To address our most important issues, we must work in close partnership across sectors. In that spirit, SFF-initiative the Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) hosted “The Power and Promise of Multisector Collaboratives: Equitable Recovery, Sustainable Communities, and the Case of the Canal Policy Working Group.” This highlights and shares best practices from a successful model in Marin County.
The Canal Policy Working Group (CPWG) was formed in late summer of 2020 to develop bold, equity-focused solutions to address the disproportionate impacts that COVID-19 was having on communities of color, particularly the Latino community in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood. The CPWG is a collaboration between the City of San Rafael, the County of Marin, and a coalition of 19 community partners including the Chamber of Commerce. It is led by a steering committee made up of the City of San Rafael, the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Canal Alliance, Community Action Marin, Legal Aid of Marin, and the Marin Community Foundation.
Christa Brown, SFF’s Senior Program Officer for Policy Advocacy, moderated the panel which featured Omar Carrera, CEO of the Canal Alliance, and Cristine Alilovich, San Rafael’s Assistant City Manager. They explained what drove the city and county to partner with nonprofit organizations and how the CPWG ensured that policies and programs prioritized the needs of low-income residents and immigrants, essential workers, and communities of color. This included an eviction moratorium, a rent freeze to protect tenants, and ensuring that COVID tests (and later vaccines) were accessible to these communities. They discussed plans to ensure an equitable recovery as well as a possible expansion in the future. Panelists shared that this model could help communities and local governments work closely on both long-standing and emerging issues, such as climate change impacts (e.g., the threat of sea level rise in under-resourced communities). Having a multi-sector collaborative like CPWG helped build consensus around these equity goals during a moment of crisis, including from city and county governments and agencies, philanthropy, the local Chamber of Commerce, and grassroots community organizations.
- Watch the full panel here.
- Learn more about the Canal Policy Working Group
- Learn more about Great Communities Collaborative (GCC)
- Read about SFF’s work to support communities during COVID and our All in on Housing approach