Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jon Kitna's gift to Lincoln High School

On Sunday it was the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Dallas Cowboys, and it was close: 24-22 for the Eagles. Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo was out of the game. Before Christmas, Romo had a back injury in the game against the Washington Redskins. So the Cowboys called former quarterback Jon Kitna out of retirement to fill in as a backup to Kyle Orton. Read more at Philanthropy Daily.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Remarks for One Another Foundation annual breakfast

One Another Foundation Annual Breakfast
October 22, 2013

It’s wonderful to see how this breakfast has grown over the past few years, along with the community support for this Foundation. And I have to tell you, of all the organizations that I’m involved with, this one gets me the most excited. 

I have the privilege of serving this community in the legislature. And it just so happens that state government is the primary provider of social services to people in our community. Hundreds of people get help from the DSHS Community Service Office in downtown Puyallup every day. Let me give you some statistics: 

  • In one recent month, 36,928 people received basic food assistance through the Puyallup DSHS office. This amounted to an average allotment of $263.31 per person, or about $4.6 million combined.
  • In another recent month, 1,997 people went to the DSHS office to apply for new benefits
  • That same month, 2,462 people requested an EBT card
  • And in that same month, the DSHS office in Puyallup recorded nearly 12,000 client contacts in its lobby or by phone. That’s 3,000 contacts per week and 600 contacts per day.
There are a number of advantages to the state providing these services. Indeed, I believe it’s important for government to provide these services.

But I want to say three things. First of all, government will never be able to do it all. No matter how much money we have at the state, we can’t meet all the needs of all the people in our community.

Second, government cannot provide for the spiritual needs of individuals and families. Government can cut checks and help people get by, but government cannot fix people’s deepest problems.

And third, our community’s network of private faith-based organizations is the best way I know of to address the material and spiritual needs of people in our community. This network is made of nonprofit organizations, families, churches, businesses, philanthropists, and volunteers. And my own opinion is that these community partners are better at loving and caring for people in need than any government bureaucracy ever was. The One Another Foundation exists to build the network of community partners that is helping to meet needs and to get Christians more active in service to their neighbors. 

This morning I want to recognize some of the people who make up that network of service.

If you’re the pastor of a church, would you stand?
Now remain standing, but I want to ask some others to join them:
If you work for a nonprofit or ministry organization, would you stand?
If you’re a teacher or educator, would you stand?
If you work in public service – police, fire, elected service, military, and the like, would you stand?
If you’re a business owner, would you stand?
If you volunteer for a faith-based nonprofit or ministry organization, would you stand?

Everyone in this room is doing something wonderful. Imagine what we could do together if we all did a little bit more to help the people in need in our midst.

The One Another Foundation is getting people to do that little bit more.  It’s raising awareness of the needs in our community. It’s challenging churches to expand their outreach. It’s matching volunteers with ministry opportunities. And it’s changing Puyallup for the better.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Millennials: the next civic generation

How are young Americans getting involved in their communities? How might they get more involved in the future? The research agency Achieve along with the Case Foundation and several other research partners have released the 2013 Millennial Impact Report with useful insights. This fourth annual study surveyed 2,665 young Americans who were born between 1979 and 1994. Most were college graduates and 65 percent were employed fulltime.

In 2012, according to the report, 73 percent of Millennials volunteered for a nonprofit organization. Almost four out of five young volunteers said that did so because of their passion for the cause. More than half were motivated by their interest in meeting likeminded volunteers. And nearly 83 percent of young Americans donated money to a nonprofit last year.

Young people value causes over specific organizations. They want to be involved in eradicating global poverty, combating human trafficking, or cleaning up a local watershed. It’s not just about joining the Kiwanis Club or the Elks Lodge. While previous generations joined clubs and organizations first, and only then discovered ways to serve, today’s young Americans see a problem first and then look for a way to solve it.

Read more at Philanthropy Daily here

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poverty and philanthropy in the suburbs

When we think of poverty, we might think of blighted inner cities or depressed rural towns. But don’t forget poverty in the suburbs, says a new book from the Brookings Institution by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America.

Since the 1980s, poverty has been growing in the suburbs at a faster rate than in the cities or rural areas. This increase accelerated in the 2000s. Today there are more poor Americans living in the suburbs than in the cities, and 55 percent of poor people (15.3 million) in metropolitan areas live in suburbs. While the poor population in Seattle and other Puget Sound cities grew by 26 percent from 2000-10, the poor population in the nearby suburbs (where I live) grew by 74 percent. In 2010, 68 percent of poor residents in the Seattle metropolitan area were suburban, compared to 61 percent just a decade earlier.

Most of the poor in sixty metropolitan regions across the country live in the suburbs. In sixteen metropolitan regions (such as Atlanta, Boise, Cape Coral, Colorado Springs, Columbus [OH], Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City), the numbers of suburban poor more than doubled between 2000 and 2010.

There are various reasons for the increase of suburban poverty in the 2000s: the increase of overall poverty because of the Great Recession, the aging of suburban housing stock, the migration of the upper and middle classes from older suburbs to newer suburbs or into the cities, the location of immigrant populations in lower-cost suburban areas.

Read more at Philanthropy Daily here

Monday, June 3, 2013

Interview with George Scott, author of "Governors of Washington"

George Scott, former State Senator and political historian, has written biographies of all former Washington State governor in a single volume, "Governors of Washington." You can watch my interview with Dr. Scott for the Center for Civic Leadership's Gorton Lecture Series. It aired on the Seattle Channel.

Crowdfunding for local charities

Crowdfunding for local charities
Philanthropy Daily
by Hans Zeiger 

One day a couple weeks ago, my Twitter feed was lit up with comments about “GiveBig.” Various local nonprofits were tweeting requests to “GiveBig” that day to support their work. By going to the Seattle Foundation’s website, I learned that I could give to any of 1,300 local groups and that part of my donation would be matched by dollars from a $1 million “stretch” fund. I made a small donation to a scholarship foundation in my hometown. From midnight to midnight on May 15, 54,500 people Gave Big, with donations totaling $11.1 million. Read more at Philanthropy Daily here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Local philanthropy: Humboldt County, California-style

“[I]f you do not build on what you have as a community, outside experts and outside resources are unlikely to make any practical difference. When the bedrock experience, cultural orientation, and skills needed to confront a barrier emerges from an engaged community, the odds of philanthropic support making a dynamic difference increase dramatically.”
So says a recent report from the Kettering Foundation entitled “Philanthropy and the Regeneration of Community Democracy.” Peter Pennekamp, who for 19 years led the Humboldt Area Foundation in northern California and served for a time as vice president of National Public Radio, is the author of the report along with philanthropic consultant Anne Focke. Pennekamp and Focke take on the tendency of foundations to come into communities and set up programs as if the community was a kind of project. In contrast, they argue that philanthropic investment in communities is best done in deference to local wisdom, institutions, and people. Foundations should get involved in communities, rather than trying to get communities involved in foundation initiatives.

Read more at Philanthropy Daily here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bring democracy closer to the people

 Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish) and I co-authored a piece on Crosscut about why we should split State House of Representatives districts in half. It's the best way to preserve a part-time citizen legislature, reduce campaign costs, and more.