We had another incredible year in 2016, filled with great events, important collaborations, and new connections. As per tradition, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to share our very favorite moments of this year.
SA2020 kicked off 2016 with a Dreamweek panel discussion, entitled “Realizing the Dream of a World-Class City: Driving Action in San Antonio.” Molly Cox joined Andres Andujar from Hemisfair, Sandy Morander from YMCA of San Antonio, Sho Nakpodia from Dreamweek, and Councilman Ron Nirenberg to discuss how to create change in San Antonio and how a shared vision helps drive outcomes in our community. It was a great evening discussing our current progress and encouraging community members to find their own action to keep up that progress.
In January, SA2020 collaborated with the MLK Commission, Girls Inc., City Year, SAISD, and Project Worth for the “My City, Our Community” Youth Summit at St. Phillip’s College. 200 students participated in conversation about education and opportunities in our community and were inspired by Grammy Award Winning Artist J. Ivy and Representative Bakari Sellers. We loved hearing about the students’ dreams and goals, and were excited to see some of them marching with their signs at the Martin Luther King, Jr. March a few days later!
In partnership with San Antonio Area Foundation and University of Incarnate Word, SA2020 helped connect more than 150 San Antonio residents aged 60+ at November’s Community Conversation: Successfully Aging and Living in San Antonio. Participants gave their thoughts on challenges and opportunities for seniors in San Antonio, which will help develop a comprehensive strategy where seniors thrive and are prized as vital citizens in our community. As one participant put it, “This meeting gave new purpose to my life in San Antonio.”
In September, Anna and her husband Zach welcomed baby Benjamin into the world! Anna left her position as Development Associate to spend more time with Ben, but the Fregosis remain part of the SA2020 family, and we love watching our newest #babyontherise grow up.
In August the City voted to approve SA Tomorrow, the three plans—Comprehensive, Transportation, and Sustainability—that provide blueprints for managing San Antonio’s expected growth of 1 million residents by 2040. SA2020 is working with the Department for Planning and Community Development to help select and refine measures of success for the Comprehensive Plan, which will be housed on the SA2020 Data Dashboard in 2017. The SA Tomorrow and SA2020 partnership is a natural fit, as the Comprehensive Plan will directly affect SA2020 goals in Neighborhoods, Transportation, Environmental Sustainability, Health & Fitness, and Economic Competitiveness.
SA2020 helped to coordinate the outreach and engagement efforts of ReadyKidSA, a countywide early childhood initiative by the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. Featuring a soon to be launched website that provides a one-stop resource for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-8, ReadyKidSA is Bexar County’s comprehensive early childhood agenda. ReadyKidSA, the United Way, and SA2020 helped celebrate students going back to school this year with “Ready Packs for Ready Kids”, a volunteer backpack build that provided 2,500 students ages 3-8 with school necessities. The backpacks were distributed to students at schools across San Antonio that were identified with ReadyKidSA data as having the greatest need for these supplies.
SA2020 turned 6 this year! While we had our fair share of cake, we focused our celebrations on prioritizing our top 7 goals for year 7 and asking that community members join us by making donations to help support those goals. We’re so grateful to the 51 donors who gave birthday gifts, and to the many of you who wished us a happy birthday!
Last year, as part of the Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnerships for Attainment, SA2020 released the Talent Pipeline Task Force Report, a review of San Antonio’s workforce skills gaps and recommendations to help close the gap and increase college and career readiness. One year later, we’ve evaluated these recommendations and strategies to determine where progress has been made and where gaps persist. We’re looking forward to releasing the Evaluation early next year in partnership with San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and SA Works. Until then, you can read more about our efforts in aligning workforce strategies in the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s new guidebook.
With so much focus on this year’s national election, San Antonio saw an especially engaged electorate and a voter turnout of 57%, including record-breaking turnout during early voting. SA2020 encouraged San Antonians to get registered and get out the vote, connecting them with registration information, voting locations, and voter requirements.In fact, when we posted a list of early voting locations on social media, you all shared it more than 3,000 times, proving your commitment to voting and getting your friends and family to commit, too. With the 2017 municipal and bond election just around the corner in May, we’ll look to keep up our local voting momentum and continue to keep San Antonio informed.
The “I Am SA2020” blog has its title for a reason. SA2020 is much more than just our staff and board—it’s all the people who get involved in our shared vision and make a difference. Our blog tells the stories of those individuals and organizations, often from their own perspectives. This year, we featured posts from 33 community authors, bringing our author total to 103 since we launched the blog in 2014. Next year, we hope to share even more, and we invite you to join us! Help us tell the stories of your leadership, volunteerism, and work in San Antonio. (You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories!)
At SA2020 we’re frequently reminded that the work we get to do in San Antonio is pretty special and unique. This year, organizations and local governments from Arizona, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Washington, and even England asked us to share with them how we turned a community vision into a nonprofit organization that tracks data, supports Partner nonprofits, and shows the public where they can get involved. (Beyond the strategic stuff, we tell them that we were lucky to begin with a collaborative and thoughtful community.)
Early this year we released the 2015 Community Report Card, which showed the updated data through 2015. Good news: 31% of our indicators are on-track or have already met/exceeded our goal! (More good news news: data is often a year or two behind, so we’re likely further along in our progress on most indicators.) Our newest data update is coming—we’ll officially release it at our 2016 Impact Report! .
This year we welcomed 12 new nonprofits as SA2020 Partners! We are so glad that Alamo Colleges, Alpha Home, Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, Dreams Fulfilled Through Music, Each One Teach One, Haven for Hope, I Care San Antonio, Luminaria, San Antonio Zoo, Special Reach Inc., St. Peter – St.Joseph Children’s Home, and Trinity University College Advising Corps have joined us. We now have 145 Partners that work across San Antonio to support all 11 of our Cause Areas. See them all here and find out how you can get involved with those that interest you most.
Every week in San Antonio there are amazing events and programs happening that help make our city even stronger and more vibrant. At SA2020 we get to hear about so many of these events, and we love spreading the word about them. This year, we endorsed 84 events as “Certified Awesome”, encouraging community members to get involved and helping tell the story of how the initiative had an impact on our shared vision. Collectively, these events had direct connections to all 11 of our Cause Areas, giving community members concrete ways to drive action toward our shared goals.
We love our nonprofit Partners and all that they contribute to San Antonio, so we wanted to learn even more about their day-to-day work. In celebration of the holidays, we kicked off #SA2020DaysofGiving—9 days of volunteering at 9 Partner organizations. For two weeks in December, we visited Partners and helped out with everything from sorting food to moving boxes to decorating for the holidays. Read more here.
If you haven’t heard, SA2020 is pretty into making connections. We were excited to connect with the community in a number of ways this year. For the first time, we partnered with LOOP to help host their annual Mega Mixer at the San Antonio Museum of Art, connecting more than 500 young professionals to member organizations, while also encouraging them to pledge to vote and provide feedback on the City of San Antonio proposed budget.
Additionally, we visited 27 organizations and companies to give presentations and share more about SA2020, where we are in our vision, and how they can make a difference.
409 individuals created new profiles on SA2020.org this year, connecting them to our 145 nonprofit Partners that they can filter based on what Cause Areas they’re most interested in or by who has upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Finally, we had a lot of fun connecting with even more of you on social media. Across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we shared data, touted our Partners’ work, posted volunteer selfies, and showed why we love San Antonio with our 37,000+ followers.
Thanks for another awesome year of connections and progress, San Antonio! We’ll see you in 2017!