Capital Crossroads held its fourth-quarter leadership meeting Wednesday, outlining achievements and progress the group has made in recent months. Here are four things you need to know from the meeting:

1. Teree Caldwell-Johnson, chair of the Director’s Council, announced that a new 501(c)(3) has been created. The One Economy Financial Development Corp. is an arm of One Economy and the Directors Council, and is focused on the creation of a community development financial institution that will have a small-dollar-lending, small business focus. Sammons Financial Group and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines have provided grants and funding for the initiative, which also received $500,000 from Wells Fargo. Caldwell-Johnson said the community development financial institution’s board has come together in recent months, “and they are just knocking it out of the park.”

2. Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa, reported that the recent 21-Day Equity Challenge reached 30,000 participants, well exceeding its goal of 10,000 people. “We have looked at the pre- and post-surveys and we’re seeing that most of the participants saw growth in their knowledge and comfort with these topics, so that was, of course, our goal in doing this.” Buck said the materials contained in the challenge -- more than 150 links -- are still available on the 21-Day Equity Challenge website for people who want to review them, or for those who didn’t participate. The challenge was followed by the virtual Inclusion Summit on Nov. 10, which had more than 800 participants.

3. Angela Connolly of the Polk County Board of Supervisors said the Laurisden Skatepark, being built along the downtown riverfront, is on track to be completed by late spring or early summer 2021. She said it is positioned to become an iconic feature that will draw interest not only from across the country, but also from around the world. “We’ve got one of the largest skateparks in the United States. We’ve had a lot of comments from people already excited, signing up and hoping to have the regional Olympic trials here … and when they can have activities and events around the skate park.” Despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and construction delays, it’s exciting to finally bring it to fruition, Connolly said. “I think it’s going to be not only a quality of life and a game changer, but really put once again Greater Des Moines on the map that we can hold great events, and it's going to be a great economic driver for us also.”

4. The Des Moines Area Transit Authority will launch a reduced fare pilot program in January in response to findings from a transit gap analysis that was recently conducted. “Fifty percent of the respondents indicated that transportation is a big problem for them, and 37% indicated it is too expensive,” said Amanda Wanke, chief operations officer at DART. “So as we’ve been looking at how we can ensure that cost isn’t a barrier to transportation, we have been re-looking at our reduced fare programs and how we can simplify access to them and reduce any barriers." Wanke said the reduced fare pilot program will begin in January and run for six months. DART will be using third-party verification sources, such as eligibility for food assistance programs, job training and proof of employment application. “We are working with Polk County and other partners to continue to get feedback on how this works for our folks who have indicated transportation is a barrier … and ensure they can access transportation,” she said.