October 12, 2018

NEXT MEETING: October 12, 2018
Next meeting at La Strada Restaurant, San Pablo. See below.

Global Peace

Child soldier in Columbia. Photo from TheirWorld.org

Pierre Thompson, a 2016-18 Rotary Peace Fellow, originally from Richmond, will discuss the empirical study of peace and the Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI offers a new conceptual framework to define peacefulness, measure peace, and promote a better understanding of the cultural, economic and political factors that create peace. Pierre will reflect on how the “pillars of peace” have affected conflict dynamics in other settings where he has worked (Israel-Palestine, Philippines, China) and reflect on the relationship between business, peace and prosperity in the City of Richmond.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Our next meeting, on Oct. 12, will take place at La Strada Restaurant, in San Pablo. 2215 Church Ln, San Pablo. Directions.
    To avoid food waste but ensure enough is prepared, please RSVP as soon as possible.
  • Stacey announced that the Rotary Auction is November 30th. Click here to see our Holiday Auction page. However this is not yet ready for public viewing. We only have a few items listed now,  and don’t want members of the public to go to the site and find just of handful of esoteric gifts. That means it’s important for everyone to get their auction items listed.Nick reminded us how to use the button on the Auction page to submit a description, and if you have a good one, a photo of your donated item. Please check it out now.

    Also think about who you want to invite as guests to the Auction—more guests will bring more bidding!

    Again, we need interesting items for the Auction. Think like Nick’s “Celebration of Cannabis” last year, or Stacey’s “Fajitas & Margaritas Party”….maybe someone could do a “Massage Therapy Party”! Erle Brown said he’d be there for that one!!! Get the date out there, get people interested, it’s a great event.

  • Jon Lawlis told us a little story that illustrated the power of our Auction. Last year he and Darlene welcomed Dan Nackerman from Utah, who saw our Quebec Farmhouse listed when Tom Butt shared Auction info, and he rented from them. Nackerman used to work in the Richmond area on housing.
  • Tamara Shiloh announced her Multi-Cultural Bookstore Fundraiser Event – November 2nd – 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Funds raised will be used for inventory of books in the store. They are in need of some nice items to auction. If you can help out, that would be great — bring your checkbook.
  • Jerry Feagley brought up El Cerrito Rotary’s Sip & Savor Event – October 7th – 2:30 to 5:30 at the Berkeley Country Club.
  • Erle Brown reported the need for an additional $1,000 for the Peres Elementary School donation done each year to provide each teacher $100.00 for school supplies for their classroom. It didn’t take long for rotary members present to give funds and the goal was met. A total of $3,000.00 was raised in total in a two-week period. Many thanks to those who donated to this great cause. An additional $1,000, thanks to Phyllis Brown’s bequest, will also be donated to Peres School.

MEETING OF October 5, 2018

Welcome

President Jerry Feagley welcomed the group. David Brown led the Pledge. Herb Cole led the invocation with a prayer for peace, freedom and justice on Earth. Sid Chauvin’s Thought for the Day…”Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Jim Becker, Richmond Community Foundation (RCF), Speaker Today

Mariz Bolano, Salestian Interact Club President and Guest of Henry Moe, Salestian Facility Advisor

Mariz Bolano was introduced to the Club by Henry Moe. Mariz was sent to Camp Royale in Northern California on a Rotary scholarship. She wanted to thank our Rotary Club for this opportunity to learn better leadership skills. She learned a lot and shared some pictures from her time at the camp. Thank you!

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Ric Ambrose had no Recognitions for this week. No, that doesn’t mean he’s suffering from amnesia (if losses of memory are to be considered a form of suffering, which itself is arguable). It just means that in the previous week there were no birthdays, club anniversaries, or wedding anniversaries.

Happy/Sad Dollars

  • Nick had happy dollars for being a member of this Rotary club, where people of differing political beliefs can sit side-by-side and enjoy each other’s company. There are not a lot of political-safe zones in today’s world! He gave $1 for the Democrats, $1 for the Republicans, and $1 for the Independents!!
  • Jon had happy dollars that the Contractors’ Lunch was a great success. We had a great turnout and a lot of fun. It will be in the Auction for next year!
  • Jan had happy dollars that Byron made it to the Contractors’ Lunch and had a lot of fun. She also had a happy dollar for the Independents and the safe zone at Rotary! She had a sad dollar for the Cal game against the Ducks last Saturday.
  • Jim Becker had a happy dollar for his first time at the Contractors’ Lunch and he had a wonderful time….(he thinks)! =)
  • Erle had a happy dollar for it being his time to pay for the Contractors’ Lunch this past Wednesday. It was a great one. Good thing our Rotary meeting wasn’t on Thursday instead of today… it might have affected the amount of people able to attend!
  • Herb wanted to thank the Designated Driver Darlene Quenville at the Contractors’ Lunch. Herb is trying to get steaks served next year but it will probably be our regular hamburgers, BLTs and hotdogs — after all, it is a Contractors’ Lunch at the Missouri Lounge!
  • Mark had happy dollars that he’d be doing the sailboat trip for the Auction and Chevron will take it again. Luckily, doesn’t need a designated driver, he can put it on auto (sail) pilot!
  • Tamara had a happy dollar for her great-grandson. He’s on the cover of one of her books.
  • Jerry had happy dollars for the Contractors’ Lunch, too! A guy at the bar thought we were a great bunch of guys. We need to get him to join our Club.
  • Ric had happy dollars for the Cal game against the Oregon Ducks. Go Ducks!!

PROGRAM

The RIchmond Community Foundation

Stacey introduced Jim Becker, President of the Richmond Community Foundation. Jim has been with RCF since 2005 but became President & CEO in 2014. Stacey has had the pleasure of working with him since that time. 

Jim began, “There is a new type of philanthropy in town.” RCF is not a typical non-profit organization. They connect people, companies, resources in helping on issues such as education, housing etc. in the community. Community foundations were set up to assist donors so they could make gifts to several organizations within a community, through “donor advised funds.” But this does not insure that the poverty, lack of healthcare, housing, and similar issues we see every day are addressed as well as they should be. Instead, the RCF leverages the “power of connection” to create collaborations that enable companies, individuals, and government to take on projects that help local neighborhood in ways deemed most impactful.

A war on poverty was declared 50 years but poverty is still with us. Jim observed that “we’re thinking about the solutions the wrong way. We feed people, but we need to help people to feed themselves. During the downturn in economy, safety net services such as food, clothing, shelter, some people fell through the cracks as safety net service were not enough.”

Those who do not fall through the cracks, benefit from four condition that they have created for themselves:

  1. Job that paid a decent wage;
  2. Good money management, working within a budget they have set up;
  3. Savings to weather financial storms; and,
  4. A strong credit score.

RCF started Spark Point to help families improve in these four areas. There are four Spark Point Centers in the area. Spark Point Centers bring together a range of local services and helps connect people to those services. They help their clients get the skills for a good job, assist them to a 700+ credit score, develop a budget they can stick to,  and save from two to three months of money saved.

Jim told us about a creative approach to solving Richmond’s housing problem. The City has many boarded-up homes. The Richmond Housing Renovation Project has started tackling this issue by means of $3 million in Social Impact Bonds, issued by the City and purchased by Mechanics Bank. The money enables the renovation of derelict homes, then making them available for sale at affordable prices. When the houses are sold, the Richmond Housing Project reinvests that money to renovate new homes, like a revolving line of credit. The Project will continue to do this until the bond payment is due. Go to Richmond Community Foundation website, to learn more about this innovative project. To date, 17 homes have been done.

The main purpose of the RCF is determining the needs of the community and bringing people and investors together to meet those needs. RCF is talking to companies about Philanthropy Tool Kit – how they can be engaged in the community. They are working to get large companies, such as  Amazon and others to become partners in helping to revitalize our community.


- Rotating Scribe Darlene Quenville