Calling All Community Volunteers!

Ever thought that San Carlos would benefit from a non-profit organization dedicated to improving our quality of life? Like the San Carlos Education Foundation, but focused on civic, rather than educational, opportunities? Have you been looking for a way to work with others wanting to do the same thing?

Well, now’s your chance.

Last night the Council discussed how we’d like to see the $2,000,000 from the PG&E Line 147 settlement utilized by just such a community-led organization. The discussion addressed two related but separate questions. How does such an organization get established? And what goals should be established for how the $2,000,000 of community money can be spent by the organization?

That second question involves details like whether or not the money should be used as an endowment (meaning only some portion of what it earns can be spent each year) or be allowed to be spent on projects (and potentially eventually run out), should the money only be spent on projects in San Carlos (as opposed to projects that benefit San Carlos), etc. All important questions, but all of which only really matter after the organization that will receive the funds is established.

And that’s where you, a community-minded person motivated to make San Carlos better, come into the picture.

While the Council can establish a foundation by its own actions (even to the extent of interviewing to appoint its initial leadership), there was strong support voiced for a better approach: encourage community members to band together and establish a foundation themselves, and seek recognition by the Council to become the vehicle for administering that $2,000,000.

In other words, have San Carlos do what it does best: come together voluntarily to make everyone’s lives better. And empower that group with a good base of funding, to get them off to a strong start.

So get together with your fellow San Carlans, and get cracking!

In the interest of full disclosure, the Council did not decide on the approach I’m describing here; this was a discussion item, not an action item. The Council could still opt to set up a foundation itself. That’s why I said “strong support [was] voiced”. 

But if an organization comes together and presents a plan for how it would work to serve San Carlos, I believe the Council will give it serious consideration (and I will personally do whatever I can to get it a fair hearing). Because there was broad-based recognition on the dais that foundations that grow out of a community are stronger, and longer lasting, than ones that are injected into a community.

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