Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2001

Community Values—A Contract for Behavior in the Civic Sector
At our recent board meeting, Richard Johanson shared his thoughts on one of our community values. This regular practice sets the tone and reminds us our responsibilities as citizens. The value he addressed was Commitment to Outcomes—We are willing to take responsibility for tasks and achieving specified outcomes. We are committed to staying involved until the task is completed. “The other nine values lose some of their importance apart from their connection to their ultimate purpose—a commitment to making better things happen in our own lives and that of our extended community.” As one of the eight founders of the Fresno Business Council, Dick pointed to the journey we have been on from concept to reality. While clearly we continue to face many challenges, the impact is visible. In 1993, concepts like collaboration, sustainability, asset-based approach, and power parity were foreign. We were busy addressing symptoms in siloes and blaming those who today are valued partners in community transformation.

Stewardship & Citizenship Pipelines—Sustainable Civic Infrastructure
A better future is a shared responsibility. Citizens are responsible to the whole and stewards, those with positional authority, are responsible collectively for the whole. Self-reliance and collective action are two major strands of the DNA of American citizens. In order to foster these values, we have a new partnership with Fresno Unified. Student leaders from the various high schools will attend our board meetings to learn about the community business and hear a value presented. They will present what they learned at a school board meeting and back at their site student councils. In reverse, FBC members will have an opportunity to attend student meetings to learn from them and report what they learned to the FBC board. Effective communication runs both ways.

Student Leaders From Cambridge High School Attend FBC Board Meeting
The academic and civic progress at Cambridge High School is inspiring and the sense of community pride in the students and staff palpable. The staff provide holistic services and support, recognizing that many of the students face personal and family barriers making success more challenging. The expected learning results for all students reflect the values of both the students and the staff:
• Problem Solvers (ability to identify and resolve problems)
• Responsible Citizens
• Informed Citizens
• Demonstrators (competence in all academic areas)

Inspiring News from the Fair

Deb Cohen reported that the community came together this week and bringing in 54 tons of food breaking our own national record from last year of 51.7 tons of food. 235 volunteers helped collect, sort and load the semi-trucks. It was hot but there was an amazing show of support. The Fair leadership launched a the first ever 4.0 & Above program where all Fresno County high school students with a 4.0 or better were provided free entrance to the Fair and an enter-to-win ticket for a car and assorted prizes. A junior from Sanger High won the car and her principal told Deb that it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving student. These are terrific examples of how improving academic performance and supporting students is everybody’s business and the power of collective action.

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