wray, 29, an East Village tailor, works in Chinatown for an upscale designer during the day.

But Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. until dark, she’s a street seamstress working out of an old cart stationed at the corner of East Houston and Mulberry streets.

“In the morning I make runway clothes, then I come in at night to hem the little guys,” she told The Post.

The pandemic has created a throwback economy — and Wray represents an updated version of the old-timey merchants who used to barter and haggle downtown in the early 1900s.

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Voter Registration Efforts Meet Healthcare Centers

A Milwaukee doctor make one simple change in her uniform – she wore a placard with a QR code linking to a voter registration website. This small intervention, connecting the personal and the political, the health of a human with the health of a city, has taken public engagement into a place where inequities consistently show up. In the process, this doctor has taken one small step to make big changes in her community.

This year, there aren’t as many large public events with volunteers signing people up to vote in the weeks before the election, due to the pandemic.

But doctors’ offices are stepping in to fill the void, through programs like VotER and Vote Health 2020, nonpartisan efforts to register patients in free clinics, community centers and emergency rooms.

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