2002 Annual Report
Developing Civic Capital
A community vision from shared values. Better informed and engaged citizens. Grass roots participatory democracy. Citizenship. Valuing the voice of all. Public ownership in decision making. Building capacity. Collaboration. Community service. People – from all walks of life – mobilized for action.
These principles, these approaches, these outcomes are things we stand for at the Public Life Foundation of Owensboro. In 2002, we applied our resources toward these ends by
- conducting research and issuing reports to provide important information
- listening to citizens who share concerns and identify opportunities
- facilitating work sessions, forums, and retreats
- identifying citizens who want to be involved
- convening organizational meetings
- assisting with organizational documents
- counseling leaders and committees
- providing administrative support
- providing office space, meeting and filing space
- absorbing administrative or project costs
Some of our efforts supported groups that are or may be permanent fixtures in our community. At other times, we supported citizens organized for a short time around a particular issue. All of these efforts focus on the goal of building, revitalizing, or sustaining civic capital in our community.
2002 foundation activities and 2003 goals include (in alphabetical order):
- Advised and assisted in the restructuring of the Goodfellows Club: expanded board, committee system, focus group of recipient families, planning retreat, database management, etc. (Since 1916, the Goodfellows Club has provided coats, shoes, clothing, emergency assistance, and an annual Christmas party for the disadvantaged children of our community.)
- Expanded partnerships and year-round fund-raising. (The Goodfellows campaign exceeded its 2002 goal of $90,000.)
- Provided staff support and office, meeting and storage space
- 121 volunteers and board members
- 1,045 donations from individuals and groups
- 1,010 children served last year
- Advise and assist with the Goodfellows Club Board of Director’s planning retreat
- Continue providing financial and administrative support: staff, office space, equipment, supplies, conference room, etc. for the Goodfellows Club
- Advise and assist Goodfellows with select initiatives (to be determined), e.g.:
- school partnerships
- policies and procedures
- Soup Day fund-raising promotions
- annual benefit tennis tournament
- Supported P.R.I.D.E. (Public Responsibility in Designing our Environment) financially and administratively
- PRIDE hired its first Executive Director, Kate Higdon
- Provided office space, furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.
- Assisted with planning retreat, committee system, annual goals
- Assisted with 501C3 application; tax exempt status secured
- Advised and assisted PRIDE with programs and projects, such as:
- monthly meetings and speakers
- Dream Board project
- Crafting a Community Vision – PowerPoint presentation/workshops
- advocacy for landscape architects on transportation design teams
- public input on color of bridge painting
- public input on “Welcome to Owensboro” sign design
- 81 members and meeting attendees
- Hundreds provided input on riverfront project (2001)
- 256 provided input on “Dream Board” project
- 1,350 citizens (1,300 elementary school students and 50 adults) provided input on the color selection of the Cary Bridge
- 1,300 citizens voted on the design of the Owensboro Welcome sign
- 110 participated in “Crafting a Community Vision” workshops (Most of the workshops will be held in 2003.)
- Advise and assist with PRIDE’s Board of Directors planning retreat
- Continue providing financial and administrative support for PRIDE: staff, office space, equipment, conference room, etc.
- Advise and assist PRIDE with select initiatives (to be determined), e.g.:
- membership campaign
- “Crafting a Community Vision” workshops
- awards program
- demonstration projects
- new community entrance design-appearance plan
- Provided administrative and financial support for the Citizens Committee on Education (CCE) and ambitious projects adopted by the group:
- Community focus groups to examine citizen views on education
- Statistical analysis of student population and financial trends of the Owensboro and Daviess County school systems
- Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Owensboro-Daviess County
- The “Learning Community,” a program to instill a greater cultural value of lifelong learning in our community
- Provided leadership support (Foundation President Rodney Berry serves as Co-Chair)
- Recruited several new members, enhanced diversity
- Supported and facilitated planning retreat
- Researched materials and prepared member manuals
- Prepared meeting materials, minutes, financial reports, database management, etc.
- 16 board members
- 60 participated in community focus groups (2001)
- Continue providing leadership, financial, and administrative support for the Citizens Committee on Education
- Advise and assist the CCE with select initiatives (to be determined), e.g.:
- committee expansion and diversity
- Resolution on impact of state budget crisis on education
- city-county school study
- higher education plan
- Learning Community
- education roundtable
- Completed our series of People’s Health Project public forums on health care access issues – 52 forums involved a broad cross-section of the community
- Worked with a professional team from the University of Kentucky Center for Health Management and Research to compile and analyze the results from the forums, issued a report: All Is Not Well: Citizens Speak Out About Health Care in Daviess County
- Presented several PowerPoint summaries of the All Is Not Well report to community groups, distributed the report and posted it on the foundation web site
- Convened participants in health care forums who wished to stay involved in health care issues – led to the formation of the Citizens Health Care Advocates (CHCA)
- Advised and assisted CHCA with organizational documents: articles, bylaws, tax-exempt application, etc.
- Advised and assisted CHCA with programs and projects, such as:
- Monthly meetings and guest speakers
- R.C. Neblett Service Award for health care professionals
- Open Letter to the community on the hospital-physician controversy
- Luncheon to introduce a mobile optometry program to our community
- Representatives at public health care meetings: health department, ODCH, Health Council
- Provided staff support: Executive Director, Beverly Mills
- Provided office space, furniture, equipment
- Convened a Prescription Drug Task Force to examine in detail community options and recommendations from a foundation report released in 2001 – led to a Prescription Drug Service Center model that may be incorporated into a broad community health care access program. (2002 grants from the Progeny Fund and Young Foundation support a pilot project that uses a computer software program to expedite the application-approval process for McAuley Clinic patients that qualify for corporate drug programs.)
- Convened a Medical Transportation Advisory Committee (and recruited chair Angela Woosley) to examine complications and collaborative options to improve transportation services for those seeking health care. This has already led to a customized computer program (designed by Rajen Shah of Green River Intra-Transit System) to integrate and streamline services of several agencies.
- In response to citizen concerns about health care costs – and in particular, the fact that health insurance premiums in our area are higher than other parts of Kentucky – the foundation retained researcher-writer Fran Ellers for a series of issue briefs on the subject to be released in 2003.
- Updated our two on-line directories: Resource Guide for Community Health Centers and Primary Care Directory.
- Co-sponsored a community forum conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
- Foundation President Rodney Berry serves on Healthy Horizons, a task force planning our community’s first Summit on Healthy Lifestyles, and the Green River Health Council
- 578 participants in People’s Health Project forums
- 56 members of Citizens Health Care Advocates (CHCA)
- 74 additional attendees at CHCA meetings and functions
- 30 participants in Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky forum
- 260 recipients of report: All Is Not Well: Citizens Speak Out About Health
- Care in Daviess County
- 40 serving on task forces
- 1,100 prescription drug reports distributed
- 1,250 of each Directory distributed
- Reports and directories are also made available on our foundation web site
- Advise and assist with CHCA’s Board of Directors planning retreat
- Continue providing financial and administrative support for CHCA: staff, office space, equipment, conference room, etc.
- Advise and assist CHCA with select initiatives (to be determined), e.g.:
- guest speakers
- membership campaign
- Complete and publish issue brief on health care costs
- Complete and publish additional issue briefs (topics to be determined)
- Develop a series of Town Hall Meetings on health care
- Advise and assist Prescription Drug and Medical Transportation Task Forces
- Update health care directories on foundation web site
Race and Ethnic Relations
- Organized several viewing parties and a televised community panel discussion following the KET premiere of Living the Story: A History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.
- Sponsored the distribution of Living the Story videos to school and public libraries in our area.
- Organized a “Community Unity” campaign in response to a KKK rally. Supplies ran out when more than 40,000 yellow ribbons were requested throughout the community.
- Convened several meetings to establish a Unity Coalition to develop programs on an ongoing basis that promote racial and ethnic harmony in our community.
- 120 participated in KET viewing parties and panels
- OCC-TV televised a group discussion following the KET documentary
- 40,000 yellow ribbons were distributed
- Officially establish the Unity Coalition: convene meetings, advise and assist with
- organizational documents, elect leadership, etc.
- Develop one or more start-up projects
- Extend membership opportunities
- Raise funds as needed
- Organized 9-11: One Year Later, a structured community dialogue to reflect upon the personal and societal effects of the terrorist attacks. The event was co-sponsored by Community Conversations, Hager Educational Foundation, and the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, and nearly 100 local citizens – from all walks of life, including students – participated.
- Convened several meetings to establish an Owensboro Area World Affairs Council. Local college and university faculty are assisting the Council in planning a 2003 lecture series.
- 98 participated in 9-11: One Year Later
- 70 attended organizational meetings or have expressed interest in a World Affairs Council
- Officially establish the Owensboro Area World Affairs Council: convene meetings, advise and assist with organizational documents, elect leadership, etc.
- Assist local college and university faculty in planning a 2003 lecture series
- Expanded foundation offices to provide work space and conference room for citizen groups
- Provided office furniture and equipment, bookkeeping and receptionist services, office administration, advisory services, etc., to citizen groups
- Updated foundation web site (www.plfo.org)
- Operate the foundation at a level that does not require withdrawals from our endowment corpus
- Continue services to citizen groups
- Explore ways to enhance external communications: print/electronic newsletter (two issues in 2003), several In My View columns, OCC-TV, etc.
- Identify most promising funding sources for PLFO or citizen groups
- Explore the availability and contractual options for freelance grantwriters
- Continue web site updates, promote site more aggressively (subject to available funds)
- Explore a summer intern program (subject to available funds)
- Assess, update, and expand foundation and citizen group databases
- Expand foundation Board of Directors with up to three non-family members
- Secure tax-exempt classification as an operating foundation
- Develop a foundation strategic plan
- Hold mid-year and year-end annual Board of Directors meetings