November 2013  
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Project in the Spotlight
Welcome Our Newest Projects
Events and Learning Opportunities

Quick Links

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Senior Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Communications Manager
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Civic Engagement: Democracy's Highest Expression
No big fan of sweeping, abstract terms like civic engagement so much in vogue these days, I stand guilty of using that expression and others equally vague as a kind of lazy shorthand. Anna Nez, a current Coro Fellow in Los Angeles, threw down a challenge recently. Get specific, she said, about what resonates most strongly with me when I say the words 'civic engagement.'

So I take up Anna's challenge here.

I first look to those inalienable rights and core freedoms set down by our forefathers: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" along with freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly. All suggest a welcoming hope for bridging the gaps of daily life that can grow and separate us.

To read the entire article, please click here.  

Project in the Spotlight

Moving Toward Good Food for All in Los Angeles

Photo: Haan-Fawn Chau

Members of the LA Food Policy Council Leadership Board, network, and staff celebrate a successful Food Day with Councilmembers Fuentes, Koretz, Martinez, O'Farrell, and Price. 


There is a revolution underway in Los Angeles, and it's transforming how we grow, get, buy and eat food. At the helm of this massive sea change is the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.


A project of Community Partners, LAFPC is the backbone of a diverse network of stakeholders, innovative new ideas, and policies that are being collectively designed and advanced to build a food system that is healthy, affordable, fair, and sustainable for all Angelenos. 


According to Alexa Delwiche, coordinator of the LAFPC, changing our massive food system requires more than just one organization or policy. "We see ourselves as a collective impact initiative. We bring together government, nonprofits, the private sector -- including farmers and restaurant owners -- to break down silos and cut across sectors to think of innovative ways to change our food system."


Recently the Council and its members, along with City Council officials, came together to celebrate Food Day 2013, applaud the progress of the Good Food Purchasing Pledge and express their support for the advancement of several urban agriculture policies such as eliminating citations for food grown on parkways and reduced water rates for nonprofit community garden programs. 


As a result of adopting the LAFPC's Good Food Purchasing Pledge, LAUSD and the City of Los Angeles have modified their food service practices and significantly increased the purchase of locally-sourced food. In just one year, LAUSD has bought 70 percent of its produce locally and has done so at no additional cost to the district.


According to Delwiche, Los Angeles is leading the nation with its Good Food Purchasing Pledge. As it begins a scan and evaluation of food policy councils around the country, she notes, "the University of Wisconsin - Madison has identified Los Angeles a leader and selected the pledge as what good food policy is all about." The goal of the pledge is to promote a good food system that values and supports the local economy, sustainable production, a fairly treated workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition.


LAFPC also released its Los Angeles Food System Snapshot, a report providing baseline information and data on the current state of the Los Angeles regional foodshed and a way for the Council to track progress over time.  


Now entering her fourth year with the project, Delwiche appreciates the role Community Partners plays in supporting a growing and maturing collective impact initiative. "Community Partners provides us robust systems to support our growing staff and has given us great strategic guidance in organizational, grant, and budget development."  


Projects in the News  

Congratulations to the Violence Prevention Coalition and coalition director Kaile Shilling for making the finals of the 2013 Social Innovation Fast Pitch and winning the $5,000 Coaches Award and Boston Consulting Group's Prize Package. Fast pitch coaches selected Kaile for her noteworthy accomplishment in the training program.  


Allison De Lucca, executive director for Southern California College Access Network, has been selected as one of this year's Women's Policy Institute Fellows, funded by the Women's Foundation of California.

Vote for DiverseScholar, a project of Community Partners, now vying for a $20,000 seed grant from UNITY: Journalists for Diversity's "NewU Startup Competition." Funds will be used to help promote the DiverseScholar Doctoral Directory, an effort to help place hundreds of resumes from diverse post-doctoral students into the hands of faculty search committees. Click here to view the video pitches and vote by November 29. 

Welcome Our Newest Projects

Project Leader: Meredith Minkler

The California Senior Leaders Alliance (CSLA) is a statewide coalition of senior leaders that promotes, advocates for, and contributes to the health and wellbeing of seniors, their families, and communities.



Industrial District Green

Project Leader: Katherine McNenny 


Building on an initial track record of volunteer tree-planting, care and streetscape improvements, Industrial District Green expands on such activities throughout the diverse neighborhoods of downtown's industrial district.

 Events and Learning Opportunities


Monday, November 18


Crowdfunding is rising as one of the most prominent new ways for organizations to raise money quickly and efficiently. And just as exciting, engaging "the crowd" is particularly appealing to next generation donors, volunteers and board members. An expert panel will share their learnings and perspectives on how best to utilize this new form of philanthropy for your organization.  



Saturday Conservatory of Music December Shows 


The Saturday Conservatory of Music's (SCM), a project of Community Partners, is hosting its free Fall Quarter Recital on Saturday, December 7th,  and Orchestral and Choral Concert on Saturday, December 14th at the Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.

About Us 

Community Partners works with social entrepreneurs, grantmakers and civic leaders to imagine possibilities, design solutions and see them through to results. Our work includes fiscal sponsorship, grantmaker partnerships, thought leadership and knowledge sharing.    

1000 N Alameda St, Suite 240 
Los Angeles, CA 90012  
Phone 213.346.3210  
Fax 213.808.1009 
[email protected]