Open Mic: Change and Growth at Neighborhood Partnerships

This month I am writing to you as a valued member of the broad and deep community of Neighborhood Partnerships’ stakeholders—community members, partners, and funders—invested over time in the work, staff, and sustainability of this organization. We are at a threshold of change and growth and wanted to bring you up to date.  

Neighborhood Partnerships’ (NP) core vision leads toward a culture and economy of abundance where everyone thrives. Last year NP completed our Strategic Intentions which forefront centering those most impacted, and the transformative power of collaboration and organizing. We work to center those most impacted by racial, housing, and economic injustice, and direct our energy and resources toward building community power, knowledge, and capacity. In alignment with these values, the workers of NP submitted to the organization a request to unionize with ILWU Local 5 earlier this month.  

As an organization, we believe collective action and unions are important vehicles for economic justice. NP is aligned with the values-centered process our workers have organized around, and with the collaborative and open spirit of ILWU Local 5. In their formal request, the workers who organized toward unionizing expressed their pride in the work Neighborhood Partnerships does, and their belief that this was the next step to foster trust, equity, and a fair balance of power between workers and management. Our Board and leadership are bringing our strategic values to bear in making the decision to meet our workers where they are, and are happy to announce that we voluntarily recognized the union, effective 2/23/23. You can find our joint statement with ILWU Local 5 here.   

NP values our staff and the hard work they do day in and day out. We care deeply about our people and believe that our practices, policies, and the things we design should reflect that care. The bargaining unit and NP are just at the beginning of our journey, and we are looking forward to working together to make Neighborhood Partnerships a workplace that embodies our shared values. We know that we all hold a commitment to the work and long-term sustainability of Neighborhood Partnerships and we look forward to working together to make that shared vision a reality.    

This is an impactful change, requiring a sustained and collective effort that will be braided into NP’s work going forward. We will share updates as appropriate throughout this process.   

A second significant change brings some melancholy, as NP’s long-time Director of Operations and Finance Karie Herrlinger has decided to leave the organization and embark on a new chapter. It would be impossible to overstate the quality and foundational importance of Karie’s contributions over her 17 years with NP. We are deeply grateful and will dearly miss her contributions both to the management of the organization and to our workplace culture. Karie’s last day will be Friday, April 7th.  

We also know that change brings opportunity. The confluence of Karie’s transition and staff unionization invites us to consider NP’s emerging needs around operations and fiscal capacity. We are engaged in developing our plan for who should next step into the director role, as well as devoting resources to provide strong continuity and fiscal controls during the recruitment and hiring process. Look out for the position posting and please share widely in your circles. 

As from the founding of our organization, the change we seek is only possible together in collaboration and partnership.  We deeply appreciate your support for our work and people and look forward to our continued collaboration. I welcome your questions and feedback. Please reach out if you’d like to engage.   

In partnership,  

Carlos David García, Executive Director  

Posted in News.