February 19, 2015 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of February 19, 2015 
(Corrected and approved on 3/24/15)

I.  Welcome and Introductions

Present:  Rex Bohn, Susan Buckley, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Dian Pecora
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa
Absent:  Jessica Callahan, Ronnie Swartz

 Susan Buckley called the meeting to order at 8:00 am

 II.  Public Comments and Announcements
Commissioner Lowry talked about a webinar “Litigating  Mitigating Trauma in Indian Country” which is research-based in Alaska.

Commissioner Fisher Larson encouraged Commissioners to watch a video about the ACES Study and how it impacts the child’s future health.  The video features Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who also was a presenter at the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit. Wendy shared that she sent the link to this video with her E.D. Report (http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime).

Commissioner Elliott attended a “data mining” workshop at the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit, which was presented by First 5 L.A. and L.A. Child Welfare Services. The workshop focused on looking at data of children in the CWS system over the years in correlation to a child’s early death. Wendy shared that First 5 L.A. looked at administrative data across systems and tracked children across the systems. The report, is gaining attention at the policy maker’s level and generating attention for the value of prevention and early intervention.

III.  Executive Director Report

  • Wendy shared the latest handout from the First 5 Association about the Board of Equalization’s use of Prop.10 funds.
  • Wendy, Commissioners Callahan, Elliott and Fisher Larson participated in legislative visits with Assembly member Wood and Senator Maguire during the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit. The “talking points” used for the legislative visits was routed.
  • Commissioners Elliott and Fisher Larson said that they enjoyed the visits to the Legislators and felt the Legislators were really receptive.  Commissioner Fisher Larson reported the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit was well attended, had powerful key note speakers and important information.  Commissioner Elliott shared that she now has a whole new level of awareness and was impressed by the wealth of collaboration within the First 5 community.
  • At the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit, Wendy had a conversation with the Executive Director of First 5 Mendocino and some of the First 5 Mendocino Commissioners about the inter-generational impact of marijuana.
  • The flyer for the upcoming annual Public Hearings was routed. We are required to hold annual public hearings on the Commission’s Strategic Plan and the First 5 California Annual Report.  The Public Hearings are set for Thursday, March 19, 2015 from 5 – 7 pm at the County Library.  Wendy requested that Commissioners take the lead in facilitating discussions around the Strategic Plan and the First 5 CA Annual Report.  Commissioners Lowry and Elliott volunteered to take the lead discussion for the Strategic Plan and Commissioner Buckley will take the lead discussion for the First 5 CA Annual Report.  Flyers will be sent to First 5 funded programs, partners, and subcommittee members. Commissioner Elliott inquired about ways to increase attendance at the Public Hearings. Commissioner Bohn suggested utilizing Access Humboldt.
  • Wendy routed recently published cartoons about the measles outbreak and immunization in general. Commissioner Buckley reported that 117 cases of measles have been reported in California and suggested that parents need a greater understanding about other impacts that come with measles. She also shared she is putting together a coalition that includes parents to develop some media spots about immunizations. Commissioners discussed vaccinations and the impact of the parents’ choices not to vaccinate the children, booster shots, and herd immunization. The Commission also discussed the proposed legislation that would require children to be fully vaccinated before going to school.
  • The red folder was routed that included two “Thank You” cards for Commissioners signatures for donations received at the First 5 Humboldt Fund at Humboldt Area Foundation, a Thank You card from Early Head Start, a flyer for the Manila playgroup, an Open House flyer for the Rio Dell Community Resource Center’s new site, a workshop flyer from HSU, and an article from Lee Schorr.

IV.  Approval of the Minutes:  Commission Meeting Minutes of January 8, 2015
Commissioner Lyons requested a correction to the meeting minutes of 1/8/15, with the correct spelling of Kishan Lara-Cooper’s name on page 2.
ACTION:  The meeting minutes of 1/8/15 were approved with the above mentioned correction.

V.  Consent Calendar:
A.  December 2014 Postings
B.  January 2015 Postings
C.  CLIF Award: Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council
ACTION:  The Consent Calendar items were approved as presented.

 VI.  Action Items:  Commission Officers
Per the Commission’s Bylaws, at the January Commission meeting officers for the Commission are proposed, and at a subsequent meeting nominees are selected by Commissioners. Nomination of Commission Officers was discussed at the last meeting.  Commission members nominated Mark Lovelace and Ovieda Elliott to continue in their role of co-chairs and Susan Buckley to continue in her role as chair-elect.
ACTION:  Mark Lovelace and Ovieda Elliott were selected to continue serving in their role of co-chairs for 2015 and Susan Buckley was selected to continue serving in her role as chair-elect for 2015.

VII.  Discussion Item:  Healthy Beverage Policy
Commissioners reviewed the Healthy Beverage Policy from First 5 Mendocino at the last meeting, and Commissioners were asked to provide input for a local policy.

At today’s meeting, Commissioners reviewed a draft policy for First 5 Humboldt funded programs.  The main goal of a Healthy Beverage Policy is to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy choices.  A Healthy Beverage Policy would be included as an Exhibit in the Agreements with First 5 Humboldt funded programs.

Commissioners discussed the development of a Healthy Beverage Policy and gave the following input:

  • Too much sugar at the First 5 Child Health, Education & Care Summit  Sydney
  • CSAC meeting – good experience with providing healthy food/beverages  Rex
  • Maybe add to the Policy what not to add  Rex
  • Add “please remember to follow these guidelines at all your events”  Susan
  • Add the tooth-decay link in regards to sugar-sweetened beverages  Susan
  • Include the purpose for the Policy, i.e. to decrease childhood obesity, tooth decay, etc.  Ovieda
  • Make a statement about why we are trying to avoid sweetened beverages  Rex
  • Public Health just did a Policy – will forward for language context  Susan
  • Sugar in moderation is important – make treat a special occasion, not an everyday event  Ovieda
  • Create a Healthy Beverage Policy or Healthy Food Policy? Will draft two version to review at the next meeting  Wendy
  • Who will be impacted by our Policy – Playgroups, FRCs?  Dian
  • Draft a letter to local bakeries and Safeway – more of a marketing strategy – healthier alternatives  Rex
  • Help create a demand for healthier food  Sydney
  • “Guidelines” is a better word than “Policy”  Ovieda
  • 0-5!  Keep it simple!  Wendy
  • Encourage eating whole fruit before offering 100% fruit juice  Dian
  • What about smoothies? In moderation? Serving sizes?  Reading labels?  Ovieda
  • Great discussion for policy development  Wendy

The draft of the Healthy Beverage Policy will be updated and discussed at the next meeting.  Wendy will provide two versions for Commission input.

 VIII.  Discussion Item:  Appreciate Inquiry in the Commission’s Work
Commissioners received an excerpt from “Introducing Appreciative Inquiry” from Reframing Evaluation Through Appreciative Inquiry by Hallie S. Preskill and Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas.  Commissioners also received an excerpt from the Commission’s “Family Substance Abuse Community Response Report” of 2003, which was done in collaboration with Humboldt County Public Health, Maternal Child & Adolescent Health. Wendy explained that the approaches used in these two handouts are fundamental to the Commission’s work. The handout “Introducing Appreciative Inquiry” is a great introduction into the work, and the “Family Substance Abuse Community Response Report” is a good example of work we have done using  Appreciative Inquiry. 

In 2002, the Commission brought John McKnight to the county to present the groundwork for asset-based community development. Then the Commission worked with Mary Gelinas to use the appreciative inquiry process during the work with the community to draft the “Family Substance Abuse Community Response Report.”

Wendy reviewed sections of the “Family Substance Abuse Community Response Report” with Commissioners.  She reviewed the purpose of the initiative, the approach to the initiative, the key messages, the purpose of the report, the underlying principles, and the Forum provided for the initiative.  Commissioners examined the “What We Learned – Key Messages” sections of the report, which included “create activities and programs for families and youth; increase a sense of community & belonging, and bridging social isolation.” The structure of a community Asset Map was reviewed, which is broken out by gifts of individuals, associations identified, and institutional organizations (founded on strength-based assets). Out of the identified strength-based assets, the concerns of the community was formulated and addressed.

A worksheet was handed out for Commissioners to consider the following structure of Appreciative Inquiry and how it fits in our work:

  • Appreciative Inquiry – What? – Building Cooperative Capacity
  • Appreciative Inquiry – Why? – The endless pursuit of solutions to problems creates a deficit discourse that has a number of dysfunctional effects in groups or organizations
  • Appreciative Inquiry – It’s All About the Questions! – We live into the world our questions create
  • Problem Solving – Basic Assumption:  An organization is a problem to be solved
  • Appreciative Inquiry – Basic Assumption: An organization is a mystery to be embraced.

Commissioners were asked to address the following questions:
1.      Describe a time in the organization that you consider a high point experience.  A time when you were most engaged and felt alive and vibrant.
2.      Without being modest, tell us what it is that you most value about yourself and the organization.
3.      What are the core factors that give life to the organization when it is at its best?
4.      Imaging the organization ten years from now, when everything is as you wish it to be.  What is different?  How have you contributed?

The following input was given:

  • Last question – was under the impression that by now everybody would know what First 5 is, and to have a stabilized funding in place.  Contribution:  Have vested interest in young children.  Sydney
  • First question – development and concept of playgroups, especially in Southern Humboldt – natural leaders – grow within community – First 5 still involved to help guide communities.  Dian
  • Second question – the work within Native American communities – proud of hearing about the Yurok language being taught to young children and the Native American communities stepping up to keep the traditions alive.  Rebecca
  • Third question – engaged/contribute – core factors – identify places, different level of expertise – richness of discussion.  Sheryl
  • Fourth question – ten years from now – hoping that funds are more secure for children and that funds are included in the Governor’s budget.  Rex

The following charts were used as visual aid:
Discovery – When we are at our best…
Dream – Images of what future we want…
Design – Aspiration statements…
Destiny – Action Projects and ongoing learning…


  • How do elements in our organization need to be created or transformed to support our ideals and allow the shared dream to flourish?
  • What kinds of projects, initiatives or changes will most support our shared vision of the ideal future?
  • Aspiration statements.


  • Action planning – blueprint of desired outcomes
  • Expand involvement
  • Capacity building
  • Increased momentum for learning

 This Discussion Item will be continued at a future meeting.

 The meeting was adjourned at 10 am. 

Next Meeting:
March 24, 2015
5 to 7 pm
Humboldt County Office of Education
HERC/Teacher Resource Center
901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka

Chair:  Rebecca Lowry

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

Next Meetings:
Thursday, April 16, 2015;  8 – 10:30 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, May 19, 2015;  5 – 7:30 pm, Humboldt County Office of Education, Madrone Room
Tuesday, June 23, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Humboldt Area Foundation, Emmerson Room
Thursday, July 9, 2015;  Commission Retreat; Time and Location TBD
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office