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Improving Labor Relations in Jamestown

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines about how cross-sector collaboration was used to create Jamestown Area Labor Management Committee (JALMC) to improve labor relations in Jamestown, New York.

From the Intersector Project

Shortly after Stan Lundine took office as mayor of Jamestown in 1970, the city’s unemployment rate had reached 10.2 percent – over twice the national average. In 1971, nearly 1,000 workers were unemployed and an additional 2,800 jobs were in jeopardy as the largest company in town closed their doors. The contentious relationship between local unions and businesses had further damaged Jamestown’s reputation as an attractive place for manufacturers, driving away new businesses that may have otherwise invested in the city and revitalized its suffering economy. Drawing on all of his available resources – from his personal network and reputation in Jamestown, to his political leadership and ability to secure federal funding – Stan developed the Jamestown Area Labor Management Committee (JALMC) as a way to mediate labor disputes. With the additional leadership of John Eldred, a consultant who understood the dynamics of factories and labor relations, the JALMC’s programs expanded into individual plants, focusing on worker engagement, skills development, and programs to increase productivity. The success of the JALMC model not only improved working conditions in Jamestown, but also attracted new investments from national manufacturers. Within three years of the JALMC’s launch, unemployment in Jamestown had dropped to 4.2 percent, and new incentives had increased worker productivity and quality of work-life.IP_Jamestown (more…)

Protecting Essential Infrastructure in Alaska

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project about how cross-sector collaboration was used to create the Alaska Partnership for Infrastructure Protection (APIP) to protect essential infrastructure in Alaska.

From the Intersector Project

Alaska’s vast size, sparse population, and difficult terrain makes communication and transportation across the state a challenge. Its regional isolation also leaves many Alaskans dependent on limited supply chains for crucial commodities. As a result of growing concerns over potentially hazardous disruptions to Alaska’s critical infrastructure, whether man-made or natural, the State of Alaska, Department of Defense, and several private sector organizations set out to develop a central, cross-sector mechanism to gather, analyze, and disseminate critical infrastructure information during periods of vulnerability or threat. These efforts resulted in the formation of the Alaska Partnership for Infrastructure Protection (APIP) in 2004. The mission of APIP is to protect infrastructure essential to all Alaskans by improving collaboration and interoperability between the public, private, and non-profit sectors. With the support of leaders like John Madden, Director of the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management for the State of Alaska, APIP continues this integrated team approach to addressing hazards through extensive information sharing, continuity of operations planning, and complex threat scenario exercises. Recognized across the nation, APIP’s Alaska Shield exercise program received acknowledgment from FEMA as the nation’s 2014 Capstone Exercise for securing a more resilient nation.



Read the Room for Real

Read the Room for Real: How a Simple Technology Creates Better Meetings (2015) by David Campt and Matthew Freeman is a 98-page book intended for facilitators, presenters, conference planners, or anyone who is curious about how to use increasingly accessible audience polling technology to improve meetings.

Read the RoomCampt and Freeman have a deep background in facilitating dialogues about difficult diversity issues and as well as refining dialogic processes on all matter of topics for very small to very large groups of people.

From the DWC Group…

Read the Room for Real answers these questions:

  • In my speeches and trainings, how can I make sure my my audience is with me?
  • In my conferences, how can I make sure the attendees feel connected to each other?
  • In my workshops, how can make sure that the group is using all of is brainpower?
  • In the meetings I pay for, how can I make sure that my organization gets information it can use, not just a big bill for an experience that participants may or may not not remember?


Building a Neighborhood of Economic Opportunity in Atlanta

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines how cross-sector collaboration was used to transform the East Lake Meadows community in Atlanta, Georgia.

From the Intersector Project

In 1995, in the East Lake Meadows public housing complex located four miles from downtown Atlanta, only four percent of residents earned incomes above the poverty line. The unemployment rate was 86.5 percent, and the neighborhood was home to a multi-million dollar drug trade with a crime rate 18 times higher than the national average. Less than 10 percent of children attending the neighborhood elementary school met basic proficiency standards in math by fifth grade. In 1993, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) a $35 million grant to renovate the crumbling housing stock of East Lake Meadows. Renee Glover, who had recently joined AHA as President, realized that merely renovating housing would not create a safer, more prosperous community. Concurrently, Tom Cousins, Founder of Cousins Properties, Inc., formed the East Lake Foundation to support and lead an integrated and holistic community approach which would provide mixed income housing, cradle-to-college education, and community wellness resources through public and private partnerships. Along with Carol Naughton, a real estate attorney for AHA, and Greg Giornelli, the Executive Director of the East Lake Foundation, and neighborhood residents, Tom and Renee catalyzed a collaborative effort to transform East Lake Meadows. This model and its success led to the development of Purpose Built Communities – a national network that redevelops distressed communities in cities throughout the United States.



Strategies to Take Action and Build Trust Between the Community and Police

Strategies to Take Action and Build Trust Between the Community and Police (2014), from Everyday Democracy puts forth four strategies for positive community change from 25 years of experience with community-police relation dialogues.

From Everyday Democracy

1. Join with other who want to create change on this issue.
Community change happens when we all work together.  Join others already working toward change on this issue, or start a new group to organize community dialogue and action on community-police relations. Check out stories from South Bronx, N.Y.,Stratford, Conn., and Lynchburg, Va., to see what’s possible when communities come together after a tragic incident involving a community member and police officer. As you join with others, think about how you can:

  • Include all voices in the community, especially those who have been marginalized or excluded. Think about the neighborhoods, racial/ethnic groups, people with various viewpoints, and people who work in specific sectors who may be affected by this issue; invite them to take part in community conversations and action steps. Community conversation and action work best when people from all parts of the community come together.
  • Involve local officials and members of the police community. Having these groups take part in the conversation and action steps will begin to open a different form of communication between police and residents
  • Involve young people. The disconnect between police and the community is particularly wide between police and young people, especially youth of color. That’s why it’s essential for young people be involved from the beginning both in decision-making and implementation of change.
  • Work with bridge-building organizations and leaders in your community. Find local organizations and people to partner with who have trusting relationships with both the police department and community members.


How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The National Issues Forums Institute published the Issue Guide, How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need?, in April 2015. This guide is to help facilitate deliberation on the issues around the entire US healthcare system.

NIFI_HealthcareCostsFrom the guide…

Americans have good reason to worry about the high costs of health care. Medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Nationally, health care spending threatens the nation’s long-term solvency. We urgently need to find ways to make our health care system financially sustainable.

Health Care: How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care we Need? clarifies this difficult challenge and offers three options to address issues through changes in the way hospitals and doctors function, end of life care, unhealthy lifestyles, smoking habits, employee wellness, health insurance, childbirth procedures, the pharmaceutical industry and reforms in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. It’s a balanced, open-minded look at the entire healthcare system—one that moves the discussion beyond the current political debate.

The Issue Guide presents three options for deliberation: (more…)

Retrofitting Homes for Energy Efficiency in Portland

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines how Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability used cross-sector collaboration to address the need to retrofit homes for increased energy efficiency.

From the Intersector Project

An estimated 40 percent of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States comes from energy used in homes. In Portland, Oregon, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability wanted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city while bettering the economic and social development of local residents and businesses. In 2009, stakeholders came together to draft a plan designed to provide energy upgrades to 500 Portland homes and cut energy consumption by 10 to 30 percent using an innovating financing model to eliminate the upfront costs that deterred homeowners from pursuing environmentally-friendly energy retrofits. Led by Derek Smith, a sustainability expert with a record of working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, collaborators came together to create Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP), an innovative program that used a revolving loan to finance upgrades, working with local contractors to add high-quality jobs to the economy which resulted in a reduction of twenty percent or greater energy consumption in most participating homes.



Reducing the Risks of Catastrophic Wildfires in Flagstaff

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines how a cross-sector collaboration partnership created the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) to reduce the risks of wildfires in Flagstaff, Arizona.

From the Intersector Project

Years of extensive wildland fire suppression in the Southwest has left many forests with unnaturally high levels of forest fuels, like dense undergrowth and thick litter fall. This has changed the natural fire ecology from low, fast-burning wildfires, to much larger crown fires that kill trees and undermine landscape integrity. In 2010, a wildfire and subsequent flooding on the east side of the San Francisco Peaks, just north of Flagstaff, Arizona, caused over $150 million in combined suppression and recovery. A similar wildfire in either of the two Flagstaff watersheds could potentially flood much of downtown and/or disrupt 50 percent of the city’s water supply, resulting in significant long-term financial and life-style impacts within the community. Recognizing the need for preventative action, a partnership between the city, county, state, and federal governments, with support from local non-profit and for-profit organizations, has resulted in the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP). With Flagstaff Wildland Fire Management Officer Paul Summerfelt coordinating FWPP activities, FWPP plans to mitigate the risk of potentially devastating wildfires in Flagstaff’s critical watershed areas by managing forest fuels and restoring natural ecosystem functions. This will include thinning out dense forests and reintroducing a low-intensity fire regime. To fund FWPP, Flagstaff passed a $10 million municipal bond with 74 percent approval rate, making FWPP the only forest restoration work on National Forests funded through municipal bonds.

IP_Flagstaff (more…)

What is Public Engagement and Why Do It? (ILG)

This five-page tip sheet guide from Institute for Local GovernmentWhat is Public Engagement and Why Should I Do It? (2015), has two major sections: part 1 puts forth public engagement terms to help local officials find which approach “fits” best and part 2 gives benefits of engaging the public. Download the PDF for free here.

From the guide…

ILG_PE and WhyWhat is Public Engagement?

Six definitions are given for public officials to better understand which approach is the most appropriate to use: civic engagement, public engagement, public information/outreach, public consultation, public participation/deliberation, and sustained public problem solving.

Why Engage the Public?

  • better identification of the public’s values, ideas and recommendations
  • more informed residents- about issues and about local agencies
  • improved local agency decision-making and actions, with better impacts and outcomes
  • more community buy-in and support, with less contentiousness
  • more civil discussions and decision making
  • faster project implementation with less need to revisit again
  • more trust in each other and in local government
  • higher rates of community participation and leadership development


Reforestation of Parks in Seattle

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines how the City of Seattle used cross-sector collaboration to establish the Green Seattle Partnership to  help reforest the city parks in Seattle, Washington.

From the Intersector Project

In 1994 the City of Seattle and the Parks Department began to notice something wrong with trees in city parks. Research found that Seattle’s 2,500 acres of forested city parks were at risk from invasive plants such as English Ivy, Himalayan blackberry and bindweed. In 2004, experts projected that within 20 years about 70 percent of Seattle’s forested parkland trees would be dead. Previously, park-goers removed invasive species on their own, while non-profit and government organizations likewise worked independently. Rather than helping the problem, however, these piecemeal efforts placed an undue strain on the city’s existing resources. In order to save the parks, a shared effort between community members, experts in forestry, and the departments that held park resources was necessary. In 2004, the Green Seattle Partnership was formed, with the aim of arming citizens to help the city’s trees in partnership with the Department of Parks, Public Utilities and the Office of Sustainability and Environment. Under the leadership of Mark Mead, Senior Urban Forester, the Partnership created a 20-year strategic plan to sustain Seattle’s forested parks. Green Seattle Partnership is now the largest urban forest restoration project in the country. Mark’s use of agents across all sectors connected to the issue, and mobilizing community members to volunteer 500,000 hours by 2013 to the reforestation program, have put the Green Seattle Partnership in place to achieve their goal of planting 500,000 new trees by 2025.

IP_Seattle (more…)