2012 Annual Report
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can - verb: to be able to do or accomplish


Sarria photo
Vanessa Sarria, CAN Executive Director

2012 was an important year in the life of CAN. The organization changed its name from "Community Action Network" to "CAN" and expanded its membership to include new partners.  With the addition of three Chambers of Commerce, the Del Valle and Manor Independent School Districts, Huston -Tillotson University, and the City of Pflugerville, the CAN Board of Directors made clear its intent to engage new voices and new energy in considering all aspects of our community - the social, health, educational and economic - in working to close the opportunity gap.


20 years of collaborative problem solving


In 1992, some of the founding partners of CAN held their first informal meetings that would eventually lead to formal creation of the CAN organization in 1995.  Over the past two decades, CAN has evolved and changed, but has remained true to its original role of serving as a neutral convener that sets the table for creative and collaborative problem solving to enhance our community's well-being. Originally, the organization was created to help shape the community's investments in health and human services, but partners eventually recognized that addressing equity and opportunity calls for leveraging resources across the social, health, educational and economic realms of our community. Progress in one area is dependent upon and supportive of progress in another.  To reinforce these principles, the CAN Board of Directors adopted a new mission statement  in December of 2012.



Community Dashboard  - gauging our progress toward the future we want

It was five years ago when the CAN partnership first began working toward the development of a Community Dashboard of key socio-economic indicators for Austin and Travis County. The first two years were spent building consensus for a community vision and then identifying 16 indicators to measure whether we are making progress toward that vision.  With the release of the third annual Community Dashboard Report in 2012, this report  and accompanying website provided an update to indicators, community collaboratives and common strategies for turning the curve on indicators, and targets for indicators developed by the Dashboard Steering Committee. 
Building on analysis of an inventory of community planning documents informed by the Mappers and Planners Committee, the Dashboard Steering Committee, and others, CAN developed a Strategic Framework for Action that was shared with the public with release of the 2012 Community Dashboard Report. The Strategic Framework for Action provides a common language that can be used across jurisdictions to facilitate coordination, collaboration and collective impact.  In December of 2012, CAN leaders acknowledged several significant planning efforts that could help our community turn the curve on Dashboard indicators with the 2012 Butler Awards for Plans with Promise.  


informing and convening toward the future we want


Another major accomplishment of 2012 was CAN's Policy Palooza, a policy forum held at the University of Texas in which about 140 community members came together to think about and discuss some of the most challenging issues facing our future and identify opportunities for collaborative action to turn the curve on the trajectory of our community.  At the policy forum, CAN unveiled a video, "Central Texas: Creating the Future We Want," in which leaders from Austin and Travis County comment on the demographic trends in the Austin region and some of the challenges and opportunities these trends present.  This video was produced with the help of KLRU and a host of community leaders.


In addition to the CAN Policy Palooza, CAN convened monthly meetings of the CAN Board of Directors and CAN Community Council where key community stakeholders were invited to share information on key initiatives to turn the curve on Dashboard indicators and opportunities and barriers standing in the way of progress.   For more information, visit 2012 CAN Board presentations, and 2012 CAN Community Council presentations, and Key Findings from 2012 CAN Community Council Forums.


Building on this work, the Board approved CAN's 2013 Work Plan in December of 2012.


continuing to set the table for dialogue


What is clear is that our growing community does face challenges and our future will be much brighter if we work together to make it so. The role of CAN is to convene, connect and inform.  We set the table for dialogue and invite policy makers, leaders and others to consider what they can do individually and collectively to envision and realize what our community CAN be. 


Very sincerely,

Vanessa Sarria,

CAN Executive Director 


 CAN Partners
Austin Chamber of Commerce
Austin Community College
Austin ISD
Austin/Travis County Integral Care
Capital City African American Chamber  of Commerce
Capital Metro
Central Health
City of Austin
City of Pflugerville
Community Justice Council
Del Valle ISD
Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Huston Tillotson University
interfaith Action Central Texas
Manor ISD
One Voice Central Texas 

Seton Healthcare Family

St. David's Foundation

St. Edward's University

Travis County

United Way Capital Area

University of Texas at Austin

Workforce Solutions - Capital Area


  CAN Vision
Our richly diverse 
community will be healthy, safe, educated, just and compassionate where all people work together to achieve their full potential and celebrate their lives.   
CAN Mission
CAN is a partnership of governmental, non-profit, private and faith-based organizations which leverage mutual resources to collectively improve social, health, educational and economic opportunities in our community. 
   Connecting and Informing


Stay connected with and informed about community issues and planning efforts...

CAN Welcomes New Leaders for 2013  

Ashton Cumberbatch, 2013 CAN Board Chair
CAN Board of Directors
Ashton Cumberbatch is the new Chair of the CAN Board of Directors. Cumberbatch is Vice President of Advocacy and Community Relations for the Seton Healthcare Family and, for the past four years, has chaired CAN's Dashboard Steering Committee. John-Michael Cortez, Community Involvement Coordinator for Capital Metro, will serve as Vice Chair of the CAN Board in 2013. 


The CAN Board of Directors is made up of elected officials and chief administrators of the 24 organizations that are CAN partners.

CAN Community Council
Stefan Molina - 2013 Community Council Chair
Stefan Molina, Director of Foundation and Program Development for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will serve as Chair of the CAN Community Council in 2013.  Vice Chair for 2013 and Chair-Elect for 2014 is Kirsha Haverlah.


The CAN Community Council is a self-appointed board of individuals who reflect the diversity of interests, concerns, organizations, issues and populations of the Central Texas community.  The role of the Community Council is to provide a link between the community at large and the policy makers and elected officials who serve on the CAN Board of Directors.  Click here to learn about applying to serve on the CAN Community Council.
Overview of 2012 Accomplishments


Click here for a brief overview of these and other key accomplishments related to implementation of CAN's 2012 Work Plan.