To our stakeholders,
How do you sum up 2020 in a report?
It was a year that was marked by enormous challenges, uncertainty, fear, pain, and, most importantly—hope. The world changed last year and, collectively, we took a big leap into the future. The inevitability of outcomes was questioned. Big, unfair systems are on the table. And the idea that these systems have been designed, are working as designed, and are long overdue for a redesign was at the center of the culture.
The housing system is unfair, and it is deeply broken. Displacement, housing insecurity, homelessness, and gentrification have exacted a huge toll on Echo Park (and neighborhoods like it all over the country). These issues are a microcosm of a society that has advantaged some at the expense of everyone else.
At the same time, 2020 marked a high point for our connection with our neighbors and the social power and importance of the neighborhood. Mutual aid groups sprung up, community fridges appeared, people got to know their neighbors, pods were formed. All of this has affirmed our belief that the neighborhood is the key to lasting change.
At Nico, our work is just beginning. We are building a future where everyone within a neighborhood has the opportunity to build wealth, agency, and to put down roots. Renting should not be second fiddle to homeownership. And social and environmental outcomes should be prioritized alongside financial outcomes.
This is our first Neighborhood Impact Report. It is an attempt to account for our social and environmental impact and to reflect on our key learnings. It should be read alongside our public filings, which emphasize our financial results.
Thank you for taking the time to read this report. We welcome all feedback and you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Max Levine, CEO