Elizabeth Reynoso

Elizabeth Reynoso

Elizabeth is Associate Director of Public Sector Innovation. She works on the development of public sector strategies to foster promising public practices and accelerate the uptake of innovation across the country.

Elizabeth leads strategies for several initiatives, including the City Accelerator, Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up (SU3), and formerly the Civic Tech & Data Collaborative. Prior to joining Living Cities in July 2015, she served as the first Food Policy Director for Newark, NJ under then-Mayor Cory Booker. She then continued to serve the city as the Acting Sustainability Director in the Baraka administration. With a background in social justice, economic development, and farming, she developed policies and programs to increase food security for residents. Before joining the City of Newark, Elizabeth managed a $7.3 million Department of Labor Pathways Out of Poverty grant for Goodwill Industries International to provide green jobs training in the solar, construction, and energy-efficiency industries to low-income individuals in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Phoenix, and Washington DC.

After beginning her career in international human rights with Human Rights Watch and living abroad for several years, Elizabeth shifted to focus domestically on criminal justice issues through her media and advocacy work. In the Frontline series The Drug Wars, her team won a Peabody for its 30-year history of US drug policy and its effect on the world economy and US foreign policy. With the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Elizabeth’s on-the-ground work led to a package of prisoner reentry bills passed by the NJ State Legislature in 2010 that was hailed by the New York Times as “a model for the nation.”

Elizabeth Reynoso

Contributing Articles

#WealthInColor: Accessing Albuquerque’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

In the latest #WealthInColor infographic, Living Cities and its local partners offer a visual representation of what exists for entrepreneurs in Albuquerque and what doesn’t, so that ecosystem builders can consider the solutions and connections that can be developed or strengthened. The goal of the Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up [SU(3)] initiative was to ensure that the entrepreneurial ecosystem …

Racial Equity is a Marathon: Honoring Past Labor and the Work to Come

Across the country, we are seeing elected officials and career-long public servants rise to the challenges of COVID19 while centering the needs of their most vulnerable communities. Its important to reflect on their response and acknowledge the hard work that has happened pre-COVID to make an equitable response possible. Across the country, we are seeing elected officials and career-long public …

Ideas and Resources for How Cities Can Attack the COVID-19 Crisis

In Kansas City, MO: “People are coming into our office to start businesses because they don’t believe the companies they work for will make it through the COVID-19 shut down. People are preparing to have something to fall back on or are getting serious about starting their new business venture full-time due to shut downs and layoffs, or not being …

Putting Entrepreneurs of Color in the Center: What Ecosystems and City Government Can Do

Living Cities has been working with eight municipalities that are trying new approaches to address the fragmentation and barriers that founders of color experience in their communities. Like many cities, they recognize their local economy is weakened when their entrepreneurs of color are not able to hire more talent, increase their sales and go after more contracts because of lack …

Building Local Startup Ecosystems That Work for Entrepreneurs of Color

In light of our ImpactAssets50 recognition, we are sharing blog posts, originally posted at Impact Alpha, that highlight the unique values that led the Catalyst and Blended Catalyst Funds to be included in the ImpactAssets 50 among an impressive set of peers in this vibrant and growing field. Additional insights, support and input on this piece from Brian Nagendra. Entrepreneurial hubs around …

Realizing the Potential of Data, Tech and Local Government Collaboration

Today we’re launching a suite of resources based on the lessons of the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, for other communities looking to harness the potential of this type of cross-sector collaboration. Today, we generate and have access to more data than ever before on almost any topic imaginable. And new and powerful technologies help us make sense of and …

The Power of Ecosystems for Problem-Solving

What do biological ecosystems have to do with promoting social change? In our work, using the metaphor of ecosystems has been a powerful tool for taking on complex and evolving problems. Surprising as it may sound, working with people coming home from prison taught me how to better improve our food system. While providing reentry services—job placement, driver’s license restoration, …

Five Cities that are Buying into Equity

New City Accelerator initiative looks to drive inclusive economic opportunity through procurement

Pay for Success: To Invest or Not to Invest? Identifying a Government Champion

Although we were initially drawn to Pay for Success as an innovative way to use capital, we quickly realized that PFS can drive public sector innovation as well. A government champion is critical for driving enduring systems change through PFS transactions. We’ve launched our Pay for Success: To Invest or Not to Invest? series to walk others through how we decide which …

How Cities are Rethinking Summer Jobs

Cities are using new approaches and forging new partnerships to maximize the impact of summer jobs programs for low-income people. This post was originally published on Data Smart Cities in October, 2015. It was later expanded with contributions by Elizabeth Reynoso of Living Cities. As cities are about to launch their 2016 summer jobs programs for youth, local government leaders are …

Contributing Resources

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