September Newsletter
Dear Thrive Community, 

We feel indebted to those who generously share their knowledge and expertise to make our coalition strong.

Just two weeks ago, we heard from a strong panel of women leaders in the policy and advocacy arena. Here is some of the wisdom they shared:

  • Democracy works when all segments of the population - not just a few - are engaged.
  • The power of the coalition is not the coalition itself, but the ability to mobilize other people.
  • You can engage in a range of advocacy efforts, from communicating general policy priorities to advocating for specific legislative, administrative, and judicial actions.
  • Enter into cross-sector dialogue without preconceived notions to move important work forward. Don't just work with the people you agree with - it's ineffective.

Special thanks to Melissa, Jan, Connie, and Rebecca for this powerful conversation with our members.

Thriving Together, 
Georgia Antonopoulos, Executive Director
Petra Silton, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator

P.S. For those who missed the event and this opening panel, you can view pictures and access presentation links at the end of this newsletter.
Children & Education TAG
Anchored by Heather Cleary, CEO, Peninsula Family Service
Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Special Guest Maeve Johnston , Management Analyst with the San Mateo County Health System, will speak about Community Collaboration for Children’s Success , a multi-agency initiative focused in four San Mateo County neighborhoods: North Fair Oaks, South San Francisco, East Palo Alto and Daly City. Through a planning and engagement process, CCCS is engaging young people, their families, residents and stakeholders to help identify assets, barriers to success and strategies to support youth success.

Working Towards a Policy Agenda
We had a diverse group of stakeholders and engaging discussion about our issues and priorities at August 28th's Cross-Sector Movement Building exercise. This is what came out of our breakout session:

Priorities
  • Working towards universal access to affordable, quality early learning
  • Preschool and family engagement programs linked to quality inclusive K-12 school systems

Administrative Advocacy Efforts
  • Advocating to make our TAG priorities part of SMC’s legislative priorities
  • Working to improve communication between systems including family engagement
  • Reinforcing of the Children’s Bill of Rights

Immigrant & Worker's Rights
Anchored by M. Stacey Hawver, Executive Director,  Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Focus Areas

We had a diverse group of stakeholders and engaging discussion about our issues and priorities on August 28th's Cross-Sector Movement Building event. Our proposed priority areas for the coming year are:

  • Weighing in on anticipated public charge regulations and the role of community agencies in gathering stories and providing comments
  • Civic engagement through voting
  • Census 2020
  • Access to services

Administrative Advocacy Efforts
  • Reducing barriers facing immigrants trying to apply for public benefits
  • Working with the County Elections Office and other CBOs on voting
  • Working with the County and other CBOs on Census efforts

At our next meeting, we will continue to refine these areas.

Next meeting: Tuesday, September 18, 9:00 - 10:00 am

Environment & Sustainability 
In Cooperation with  Sustainable San Mateo County
Focus Areas:

We had a diverse group of stakeholders and engaging discussion about our issues and priorities on August 28th's Cross-Sector Movement Building event. Our proposed priority area for the coming year is: Engaging more stakeholders in addressing climate change / sea level rise.

We discussed a variety of strategies to achieve this goal. Our draft proposed strategies and activities are as follows:

  • Connecting nonprofits with the County and City Offices of Sustainability
  • Connecting environment and sustainability nonprofits with other nonprofits for action and advocacy
  • Getting more people and resources focused on the issue

We will explore this topic further through our upcoming guest speaker.

Tuesday, September 18, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Special Guest Kimi Narita , Deputy Director, City Energy Project and a leader of the American Cities Climate Challenge at Natural Resources Defence Council . Kimi will provide a survey of local climate action strategies that NRDC is seeing across US cities and share best practices. There will be ample time for questions and answers as well as discussion of local strategies.

Basic Services & Safety Net
Anchored by Bart Charlow, CEO,  Samaritan House
Focus Areas

We had a diverse group of stakeholders and engaging discussion about our issues and priorities on August 28th's Cross-Sector Movement Building event. The priority areas we discussed are as follows:

  • Emphasis on staffing issues for nonprofits: housing and wages need to be better in order to retain good employees
  • Advocating to make our TAG priorities part of SMC’s legislative priorities
  • Creating stronger lines of communication with the Board of Supervisors and the County Manager, specifically about the real costs of providing services
  • Advocate for housing solutions that benefit both employees and clients

We will continue to refine these priority areas in the coming month.

Special Convening Wednesday, September 26, 11:00 am -1:00 pm

T hrive and the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits will bring together safety net agencies of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to discuss how to strengthen the work in emergency assistance and safety net services and broaden the understanding of regional issues that affect vulnerable and underserved populations.

The first of these special meetings will be held on Wed. Sept. 26 at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood Shores, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. The second will be on Thurs. Sept. 8 in San Jose, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm.

There will be plenty of opportunities to connect and network with nonprofit and community leaders, learn from each other, and discuss best practices, advocacy strategies, housing efforts, challenges, and successes.

Arts & Culture
Facilitated by Georgia Antonopoulos, Executive Director, Thrive
Monday, October 1, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

We had a diverse group of stakeholders and engaging discussion about our issues and priorities on August 28th's Cross-Sector Movement Building event. Our proposed priority area for the coming year is: Creating a collective voice for the arts in San Mateo County.

We discussed a variety of strategies to achieve this goal. Our draft proposed strategies and activities are as follows:

  • Understand and communicate needs of arts nonprofits
  • Build on prior year's work on nonprofit displacement
  • Support and bolster Arts Commission
  • Advocate for increased arts funding
  • Host an Arts Summit for the region
  • Explore creation of a new Arts District

Next meeting, we will continue the conversation and prioritize this list of proposed strategies and activities. We will continue to refine our focus into a policy and advocacy agenda.

Upcoming TAGs Meeting Schedule
NOTE DATE CHANGES!
Click links for more details and to register
Wed, Sept 12, Oct 10, Nov 14, Dec 12. 9:00 - 10:00 am

Tues, Sept 18, Oct 16, Nov 13; Wed, Dec. 19. 9:00 - 10:00 am

Tues, Sept 18; Wed, Oct 17; Tues, Nov 13; Wed, Dec 19. 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Joint meetings with Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits: Wed, Sept 26, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm; Thurs, Nov 8,11:30 am-1:30 pm, San Jose; regular meeting Nov 28, 9:00 - 10:00 am

Mon, Oct 1, Nov 5, Dec 3. 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: Sobrato Center for Nonprofits - Redwood Shores
Immigrant Resources
We continue to be concerned about the Census, particularly with the effects of the citizenship question and the likelihood of a severe undercount. Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus has prepared this Legal Memo to inform us based on what is currently known. CalNonprofits has explained at a hearing in the CA State Legislature that nonprofits are the key to reaching hard-to-count people and should be supported. More details here .
California Complete Counts has put out this Request For Infomation (RFI). " The purpose of this RFI is to gather new and innovative ideas from Community Based Organizations capable of reaching hard-to-count populations. The California Census Office is well aware of traditional outreach methods used in previous census efforts. The goal of this RFI is to solicit new thinking that builds on that foundation, especially in light of the federal census using an on-line self-response tool and investing limited resources." The cover letter explains the details. It is due September 14, 2018.
Voter's Choice
Voter's Choice Act Education and Outreach Advisory Committee (VEOAC)
The VEOAC, co-chaired by Thrive, is continuing to work with the Elections Office on materials, advertising, website, and outreach events. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please come to our meetings or contact  Petra.

Next Meetings: Sept 13 & Sept 26, 10-11:30 am

get the word out about our new voting system
More Days, More Ways TO VOTE

*Vote by mail
If you are a registered voter you will receive a postage-paid ballot in the mail. Fill it out, sign it, and put it in the mailbox.

*Put your ballot in a drop box
These will be located throughout the County. 

*Vote at a Vote Center  (this replaces your traditional polling place)
Vote Centers will have language assistance, disability assistance, drop boxes, regular voting, voter registration.

You can register to vote and vote up to and including election day!

Vote centers will be open between 4-30 days before and including Election Day. All 39 vote centers will be open the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in addition to election Tuesday. Vote early to avoid lines!


Information about Vote Center Days and Hours, Drop Box Locations,
and to Register to Vote
Resources for Voting
 If you have any questions about voting rights, please refer to  this summary  created by Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Do you want a presentation for your staff or clients about the new system of voting? Email   Petra
  Secretary of State Voter’s Choice Act Task Force’s
“Preparing for November 2018” Workshop

Thrive attended the Secretary of State's workshop in Sacramento to hear from other counties that implemented the VCA and to share best practices. First, we heard a VCA Initial Analysis by David Becker of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. In our breakout sessions, we compared how the outreach and elections were carried out in each county. For details on what we learned, read the debrief notes .
Cross-Sector Movement Building:
Policy Agendas as Roadmaps for Change
Thrive brought together nonprofit, public sector, and corporate leaders for a forum to build on the prior year's organizing activities of our Thrive Action Groups (TAGs). At this forum, we began creating policy and advocacy agendas for each of Thrive's five key issue areas. The overarching goal of the event was to provide roadmaps for key activities for TAGs to undertake to address the most pressing issues that affect local communities and how to coordinate this important work.

A special thank you to our esteemed panelists and speakers for sharing how they engage in policy and advocacy work in their respective roles:

  • Connie Juarez-Diroll, Legislative Officer, County of San Mateo
  • Jan Masaoka, CEO, CalNonprofits
  • Rebecca Prozan, Head of Public Affairs, California, Google
  • Melissa Breach, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of California
  • William White, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, United Way Bay Area
  • Megan Joseph, Executive Director, Rise Together

We all learned so much and were inspired by their work in the field. We are grateful for all the work they do in the policy arena to improve the quality of life in our communities.

The results of these conversations and corresponding advocacy goals will be presented next month - stay tuned as these action plans come to life!
Copies of the presentations and other resources are available below:


Contact Thrive with your ideas or questions!
 Petra Silton , Thrive Policy & Advocacy Coordinator
Thrive Alliance | 650-654-7993 | ThriveAlliance.org