"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"


Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)



"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster



INTRODUCTION

Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Inside Out Project

Location: International

Website: www.insideoutproject.net/en

On March 2, 2011, JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and called for the creation of a global participatory art project with the potential to change the world.

This project is called INSIDE OUT.
.
Inspired by JR’s large‐format street "pastings", INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

Each INSIDE OUT group action around the world is documented, archived and exhibited online. over 120,000 people from more than 108 countries have participated.

The INSIDE OUT project has traveled from Ecuador to Nepal, from Mexico to Palestine, inspiring group actions on varied themes such as hope, diversity, gender-based violence, climate change.

Sacramento Tree Foundation

Location: Sacramento, CA

Website: www.sactree.com

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to grow healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by building the best regional urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.

The Sacramento Tree Foundation relies on private-public partnerships to enable its success. Our core staff made up of dedicated and passionate individuals work hand-in-hand with a committed Board of Directors, an unmatched Technical Advisory Commitee, and many business and civic partners.

Long Live Southbank!

Location: London, England

Website: www.llsb.com

In early March 2013, The Southbank Centre unveiled designs for a £120 million redevelopment of its Festival Wing that revealed their plan to transform the iconic Southbank undercroft skate park into retail units. The Southbank Centre proposes to relocate the revered and popular skate park further down the river, beneath the Hungerford Bridge and build a new skate facility there.

However, the Southbank undercroft is a treasured space, known as the birthplace of British skateboarding and has been home to skateboarders, BMX riders and graffiti artists for the last 40 years. This makes the Southbank undercroft the oldest recognized and still existing skateboarding space in the world. The Southbank Centre’s proposed redevelopment site contains none of these features, has no history and lacks the unique, dynamic architecture that has made the Southbank undercroft a globally renowned street culture space.

Later in March 2013, in response to the Southbank Centre’s redevelopment and relocation plans, a petition directed towards Boris Johnson on Change.org brought the issue to national attention. The petition is still growing and has already been receiving overwhelming support, having been signed by over 56,000 people, highlighting the undercroft’s cultural importance to skateboarders as well as the rest of the British public.

Born from support of the undercroft, our campaign, Long Live Southbank, is dedicated to protecting the Southbank, as it is in its current form. We encourage this because we believe its cultural and historical status to be irreplaceable and that its unique architecture and the vitality of the thriving undercroft community should be present for future generations.

Long Live Southbank, held a festival at the Southbank undercroft skate park to celebrate its history and showcase the lively and creative ways the undercroft community bring it to life. The event was a success and brought thousands of undercroft users from different eras back to the space to discuss its history and influences on their lives and we saw and heard a stunning display of creative talent that’s emerged from beneath the undercroft. Over that weekend more than 8,000 people signed the petition and became Long Live Southbank members joining our campaign to fight against The South Bank Centre’s redevelopment plans for the skate park.

Long Live Southbank, are now represented by legal firm SJ Berwin, with whom we’re currently launching an application to protect the undercroft as a village green space under the Commons Act 2006, which would declare the undercroft as a registered significant cultural site of great importance which would allow its current form to be preserved and continue its legacy.

Long Live Southbank is committed to the protection of the Southbank undercroft that has given birth to a rare artistic creativity and community, which continues to perpetually flourish.

Join the Long Live Southbank Campaign, support culture over commerce and community over capital in the undercroft.

Long Live Southbank!

Metropitan Policy Program

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.brookings.edu/about/programs/metro

The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings is redefining the challenges facing metropolitan America and identifying assets and promoting innovative solutions to help communities grow in more productive, inclusive, and sustainable ways. They are the heart of the American economy. They are also our hubs of research and innovation, our centers of human capital, and our gateways of trade and immigration. Metropolitan areas drive the economy, and American competitiveness depends on their vitality.

More than ever, this is a national imperative as our global competitors move aggressively down this path — boosting exports, investing in innovation, scaling up clean technology, and embarking on large scale transformative projects. In its fifteen years, the Metro Program has become the nation's go-to organization for chronicling the dynamic demographic, economic, and social forces sweeping our country and interpreting what these forces mean for metropolitan areas. It has worked closely with states and metropolitan areas to design a new metropolitan agenda that matches the pace and intensity of demographic change and economic restructuring. It has partnered with corporate, civic, community, environmental, and political leaders to implement this agenda, either in whole or in part through the enactment of meaningful initiatives and fundamental change.

This includes work in a diverse array of states such as Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and a diverse array of metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. While the Metro Program conducts most of its work outside of the Beltway, it led a successful federally-focused initiative known as the Blueprint for American Prosperity, which promoted an economic agenda for the nation that built on the assets and centrality of its metropolitan areas.

The Blueprint’s research (Metro Nation)and policy ideas (Metro Policy and the Blueprint Policy Series) informed over ten federal initiatives since 2009. Over the past few years, the Metro Program has continued to influence policy and practice across the country.

Anticipating the toll that the Great Recession would take on metropolitan areas and states, as well as the shifts necessary to move from a consumption-oriented economy to a more productive and sustainable economic growth model, the program realigned its research, policy ideas, practice development, and network-building activities in service of the next economy. This is an economy that is fueled by innovation, powered by low carbon, driven by exports, rich with opportunity, and fundamentally metropolitan in form and function.

It will also produce more jobs and better jobs, as well as more accessible jobs and opportunities for more metropolitan residents. It will also build smarter and more sustainable places that embrace demographic change, technological progress, and a better quality of life for all citizens. Led by co-directors and founders Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, the Metro Program helps metropolitan leadership apply the next economy framework by:

- economically empowering metropolitan areas through rigorous trend and empirical research on the top economic, social and demographic issues

- innovating locally through co-designing metropolitan economic development strategies that build on distinct assets,

- advocating nationally by producing state and federal policy ideas and platforms that are in service of metropolitan areas; and,

r- networking globally by linking decision makers to a global network of trading metropolitan areas.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sonoran Institute

Location: Western United States

Website: www.sonoraninstitute.org

The Sonoran Institute inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. The Sonoran Institute contributes to a vision of a West with:

- Healthy landscapes including native plants and wildlife, diverse habitat, open spaces, clean air and water,

– from northern Mexico to western Canada.where people embrace conservation to protect quality of life today and in the future.

- Resilient economies that support prosperous communities, diverse opportunities for residents, productive working landscapes, and stewardship of the natural world.

The nonprofit Sonoran Institute, founded in 1990, works across the rapidly changing West to conserve and restore natural and cultural assets and to promote better management of growth and change. The Institute’s community-based approach emphasizes collaboration, civil dialogue, sound information, local knowledge, practical solutions and big-picture thinking.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

nextSTL

Location: St. Louis, MO

Website: www.nextstl.com

First launched in 2004 as urbanSTL, nextSTL has become the preeminent online hub for those who wanting to know more about the St. Louis community.

The blog has been recognized for feature articles discussing changes and issues critical to the continuing resurgence of the City of Saint Louis and the Metro Area. The forum has emerged as the go-to source for issues current and critical to St. Louis, with more than 2,700 registered users; 7,000 total topics; and more than 176,000 posts. Forum topics have frequently featured breaking news and have been sourced by multiple news outlets.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

In Transition 2.0

Location: International

Website: www.intransitionmovie.com

In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food everywhere, localizing their economies and setting up community power stations. It’s an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world that is awash with gloom, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Center for an Urban Future

Location: New York, NY

Website: www.nycfuture.org

The Center for an Urban Future is a NYC-based think tank dedicated to highlighting the critical opportunities and challenges facing New York and other cities, and providing fresh ideas and workable solutions to policymakers. The Center’s primary focus is on growing and diversifying the local economy, expanding economic opportunity and targeting problems facing low-income and working-class neighborhoods. We consistently elevate important, but long overlooked, issues onto the radar of public officials—and we push policymakers to think differently about economic and workforce development.

The Center does this through publishing fact-based research reports that are accessible to a wide audience and holding high-profile policy forums.

Jonathan Bowles is the Executive Director of the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank dedicated to independent research about key policy issues facing New York and other cities. During his 12 years at the Center, he has been the architect of the policy agenda for the Center and is responsible for making it one of New York's most innovative and influential organizations and one in which its policy ideas are well-respected and widely used by policymakers, business leaders, and nonprofit practitioners.

At the Center,Jonathan has authored more than two-dozen reports, including a widely acclaimed 2007 study about the significant impact immigrant entrepreneurs are having on cities' economies, an influential study about New York City's innovation economy and a report about how to retain and grow New York's middle class. He has been asked to be a guest contributor for the New York Times and The Council on Foreign Relations on a range of urban issues including New York City's need to diversify its economy and immigrant entrepreneurs.

His research about key economic trends facing New York and its five boroughs, the value of small businesses to cities, and the economic impact of industries ranging from air cargo to biotechnology has been covered in publications ranging from the New York Times to The Economist. Jonathan is a frequent moderator and speaker at conferences and panel discussions on urban policy in New York and nationally.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

eme3

Location: International

Website: www.eme3.org

Eme3 was born in 1999 in response to the need to find a space for architects, urbanists and artist from different disciplines, where they could meet and present innovative and unconventional projects that went beyond common trends in urban planning and construction.

It was the volumetric concept, the measure unit in cubic meters that gave it the name. Although the social parameters and context have greatly changed since then, eme3 still operates as an opportunity and platform for the presentation and exchange of ideas. Eme3 has become a forum and facilitator for interaction and a shuttle of proposals that in a retrospective sense can be fully defined as avant-garde architecture. With architecture as the starting point, and the combination of both art and design, eme3 brings together the new producers of emergent architectures in a space for experimentation, display and debate.

Eme3 generates projects that take shape in different formats (installations, urban projects, workshops, lectures, discussions and audiovisual projections) and locations, through the continuous program, eme3_on, as well as the annual encounter, eme3_festival. As a think-tank, eme3 provides the participant with a physical and interactive space to interact and share his ideas, as well as the possibility for the visitor to discover a different architecture yet close to the real and current problems in society, bringing an optimistic perspective. All the material generated during and for eme3 remains registered and will be available through the web and the catalog of each edition.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Georgetown Climate Center

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.georgetownclimate.org

The nonpartisan Georgetown Climate Center seeks to advance effective climate, energy, and transportation policies in the United States—policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change.

The Center performs a vital role in the development of policy by:

- Analyzing legislative and regulatory developments and assisting with program design,

- Sharing best practices and success stories with state and federal policymakers, and

- Serving as a resource to all states in addressing climate change and promoting a clean energy economy.

Based at Georgetown Law, the Center works extensively with government officials, academics, and an array of stakeholders to strengthen state and federal climate partnerships.

The Center analyzes the provisions of federal policy relevant to states and territories, and encourages policymakers to learn from and adopt innovative policies emerging from the states.

To that end, the organization plays a key role in a number of state-based initiatives. For example, the Georgetown Climate Center serves as the convener of the Transportation and Climate Initiative — a collaboration that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector across 11 states and the District of Columbia.

The Center is a facilitator of the “Three Regions” process, which brings together representatives of the nation’s three regional climate and energy programs to discuss common issues and explore opportunities for joint action.

The Georgetown Climate Center also coordinates the Governors’ Energy and Climate Coalition, a group of governors and U.S. territorial leaders who support federal action on climate policy and strong state roles.

Led by Executive Director Vicki Arroyo and Faculty Director Professor Peter Byrne of Georgetown Law, the Center also seeks to ensure that national climate and energy policy is informed by lessons from existing state efforts and that national policies maintain an ongoing role for state innovation and implementation.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Main Street Matters

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.paintwhatmatters.com

Benjamin Moore, North America's most respected interior and exterior paint manufacturer and color authority, announced its biggest initiative ever to revitalize communities across North America through the launch of "Main Street Matters." The campaign asks consumers around the country to cast their vote online for which 20 Main Streets should be revitalized of the more than 100 North American cities nominated.

The effort will be undertaken with the help of multiple partner organizations around the country, including Make It Right, a long-time partner of Benjamin Moore that was founded by actor-philanthropist Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt will be lending his voice in support of the effort that Benjamin Moore is undertaking with Main Street Matters.

In addition to partner organizations, this effort will be brought to life with local Benjamin Moore dealers and in conjunction with local municipalities, small businesses and local Chambers of Commerce. The effort will begin this summer and the work on repainting these Main Streets will be completed over the next year.

"Our Main Streets are the vital hubs of our communities - and Benjamin Moore and our network of independent dealers have always been integral parts of Main Street," said David Melan├žon, Chief Marketing Officer of Benjamin Moore. "This investment we're making in communities around North America is core to our business and to who we are; Main Streets make us who we are and we're proud to honor that with this effort.

Benjamin Moore will not only provide the paint and supplies needed for fa├žades, porches, railings, shutters and other exterior building trims, but its color experts will consult on the best choices to enhance the architectural style, regional influences and historic references in each community.

Skilled professional painters, many of them members of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, will be hired, putting another segment of local business to work along with the local Benjamin Moore retailer who will be mixing the paints that are used.>The communications portion of "Main Street Matters", which allows local businesses and community members to tell their stories, includes not only the online component, but also is being supported by an aggressive advertising program.

> A mix of national and local market TV, radio, online and print ads will hit North America starting in May as part of the company's overall increase in marketing, which is up 61% compared to the previous year.

Voting began at 12:00 a.m. EST on May 16, 2013 and will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on June 30, 2013. Benjamin Moore will post the final list of Main Streets and towns to be repainted in July.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Future Cape Town

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Website: www.futurecapetown.com

With our roots firmly in the present, and eyes on the full potential of the city we live, play and work in, Future Cape Town is a diverse collection of minds that are driven by sustainable and innovative ways to address modern urban design challenges. 

We offer our opinion through cooperation and collaboration. In doing so, we promote an inspired and active citizenry, a reliable and innovative government and public sector willing to invest in projects that offer change in new ways.

We consider the model of partnerships to be a feasible and sustainable way forward. 

We believe it offers value to all partners, while ultimately benefiting communities. Driven by our focus of “Inspiring a more liveable Cape Town” and through our projects and initiatives, we serve as a platform that brings different stakeholders together, promoting the acceleration of urban change. 

We invest significantly in our social media influence and online presence; these we consider key tools in stimulating active citizenry and creating meaningful public participation techniques and methods.

BayShare

Location: S.F. Bay Area

Website: www.bayshare.org

BayShare is an advocacy organization whose mission is to make the Bay Area the best place on the planet for sharing. As this movement grows, BayShare will explore how city stakeholders and the sharing community can work together to help the Sharing Economy flourish in the Bay Area to benefit the city, businesses, and communities.

The organization looks to be a resource for the Mayor’s Working Group on the Sharing Economy and it will also serve as a resource for the public by hosting events and providing educational materials so that more residents and businesses engage with this new economy.

The Sharing Economy is a popular way for individuals, governments and businesses to access goods and services in new and less expensive ways.

Today people are bartering, lending, trading, gifting and swapping their homes, cars, power drills, skills and even extra time. Spurred by need and a shift in cultural values, and empowered by peer technologies and business models, the sharing economy is democratizing access to resources of all kinds - tangible assets, services, knowledge, capital, production technology, and decision making power.

In its many innovations - some old, some new - include car sharing, cooperatives, crowdfunding, ride sharing, coworking, open source software, participatory budgeting, and peer accommodation to name a few, the Sharing Economy provides an opportunity to explore how we can lead more connected, sustainable lives while benefitting the cities we inhabit. The Bay Area has lead the country in adopting the Sharing Economy and in recognizing its social, environmental, and economic benefits. Many new sharing businesses have headquartered in the Bay Area, making the city an incubator for new business models that create jobs, empower citizens, and creates a more robust community.
Considered to be the next billion dollar industry, the Sharing Economy can help Bay Area residents maintain a high quality of life while living in the hub of the most expensive city in the country. Individuals and businesses across the socio-economic spectrum are able to access new economic opportunities by monetizing their underutilized assets.

Conversely, those who need access to those assets can get them from their neighbors more affordably. A new service industry providing flexible jobs has also cropped up as a result. The impact of these services and new revenue streams on household budgets can be significant.

Innovative use of existing resources cultivates a more sustainable economy based on efficient use of resources. This kind of resource efficiency can significantly reduce waste and help San Franciscans maintain lighter environmental footprints. Sharing builds community and fills market gaps. The Sharing Economy gives citizens a sense of place and purpose in their neighborhoods, and connects them to where they live. This creates a more connected and resilient San Francisco that will be beneficial both now and in times of crisis.

The Sharing Economy is a popular way for individuals, governments and businesses to access goods and services in new and less expensive ways. Today people are bartering, lending, trading, gifting and swapping their homes, cars, power drills, skills and even extra time. Spurred by need and a shift in cultural values, and empowered by peer technologies and business models, the sharing economy is democratizing access to resources of all kinds - tangible assets, services, knowledge, capital, production technology, and decision making power.

In its many innovations - some old, some new - include car sharing, cooperatives, crowdfunding, ride sharing, coworking, open source software, participatory budgeting, and peer accommodation to name a few, the Sharing Economy provides an opportunity to explore how we can lead more connected, sustainable lives while benefitting the cities we inhabit.

BayShare members have already contributed to initiatives to improve the Bay Area such as participatory budgeting, democratizing access to production capacity and providing car sharing services and fleets to decrease the number of cars on the road, contributing environmental, economic, and quality of life benefits to the city of San Francisco.

The Sharing Economy and the Bay Area local government have common goals: to increase resource efficiency, to create jobs and income, to build community, and to achieve zero-waste. There is a great opportunity to combine our efforts to create a stronger, more resilient Bay Area.

BayShare members have already contributed to initiatives to improve the Bay Area such as participatory budgeting, democratizing access to production capacity and providing car sharing services and fleets to decrease the number of cars on the road, contributing environmental, economic, and quality of life benefits to the city of San Francisco.The Sharing Economy and the Bay Area local government have common goals: to increase resource efficiency, to create jobs and income, to build community, and to achieve zero-waste. There is a great opportunity to combine our efforts to create a stronger, more resilient Bay Area.

Urban Intelligence Unit

Location: Africa

Website: www.futurecapetown.com/urbaniu

Our mission is to conduct high-quality, innovative and trans-disciplinary research, to foster knowledge sharing and to review policy matters in the area of urbanism, Born out of our collective curiosity for cities – and the people and places shaping them – the Urban Intelligence Unit (UIU) was formed in late 2012, as a research wing of Future Cape Town, to experience, explore and engage with this curiosity.

Embracing a trans-disciplinary approach – based on the simple yet radical idea that everybody contributes, beyond their individual expertise – our team background ranges from finance to the arts, psychology to law, urban infrastructure to graphic design – all of which contributes to forming the diverse and broad perspective we feel necessary to approach contemporary urban challenges and complexities.

Our mission includes:

- carrying out innovative, trans-disciplinary research,

- fostering knowledge sharing in the area of urbanism,

- facilitating and conducting research into and reviews of policy matters.

Our work includes:

- current research projects include Future Spaces, which explores the potential role of multimedia in exploring and understanding public spaces,

- Your City Idea, involving testing of the use of installations in public space as a study of public engagement and participation.

We are also passionate about becoming a centre for the dissemination of knowledge infographics and data visualisations, hosting knowledge share sessions for our team and the public in the form of the Urban Knowledge Network and supporting the research programmes of other organisations.

Within Future Cape Town, the team plays an important role by supporting the advocacy aim of the organisation, with reviews and research into urban policy matters, the formulation of position statements, and producing discussion papers to support the Future Cape Town summits.

If you need a nimble, dynamic, open-minded team to support your organisation, we would love to explore working with you.

Sustania 100

Location: International

Website: www.sustania100.me

More than a model and a vision, Sustainia aims to be the world’s one-stop toolbox for sustainable solutions. Sustainia100 is an overview and inspiring catalogue of solutions already out there, which will make Sustainia a reality. In order to find new and inspiring solutions it’s critical to engage those who develop them around the world: you, our community.

We invited you to submit your ideas and solutions to supplement our research. The response was incredible – solutions from students, multi-national corporations, and individual crusaders, from Canada to Russia to Kenya.

Floating islands; hybrid mass transit systems; energy from speed bumps; solar power sold through the Avon business model. And each and every solution ready and being used today.

Together these solutions make up the Sustainia100, through which we aim to put today’s solutions at your fingertips. The Sustainia100 will be unveiled at a high-profile event at the Rio+20 conference this June. Later in the year one outstanding solution will win the Sustainia Award, a monetary prize to push the solution.

The Sustainia100 and the Sustainia Award will occur every year.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Urban Open Space Award

Location: North America

Website: www.uli.org/programs/awards-competitions/urban-open-space-award

Urban Open Space Award celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful urban open spaces by annually recognizing and rewarding an outstanding example of a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community.

The award was created through the generosity of Amanda M. Burden, New York City Planning Commissioner and 2009 laureate of the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development,

ULI J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development,
In 2011 the Kresge Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the ULI Urban Open Space Award through 2014.

The winner of the ULI Urban Open Space Award receives a commemorative plaque and is recognized in an awards ceremony held in conjunction with ULI’s Fall Meeting.

A $10,000 cash prize is awarded to the individual or organization most responsible for the creation of the winning open space project. Further recognition includes press releases and announcements in Urban Land magazine and on ULI.org.

Eligible projects must:

- Be located in an urbanized area in North America, - Have been open to the public at least one year and no more than 15 years, - Be predominantly outdoors and inviting to the public, - Be a lively gathering space, providing abundant and varied seating, sun and shade, trees and plantings with attractions and features that offer many different ways for visitors to enjoy the space, - Be used intensively on a daily basis, and act as a destination for a broad spectrum of users throughout the year, - Have a positive economic impact on its surroundings, Promote physical, social, and economic health of the larger community, and - Provide lessons, strategies, and techniques that can be used or adapted in other communities.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Manchester International Festival

Location: Manchester, UK

Website: www.mif.co.uk

The Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, and takes place biennially in Manchester, UK.

The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. Highlights from the past three festivals – 2007, 2009 and 2011 have included group shows Il Tempo del Postino, 11 Rooms, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s Monkey: Journey to the West, Punchdrunk’s immersive Dr Who experience, The Crash of The Elysium,Music Boxes, a wonderful commission for children aged 6 months-7 years, Victoria Wood’s That Day We Sang and the premieres of special gigs from Bjork to Snoop Dogg and Sinead O’Connor.

The Festival also encompasses MIF Creative, the community and learning focused arm of the Festival, bringing to the people and communities of Manchester and learning from them in its turn.

Manchester International Festival celebrates the city’s pivotal role in music, culture, innovation and the arts, building on the legacy of the hugely successful Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in 2002.

The Festival has now become a major cultural event in the international calendar: an artist-led festival that enables leading international artists to create new work, encouraging local, national and international visitors to Manchester, and providing opportunities for local communities to participate, volunteer and see world-class artists in their city.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

San Francisco Housing Coalition

Location: San Francisco, CA,

Website: www.sfhc.org

The SFHAC is a small, lean operation with a staff of two, an executive director and a project manager. From the start, our work has largely been done by the amazing community of volunteers and activists from our member organizations in three long-running committees as dictated in our bylaws.

The Endorsement Committee reviews and discusses proposed projects to see how they match up with our endorsement guidelines. If we endorse a project, the SFHAC becomes one of the few groups to advocate for it at public hearings and in the entitlement process. This is not a small service in a city with such strong NIMBY views.

The Regulatory Committee addresses housing and land use policy and legislation. In a city like ours, there are always policy proposals. Where they advance SFHAC’s mission we support them and push to get them enacted. Where they are harmful to our mission, we work to modify them to cause the least harm possible to our mission. We also work to influence housing policies in a proactive, inclusive fashion from the beginning, such as our work with then-Supervisor Mark Leno on an affordable housing ordinance or our current advocacy on the creation of student housing legislation.

The Outreach Committee manages SFHAC’s interface with the public. It helps craft our messages, plan our public events and help with membership recruitment.