“The field of local economy has some great practitioners, great thinkers, and great writers, but rarely can one find all those skills in one person. Anthony Flaccavento is that one-in-a-million talent. We should thank the locavore Gods that he’s on our side.”

Michael Shuman, Author of Local Dollars, Local Sense

Building a broadly based movement for progressive economic change will require new thinking and new connections among a broad base of thinkers and doers, urban and rural voices, and across race and class.  Anthony’s experience and background in four distinct areas enables him to help make many of those linkages:

. Thirty years of on-the-ground experience in designing, testing, building and managing innovative enterprises and initiatives in food and farming, forestry and wood products, place-based economic development, affordable housing and other anti-poverty programs and sustainable development.  While many of these experiences took place in Central Appalachia, Anthony has also worked across the country, in rural communities and urban areas, from Arizona, Kansas and the Arkansas Delta to Harlem, NY and Minneapolis.

. Communications and media experience ranging from articles in small town papers to op-eds and articles in major media outlets, journals and books.  Anthony has considerable experience on radio and TV as well, including appearances on the Thom Hartman program, Melinda Hemmelgarn’s Food Sleuth Radio, Pacifica Radio, PBS Now with David Brancaccio and scores of interviews on local radio, TV and podcast programs.  In addition to his weekly You Tube series, “Take Five with Tony,” Anthony also does a monthly program on WCYB Channel 5 (Bristol, Virginia) focused on the bottom up economy.

. Political experience, including Anthony’s run for US Congress in 2012 in Virginia’s 9th District.  Anthony won the Democratic nomination.  Although he lost the general election, he built a very broad, diverse base of support, especially among working people and farmers in coal communities, as well as liberals and progressives.  Additionally, Anthony has worked with local, state and federal officials for three decades, educating them about emerging, bottom up economy issues and opportunities and often building a base of political support for such economic transitions.  Currently, he is working with national level progressive economic and political organizations to elevate the issues and concerns of working people, practitioners and rural communities.

More than twenty years as a small scale, commercial organic farmer in southwest Virginia.  This experience both informs Anthony’s understanding of food, farming, health and economic issues and also keeps him thoroughly grounded in the realities that farmers and other working folks face every day.