Strong, Respectful Relationships Spice and Spark Success

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 19:45

What excites you about coming to work every day, an interviewer asked me recently. My answer? I get to see people at their very best. Every day, someone walks in our door and they want to do good, and they want us to help them dream bigger, think smarter…to do good better. It’s something that drives me, that excites me each day. And according to an employee survey Community Partners conducted recently, our staff members also reap a measure of job and workplace satisfaction at least in part from the good vibe generated by this outpouring of civic bounty.

Spontaneously polled, several enthusiastic Community Partners staff members recently shared success and accomplishment reports from our fiscally sponsored projects and grantmaker partnershps that made them feel good about their work. Here are a few:

    • Denny Zane and his team at MoveLA held a day-long “transportation conversation,” Attended by about 300 movers and shakers from the transit, development, business, governmental, environmental and social sectors of Los Angeles County, it featured 50 wise and insightful speakers highlighted by keynoter Mayor Eric Garcetti validating and encouraging MoveLA’s work
    • The Dinner Party was featured in Oprah magazine.
    • The Bay Area Book Festival is gearing up for is first event, planned for June 6-7 in Berkeley’s arts district. The first-time festival is bursting at the seams with 300 authors, 100 keynotes, interviews and panels and 25 more special appearances on outdoor stages.
    • Center for Council will train and support prisoners in council circles in at least 10 prisons around the state this year and we’ve been able to streamline a process that efficiently and accurately makes sure training contractors get paid in a timely way.
    • Safe Place for Youth moved into a new building in Venice and will now be able to offer drop-in services for homeless youth five days a week.
    • Eighty College Match seniors (63% of the total students in the program) have been admitted to a Top 20-ranked American college or university, including 47 admission invitations alone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, UC Berkeley and MIT. In addition, 97% were admitted into at least one Top 50 college or university, and 100% were admitted into a four-year institution of higher learning. Moreover, of ten undocumented College Match seniors, all were admitted to at least one top-ranked school and six of those to a Top 20 college or university. All ten will have sufficient financial assistance to attend one of the best colleges in the country.
    • Fair Trade Judaica is collecting donations for Nepal earthquake relief based on their close relationship with village artisans in the region.
    • Friends of Micheltorena School just held a huge Cinco de Mayo festival on campus, complete with dads dressed as zombies!
    • State Senator Tony Mendoza named Lori Tiffany from the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Whittier HEAL Local Partnership Woman of the Year.
    • Wendy Siguenza, from the Hollywood High School Healthy School Partnership (part of our HEAL Zone Initiative with Kaiser), received the California Center for Public Health Advocacy 2014 Emerging Health Leader Award for High School Students.
    • Human Rights Data Analysis Groupjust won a $150,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
    • The project team from Know-The-Glow headed by Megan Webber helped to identify the second little girl in just the past month with eye cancer, thanks to the group’s outreach campaign around identifying particular childhood eye diseases.
    • SoCalCOSHheld its Workers Memorial Week of Action in conjunction with May Day observances. They had a well-attended press conference followed by a march to remember those workers killed, injured, or made sick while on the job and to continue the fight for safer workplaces.
    • California Senior Leaders Alliance just wrapped up their successful Statewide Summit and Advocacy Day in Sacramento with 60 seniors attending who learned about the legislative process, political realities and pending policy choices around Compassionate Choices, the Village movement, and the Coordinated Care Initiative.

Pratichi Shah, CEO of Flourish Talent Management Solutions, the consulting firm we hired to survey our core staff members, noted that the strength of Community Partners reflected in the survey results centered around a culture of high-quality relationships. This leads me to venture that good relationships among closely working colleagues and their supervisors – and especially when project leaders and core staff members share strong, respectful relationships – lead to better results inside an organization and most certainly in the daily routines of its work.

We live to serve the project leaders who go out and “do good better” by facilitating productive change in neighborhoods and human lives every day. The great results they achieve add spark and spice to how Community Partners finance and program folks here at the office feel every day about showing up to support their work.