All posts in Civic Engagement
As we prepare to close up shop at the Kapor Foundation and celebrate our debut in our new skin as the Kapor Center for Social Impact, we wanted to conduct a thorough analysis of what we’ve learned from the terrific community of organizations we’ve worked with since our program areas launched in 2007.
Attached please find our Green Access and VoICE retrospective papers. Many thanks to Judi Powell of Seven Hills Philanthropy for her meticulous work in shaping our learnings, which were gathered from final reports, internal analysis, and interviews with community leaders. We are distributing the reports through our professional affinity associations: Funders Committee for Civic Participation, Bay Area Justice Funders Network, and Neighborhood Funders Group. We hope that you, as funder peers and community colleagues, will find them to be instructive and even inspiring!
Download the Green Access Program Retrospective here.
This week the Kapor Center welcomed the President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Benjamin Todd Jealous, to our Oakland diggs. Jealous is no stranger to the Bay Area. He is a Monterey native and the former President of the Rosenberg Foundation, based in San Francisco.
Jealous was cool enough to take a quick break from his relentless pursuit of equity for all – not just black folks – and spoil us with an intimate conversation touching on the org’s 104 years of existence, expansion of social and racial justice issues – including marriage equality, and use of tech to accelerate its campaign and membership base.
Jealous credits Kapor Foundation founders, Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, with helping him and his team think forwardly about tech and its potential to ignite membership engagement and accelerate national organizing efforts. For example, the NAACP utilized two of the most prolific social networking mediums – Twitter and Facebook – to galvanize communities across the country for its Save Troy Davis – Too Much Doubt campaign. That year #TooMuchDoubt was the second most trended hashtag in the twitterverse. (more…)
Just in case you missed this announcement on our home page, we’re excited to share news of our next iteration!
On a related note, we’ll continue sharing news here on the mkf.org site until our changeover officially happens on May 15th.
For the past year, we’ve been keeping you abreast of an ongoing strategic shift here at the Kapor Foundation. We’re very excited to announce that we’ve arrived. As of May 15, 2013, the Kapor Foundation will have a new public face, the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Through a shared vision, set of values, and program activities, we’ll work more closely with Kapor Capital, our sibling venture capital microfirm focused on seed-stage tech startups.
The Kapor Center’s working mission is to “relentlessly pursue creative strategies that will leverage tech for positive social impact in underrepresented communities, primarily focusing on closing academic, political, health, and economic gaps.” This mission represents our deep belief in the power of information technology as a tool to accelerate social good, and fully aligns with the Kapors’ longtime involvement in the tech industry, stemming back to their days at Lotus Development Corporation in the early 1980s.
Just wanted to loop back around with everyone; we’ve received a few eager inquiries about our2013 grantmaking priorities. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re in store for some major changes as we shift our focus to tech-driven strategies and tools that further social justice/social impact. Once ready, we’ll announce the changes here on our website and Twitter account, so please check back with us in mid-February for updates.
I love that the Presidential Inauguration falls on the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. Rather than pontificating on the vision and promise that these two leaders represent, I’m simply going to challenge myself to use this day as a jumping off point for the next year of social justice work, as related to Dr. King’s legacy, and the next four years of social impact efforts in the age of President Obama. What can we individually and collectively accomplish in the next year/four years? Let’s go! Best wishes for a powerful, peaceful, and (broadly defined) prosperous 2013.
Photo from theSoulPitt.com
Last month our grant recipient, People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) along with the Urban Habitat and the DataCenter released a compelling new report, Next Stop: Justice/Próxima Parada: Justicia which analyzes San Francisco’s public transit system, offering a vision for transit policy that puts race and the environment at the center. The report includes 10 case studies of transit lines throughout Southeast San Francisco and survey data from over 700 transit riders which show:
- Low-income communities and communities of color cannot afford Muni’s rising fares.
- San Francisco spends $9.5 million per year to implement its “Proof of Payment” fare enforcement program and recovers only $1 million in lost fares.
- Public transit can move the local economy.
- Reducing transit fares can help San Francisco reach its climate objectives by increasing ridership.
- Bus riders in the core communities of color in SF are impacted by long waits and overcrowded buses.
We would like to recognize and congratulate our grant recipient, Oakland Rising for its voter engagement and mobilization efforts over the past year which culminated in big wins for Oakland, the larger Bay Area community, and California. Oakland Rising is a multilingual, multiracial collaborative building on Oakland’s rich history to advance smart, community-first solutions for a thriving city. Oakland Risings voter engagement victories this year included:
- Reaching 25,252 low-income, immigrant, and voters of color living in Oakland’s flatlands during their fall campaign alone
- Identifying 19,544 Oaklanders who support progressive tax policies to bring back public funding for schools and programs also during their fall campaign
- Providing 80 jobs for low-income, under-employed, or previously incarcerated residents through their paid “Daily Team” canvassing position
- Mobilizing 375 community volunteers to do precinct walks and GOTV
- Passing Proposition 30 as part of California Calls to safeguard funding for public schools by raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Californians
- Defeating Proposition 32 to ensure that big money interests will NOT silence the voices of workers and Unions in our political system
We salute Oakland Rising for its many achievements in 2012 and look forward to a new year of work ahead in the effort to bring about a more just, sustainable, and prosperous Oakland for all!
Photo courtesy of Oakland Rising
Our grant recipient, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law yesterday released a preliminary report of its findings from Election Protection 2012 to Congress urging them to take action to fix the persistent problems in our election system that make it difficult for many Americans to vote. The long lines endured by many voters this year were a problem, amongst several others that demonstrated the inadequacies of the election system. As the Lawyers’ Committee points out: “If we truly want an election infrastructure that lives up to the ideals of our democracy then we need to fix a lot of things.” Here are their suggestions: (more…)
The Palm Beach Post revealed this week that former Florida GOP leaders intentionally designed restrictive voter laws to limit votes from Democrats and people of color. Florida voters, as we saw in this year’s election endured long voting lines and other confusion as a result of reduced voting hours, voter purges, and voter registration restrictions pushed by Republican leaders. In this article, former GOP chairman, former Gov. Charlie Crist, and others revealed that prevention of voter fraud was not the underlying motivation behind voting restrictions; a GOP win was.