August 20, 2014 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of August 20, 2014 
(Approved on 9/18/14)

I.   Welcome and Introductions
Present:   Jessica Callahan, Ronnie Swartz, Dian Pecora, Mark Lovelace (5-5:20 pm)
Staff:   Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Absent:   Susan Buckley, Ovieda Elliott, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons

 Ronnie Swartz called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm

II.   Public Comments and Announcements
No Public Comments and Announcements were made

III.  Executive Director Report

  • We have been struggling in achieving a quorum of Commission members present for the monthly meetings.  Andrea will e-mail an availability form to Commissioners to fill out. We might have to reconsider meeting dates/times, if necessary.
  • A handout from the First 5 Association about the rising Board of Equalization cost was shared.  Proposition 10 allows for the reimbursement of the Board of Equalization (BOE) for expense incurred in the administration and collection of the tobacco taxes.  These costs have risen 700% in the past ten years, while tobacco tax receipts have decreased by 25%. The Orange County Commission has decided to make a comprehensive public records act request to the BOE, and other counties are invited to review a draft of the request and submit a similar request.  Wendy is considering the possibility of submitting a public records act request for First 5 Humboldt, and is in contact with Legal Counsel to get input. Commissioner Lovelace requested further information about the BOE challenge.
  • Commissioners received a copy of the “Jamaican Study: Early childhood education can compensate for developmental delays, boost earnings and reduce inequality” narrative by James Heckman.
  • Wendy and Kim have reviewed the End-of-year reports of First 5 Humboldt funded programs.  Commissioners were invited to review the reports.
  • A newly purchased book, Lee the Bee—Turn Off That TV, was shared. The author of the book also wrote the original  Potter the Otter Loves Water book.  Lee the Bee – Turn Off That TV is directed at screen-time usage for children age 0-5.
  • Recently released press articles about pregnant & parenting teens/data was shared.
  • MediCal now covers Autism-related health issues.
  • A photo from an outreach event was shared from CAST’s End-of-year report.
  • The summer issue of the humkids newsletter was shared.  Jennifer Gonzales has taken over as the editor of the newsletter. Commissioners were encouraged to submit short, literacy-friendly articles to Jennifer.

IV.   Approval of Minutes
A.     Commission meeting minutes of June 18, 2014
B.     Commission Retreat minutes of July 9, 2014
ACTION:  Both sets of minutes were approved as written.

V.   Action Item:  Evaluator for Fiscal Year 2014/2015
Per the Commission’s informal competitive bid process, the bid process for an Evaluator was initiated by posting an announcement in the Times Standard newspaper, and on the humkids website.  By the bid deadline, we received one application from Maria Vanderhorst. Maria has worked with the Commission in prior years and is experienced and able to provide the service needed.  The bid price is appropriate for our budget and funds have been reserved in Evaluation during the FY 14/15 budget process. It is recommended to approve contracting with Maria Vanderhorst to assist with annual evaluation and reporting requirements for Fiscal Year 2014/15.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved contracting with Maria Vanderhorst to assist with annual evaluation and reporting requirements for FY 14/15.

VI.  Discussion Item:  Social Media Implementation Guidelines
The draft Social Media flyer was reviewed during the Commission Retreat on 7/9/14 and input was given.  Jennifer re-designed the flyer and shared the updated flyer. The flyer will be distributed to program leaders at the next PFS workshop, and Jennifer will include the flyer in the next Helping Hands Humboldt workshop packets. The flyer will be translated into Spanish and will be printed double-sided (one side in English and one side in Spanish).

Jennifer shared that she has attended two social media workshops recently, and the development of a Social Media Policy has surfaced in both workshops.  Jennifer also signed up to participate in a 6-week social media webinar series (1x/week), which is starting in September.

Commissioners commented on the revised Social Media flyer and liked the improvements made to the flyer.

VII.  Discussion Item:  “Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World”
Commissioners received the article “Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World” by John Kania, Mark Kramer, & Patty Russell, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Summer 2014, Volume 12, Number 3) at the Commission Retreat on July 9th.  In consideration of today’s meeting, Wendy provided thought-provoking questions about the impact of strategic philanthropy in regards to the Commission’s strategic goals and funded programs.

Commissioners shared the following thoughts:

  • The article provoked the question “how do we improve outcomes for children” in regards to funding to early childhood educators/Helping Hands Humboldt funding.  Sydney
  • Data-driven strategy/evaluation does not provide the impact made on the child, especially long-term impact.  Dian
  • Maybe we should evaluate community impact  Dian
  • What about the “Common Core” movement? Should we link to that?  Dian
  • “Common Core” is good in theory for certain aspects, but not all issues in regards to quality of ECE programs.  Sydney
  • Community at large needs to understand the child’s readiness.  Need to educate the whole community, including teachers.  Very complex.  Need more public education.  Sydney
  • What is the vision of switching from the prevailing model of strategic philanthropy to predict outcomes to an emergent model for First 5 Humboldt?  How does it resonate for us?  Ronnie
  • Commission could review current goals/projects and could identify ways to make a larger social impact/could get more strategic - or could continue with the current goals/models.  Commissioners should reflect on the work/community building principles for the next Strategic Plan.  Currently we have four inter-related domains, which are complex by themselves.  Do we want to continue with the same direction in mind, or do we want to focus more on the primary prevention goal? For instance invest in a bigger project that produces long-term social impact/outcome?  Wendy
  • How clear is the vision/image of what the future looks like for social change?  Visionaries (health care example) – people had pieces of the puzzle.  Dian
  • We have not had a discussion about what we are disappointed in. For some of what  we have supported over the years— asking ourselves “Is it working?”   Wendy
  • False hope?  Things we want to change, we can make small impacts.  For instance, oral health has lots of factors – doesn’t seem as big as we want it to be, but makes a small impact.  Jessica
  • False hope also in regards to equal pay for preschool teachers?  ECE education not valued?  Jessica
  • Until you value children! – no equality of pay exists for ECE professionals.  Sydney
  • What is the goal/vision? If we know, we have a tool to measure, i.e. oral health – what is the goal?  Rate of cavities, better education, tooth brushing rates/success, reduced dental issues?  Issues that don’t respond to limited interventions?  Ronnie
  • Founding Commissioners asked hard questions. Sometimes organizations can go stale if staying on the same route. Is there a potential to go a different route in the future? Maybe narrow down Strategic Goals?  Maybe focus on one or two things that make a big impact? Need to have discussion about what goals/vision current Commissioners have for the next Strategic Plan.  Wendy
  • Get a consultant for data analysis? Positive/negative attractors – emergent strategy – we don’t know in advance  Ronnie
  • Playgroups – safe, family-friendly places – something parents want – will up our game this year with the Playgroup Initiative  Wendy
  • Playgroups are only as good as the people running it! Some playgroups could come back to life, depending on the person/leader!  Jessica
  • Continue to fund something that doesn’t improve? Child Care community – have given and taken away multiple times.  Sydney
  • Overall picture?  Find money in other outlets when not favorable with us at the moment? People change direction to fit funding?  Dian
  • Focus on what’s possible, mobilize talent.  Wendy
  • Big vision for Child Trauma Institute – currently in limbo?  Suspense file? Ronnie
  • HSU is the asset for a  Child Trauma Institute in our region, if the leadership is there.  Could make a big difference, but requires spark.  Need leadership from the institution to make it happen.  Wendy
  • Child Trauma Institute discussion – Maine now is incorporating child trauma in medical evaluation system!  In Humboldt County, about 350 children in child welfare at any given time – numbers are small – about 20,000 children live in Humboldt County.  Big picture – incorporate into whole care system – trauma bigger than child welfare.  Dian
  • Child Trauma Academy – prevention focus – HSU could provide workforce development.  False hope question – wrestling with it. From primary prevention view, be more realistic what to focus on, where to have an impact.  Wendy
  • Primary prevention – from a public health view – takes a long time to make an impact, i.e. smoking, seatbelts, etc.  Dian
  • We are starting to see a movement for greater investment in ECE – increase in State funding – “Raise to the Top” – “Too Small to Fail” – “Ready Nation” – federal funding increase. Wendy
  • Child care programs on military bases required to be accredited – military could be generator.  Sydney
  • Health care reform – now includes home visiting – success in time/slow going.  Dian
  • What is our emergent approach for funding programs?  For the future –  how can we get more strategic?  What adjustments do we need to make?  What impacts do we want to realize? Engage in self-reflection – ask ourselves the hard questions. Do we want to scale some things up?  If so, what should we be doing now to scale up? What should we cease supporting?  We need to consider all these questions. Wendy

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 pm.

Next Meeting:
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
8 – 10 am
First 5 Humboldt Office

Chair:  Dian Pecora

Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501

Future Meetings:
Monday, Oct. 20, 2014; 5 - 7 pm, Wharfinger Bldg, Bay Room
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
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