In this day of government belt-tightening, more and more organizations are experiencing cuts in their budgets. Non-essential not for profits are shuttering their doors, city services are being rolled back, and there is an uptick in the rate of foreclosures in this country. People just don’t have the disposable income that they used to. Though personal finances are scarce, most of us find a way to support those causes which are near and dear to them.
Which is why I support the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI). There are precious few communities in this country that boast an organization like JCCI. When I returned to Jacksonville, I sought out an organization that had a stake in the community that it served. One that wanted to not only see change, but wanted to drive that change. JCCI was the only organization that met those criteria. Other organizations that I either joined or visited to get more fell way short of my expectations. Some were tired and had run their course. Others were internally corrupt, and morally bankrupt. Still others had no clear vision of their purpose. Not the case with JCCI.
One of the first studies I participated in back in 2002 centered on race relations. JCCI was able to make the bold move and bring stakeholders to the table with differing views of what race meant in Northeast Florida. It was halfway through that study that I realized I was hooked! It was like being back in college minus the pressure of producing a satisfactory grade. As I found out more about the organization, I found out that JCCI had done the following:
JCCI Participated in a community indicators project in Londrina, Brazil.
JCCI was the lead support agency in helping the City of San Antonio, Texas complete its visioning project. www.sa2020.org is on its way thanks in no small part to JCCI.
JCCI Forward, JCCI’s young and emerging leadership program, created the Super Bowl Speaker’s Bureau in advance of Super Bowl XXXIX.
Each study that JCCI has completed had an action plan component, which has led to a direct impact on our community. A lot of changes in the community over the past 30 years have been a direct result of a JCCI study.
This is why I support JCCI.
Lately, there has been a negative backlash regarding JCCI and its “studies”. The backlash is a result of folks not knowing what JCCI does. JCCI is not an arm of city government, and it remains independent of the decisions of city hall, yet city hall is a direct focus of past studies – that is why some folk think we don’t need any more studies. JCCI used to enjoy generous funding from the city and from United Way. Those dollars have dried up, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is always a good thing when an organization can operate independently of socio-political agendas.
That is why I support JCCI.
Finally, we have a choice is who and what we support. In a perfect world, we would be able to support ALL of our interests. But in reality, we have to make tough choices on where to spend our philanthropic dollars. With an organization such as JCCI located here, the choice is an easy one.
That is why I support JCCI and you should too.
Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012