2014 was a busy year for SA2020. In all honesty, every year is a busy year for SA2020. You know…because we have that deadline and all.
SA2020 has the distinct privilege of being both our community’s shared vision for San Antonio and the actual nonprofit that exists to help us achieve that vision. As we move closer to Sept. 25, 2020, I am reminded of the thousands of San Antonians who for six months suspended planning for the easily achievable and freed themselves to dream about the extraordinary. I also think of the thousands more who haves since joined them in action to ensure that their personal contributions to their community add up to the San Antonio of 2020 that they really want, not just the one that is easiest to come by. In 2014, the nonprofit SA2020 had the opportunity to lead and partner with many of you on work that moves us closer to achieving those bold goals.
In December 2013, the Lumina Foundation announced San Antonio as one of the first 20 cities in America to partner with the foundation to increase the number of local residents with postsecondary credentials. SA2020 used this investment to bring together local industry and education leaders to begin robust data driven work to define the gaps between our education system’s real time talent production and actual job demand within the targeted SA2020 industries sectors of healthcare and biosciences, IT, and advanced manufacturing.
The Talent Pipeline Taskforce is led by SA2020 and composed of industry leaders from JP Morgan Chase, Toyota, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Zachry Holdings, Tesoro, H-E-B, Rackspace, and the San Antonio Manufacturer’s Association, as well as leaders in post secondary education including the Alamo Colleges, UTSA, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the San Antonio and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and others. Next April, the Task Force will provide specific recommendations on talent production targets (from certificates to degrees), and strategies to help meet our community’s future target industry job demand.
EnrollSA/Get Bexar Covered
Last year, SA2020 joined an impressive coalition of community health groups and organizations that banded together to make access to healthcare and insurance a reality for San Antonio’s uninsured population. With the help of SA2020, EnrollSA/Get Bexar Covered reached more than 1.7 million people with messages about the importance of insurance and basic healthcare. The collective work of the coalition resulted in 76,414 people enrolling in health insurance in our community, with 19,414 of those people enrolling at EnrollSA events held between Feb. 5 and April 15, 2014. The current open enrollment period extends through Feb. 15, 2015, and you can find more information at www.EnrollSA.com.
SA2020 also partnered with many San Antonio educators and nonprofit organizations to work together to make college top of mind in San Antonio through a week of free events to celebrate it as a college town and a college-going town. Destination College reached more than 2.5 million people with messages about the importance of education beyond high school – that’s locally and nationally.
The collective work of the coalition resulted in a 50% increase in attendance at events throughout the week over last year. Almost 3,000 students, parents, and chaperones participated, and a national spotlight was cast on San Antonio when First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Reach Higher Campaign from our College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The next Destination College will take place April 27-May 1, 2015. Find out more at www.IKnowWhereImGoing.com.
Eastside Promise and Opportunity
Living Cities, a collaborative of the worlds largest foundations and financial institutions, expanded its signature effort aimed at revitalizing U.S. cities – The Integration Initiative (TII), with a second round of sites including San Antonio. Through TII, Living Cities supports cities that are reshaping their communities with innovative, cross-sector initiatives and policies to increase opportunity and improve outcomes for low-income residents. SA2020, in partnership with the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, leads a collaborative effort to better demonstrate the intersection between capital investment, collective impact, and public sector innovation, particularly as it relates to the SA2020 goal to reduce San Antonio’s poverty rate by 50%.
Health & Fitness Alignment Model
In 2013, the Coca-Cola Foundation made a $1.5-million investment in San Antonio. SA2020 was engaged to focus on outcomes related to reducing obesity, one of the SA2020 goals. We developed a sustainable model that allows for a holistic approach to healthier behaviors by aligning San Antonio Sports’ afterschool program, the City of San Antonio’s Mobile Fit unit, and the San Antonio Food Bank’s fresh fruit and vegetable distributions. The program will continue through the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
SA2020 City Commissions
After a strategic restructuring of several citywide commissions, the SA2020 Commission on Education and the SA2020 Commission on Family Well-Being were launched. Members of these commissions, who come from each of San Antonio’s 10 districts, help the City of San Antonio think strategically about the work being done in these SA2020 areas.
In the spring of 2014, the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County was awarded a state grant from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) to enhance home visiting programs in Bexar County and strengthen our local early childhood service system to better meet the needs of children and families. As the lead agency providing strategic guidance and funding for this effort, the United Way engaged SA2020 to provide coalition development, strategic planning, and campaign support to this early childhood effort. The ReadyKidSA coalition will build on successful child and family programs in San Antonio. In 2015, the work of ReadyKidSA will ramp up and the purpose is twofold:
- Create a comprehensive early childhood system that promotes children’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children 8 years old and under.
- Provide parents and caregivers with the tools, and resources to better support their families.
This work is a comprehensive approach to early childhood, linking key issues from health, education, and family well-being for a more holistic approach to smart, healthy, happy kids. You can find out more at www.ReadyKidSA.com.
VoteSA & UIW
The students in the University of the Incarnate Word’s Social Design class led by professor Doris Palmeros weren’t in the market to simply create some cute designs for communication purposes. These students wanted to solve a problem through design and took on a challenge facing our community – low voter turnout. Students researched voter turnout in Bexar County, developed creative solutions to increase voter education. The result? A truly creative and thoughtful design for a citywide “Get Out the Vote” Campaign, with a specific focus on municipal elections – an SA2020 indicator. VoteSA will launch in 2015, but the hard work – designing a truly powerful and strategic brand – happened in 2014.
Supported by the City of San Antonio, the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and the AT&T Foundation, SA2020 released the 2014 SA2020 Progress Report. This report provides a snapshot of where our community stands on our SA2020 goals. It also highlights key strategies implemented across all 11 vision areas, including those that can clearly be traced to public policy decisions, as well as those that have multi-sector coalitions working towards a common target.
Throughout the 11 vision areas, the data revealed a mixture of bright spots and areas for improvement. More importantly, the report provides a starting point for clear focus on those strategies that are moving the needle.
The full report can be downloaded from SA2020.org/progress. The website is also home to a new interactive Data Dashboard featuring up-to-date graphs and charts for each indicator.
The 2014 SA2020 Resolutions campaign launched in January as a way for individuals in our community to personally take action on SA2020 goals to make our community better. Individuals could sign up for these Resolutions at SA2020.org and each resolution was directly tied to an SA2020 goal. Throughout the year we had a total of 360 resolutions made by 176 volunteers, and their work inspired more than 30 different blogs! Check them out at www.SA2020.org/tag/SA2020-resolutions.
Outreach & Engagement
As you can imagine, SA2020 wants to be plugged into everything because so much is happening in San Antonio that advances our vision. This year we created a new way to highlight events, programs and community events that contribute directly to SA2020 Indicators through our Certified Awesome event endorsements and presentations. This year we reached more than 15,000 people through these events and presentations!
But we didn’t want others to have all the fun, so the SA2020 team also spent a solid chunk of the year experiencing all San Antonio has to offer. As individuals, we attended or volunteered at more than 120 local events this year – everything from arts performances to playground builds and even the Rock n’ Roll Marathon (or 5k, but who’s counting?)
And our website? We had 37,357 people visit our website this year and had 1,181 individuals complete new profiles to get connected to organizations and opportunities.
I have the honor of leading a small team of very talented and passionate people who challenge themselves and one another each day to tangibly impact our city. But SA2020 is so much more than the few individuals who share our offices or our incredible board of directors. It’s also not just about those large institutional partners who are making bigger than ever impacts on our city through smart and focused public policy and philanthropy.
SA2020 is Brandon Logan, who volunteered more than 100 hours in San Antonio in service to SA2020 goals.
SA2020 is Estrella Hernandez, a middle school student ambassador for the Mayors Fitness Council who created a gaming app to make walking more fun for kids.
SA2020 is Platinum Top 50 Realtors, who committed to show more houses inside Loop 410 in 2014, then did.
SA2020 is Colleen Pence and her kids who visited 20 parks in 2014 as part of a resolution to get outside and see more of San Antonio.
SA2020 is you!
I am asked all the time, “But how do I get involved with SA2020? I want to do something.” I say, “Start simply.”
For example, choose an SA2020 partner and sign up to volunteer or give them a few dollars, so they can keep doing the great work they’re doing to move the SA2020 needle. Challenge your public officials to view their policy decisions and resource allocations through the lens of those measures of success you and thousands of your neighbors put in place through SA2020. During the next election (There’s a special election on January 6), study up on the candidates, then actually take the time to go vote. Increasing voter turnout is one of the key SA2020 indicators for a greater San Antonio that you chose.
My reflection on our community’s 2014 successes and challenges reinforced for me the idea that together we are stronger. In 2010, we dreamed of not just a marginally better city, but an extraordinary San Antonio. We have been working together towards that vision ever since. 2015 is our halfway mark, and we still have a lot of work to do. I am convinced that if we remain focused on our shared SA2020 measures of success and keep the pressure on ourselves to do the hard work necessary to achieve them, we will be very proud of the San Antonio we see at the end of this decade.