Initiatives and Collaborative Work
Great Communities Collaborative
The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) is a group of organizations dedicated to ensuring that the San Francisco Bay Area is made up of healthy, thriving neighborhoods that are affordable to all and linked to regional opportunities by a premier transit network. The GCC connects local residents with the tools and resources they need to influence decision making, forge diverse partnerships to craft lasting strategies, and harness the means to help move visions to reality. Read more.
Healthy Food for All
Healthy Food for All (HFA) is a three-year initiative funded by The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF), Convergence Partnership, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and American Farmland Trust. The goal of HFA is to expand healthy food access in the Bayview and Excelsior neighborhoods in San Francisco through community leadership development, activating public land for food cultivation, implementing food policy directives, and leveraging public-private partnerships. HFA aims to improve food access, encourage economic opportunity, and serve as a replicable model. Read more.
Strength from Within
Strength from Within is a three-year initiative funded by The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Strength from Within was launched as an outgrowth of TSFF’s Environmental Health and Justice Initiative (EHJI), which provided critical funding to many organizations launching projects devoted to grassroots organizing and addressing health disparities and environmental injustices. After receiving initial funding, many smaller EHJI grantees struggled to maintain the organizational staying power necessary to achieve their long-term vision and impact. Organizational leaders faced the challenge of creating and sustaining organizational infrastructure and systems with limited resources, time, and management skills. The demands of the immediate programmatic work eclipsed longer view thinking about organizational development.
Stronger organizations are needed to address the multitude of equity and social justice concerns raised by poorly regulated environmental decisions and management. TSFF wants to help encourage and fund the multi-year capacity building work required to build organizational infrastructure in communities traditionally excluded from positions of power and access to resources. Strength from Within was established to support the development of financially strong and organizationally effective grassroots environmental health and justice organizations in the Bay Area region.
Dow Chemical Settlement – Improving Environmental Health
In 2005, two local nonprofit organizations filed a public interest lawsuit, alleging that the City of Pittsburg improperly approved the replacement of a smaller existing plant in the City of Pittsburg with a larger facility and that Dow’s activities (tripling Dow’s on-site production of the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride to 18 million pounds per year) would negatively impact the local environment and community. Rather than fully litigating the case, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit. As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs secured meaningful mitigations by Dow to limit environmental and public health impacts by the company’s activities. Additionally, Dow agreed to provide $1,000,000 in funding for projects geared towards community and environmental health and benefit in the Pittsburg, Bay Point, and Antioch areas. The funds for these projects – $500,000 each – would be administered independently by The San Francisco Foundation and the East Bay Community Foundation.
In 2007, TSFF completed analysis of local environmental health issues and helped seed the formation of the East County Environmental Justice Collaborative (ECEJC) to work jointly with residents, organizations, governmental agencies, and other agencies to identify and address environmental justice concerns related to health, environment, and quality of life in east Contra Costa County communities. ECEJC partners include the Center for Human Development, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Contra Costa Health Services Public Health Division, and La Clinica de la Raza. Allies include Center for Human Development Promotoras and African American Health Conductors, CCISCO, Bay Point Partnership, and Mount Diablo Unified School District.
To date, The San Francisco Foundation has provided $490,000 to the ECEJC.
Oakley Settlement – Protecting Farmland
In June 2011, The Greenbelt Alliance, City of Oakley, and The San Francisco Foundation completed an agreement to set up a fund that would support the permanent protection of farmland. The agreement was based on a settlement that was reached in the Contra Costa Superior Court requiring the City of Oakley, landowners, and developers to compensate the surrounding environment when developing on prime farmland. At issue in the case were 828 acres of prime farmland of statewide importance in the City of Oakley. The landowners aim to convert the farmland and other acreage in the area of the East Cypress Corridor Specific Plan into over 3,000 housing units. As the houses are constructed over the next several years in Oakley, it is expected that the fund will generate approximately $7 million to acquire and preserve farmland.