Although the East Lubbock Community Alliance has met for more than a year, under several names, most of that time was spent getting to know each other and defining our purpose and structure. Finally late in September 2014 the members of “The Alliance came to a consensus on a vision, mission, focus areas (which are reflective of the Imagine Lubbock Together Plan) and monthly activities and started to function as “The Alliance”.
In the last three months “The Alliance” has experienced rapid growth and now has over 200 individual members and about 80 committed organizations and businesses. Thankfully there is now a Facebook page (East Lubbock Community Alliance), a website (www.eastlubbockcommunityalliance.org), a tag line (All for One and One for All) and a logo to streamline communication.
With this rapid growth in our membership, it is important to formalize some of our initial thinking so we continue to operate with a consistent understanding of the purpose, the functions and the expected outcomes of “The Alliance”.
Though we discussed our purpose for many months there is one simple rationale that seemed to resonate with all of us. We agreed that we were committed, that we were working really hard and that we were doing our best every day. Yet as we discussed what was happening in East Lubbock, it was painfully obvious that our efforts were not producing the outcomes any of us wanted, our kids were not passing in school and adults were not getting better training or better jobs. In fact, too many people in East Lubbock had lost hope in their life and in their children’s future and with that their motivation to work to make their lives and their community better.
As we came to terms with our lack of real success we recognized that we needed to change how we do work in this community. We agreed that all of us going our separate ways and doing our own thing was not having the kind of impact that we wanted or that the community needed. We agreed to change our unsuccessful ways and to work in close collaboration on everything we were doing in East Lubbock with a single purpose, to put the outcomes for people above our individual priorities. We talked at length about networking our staff and to increase the transparency of our operations and collaborations.
We talked about the importance of East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood’s work in the school and that working in the school was not “The Alliance’s” role. We agreed that to really bring long-term sustainable changes to East Lubbock would require the formation diverse alliance with people invested in supporting the people of the area in changing the community. We recognized the need to provide a long-term umbrella over the whole community (Census Tracts 9, 10, 12), basically a wraparound system that consistently supports all aspects of the community as defined by the people who live and work there. We needed to be focused on engaging the community, hearing their needs and desires and bringing changes that they define as important.
We agreed that while each of us had our own specialties, our own work and our own payors and with their expectations that developing a group sense of ownership of what we were all doing would be the key to real change.
To that end we agreed to jointly advocate on behalf of East Lubbock and initially take on 3 specific monthly activities:
- Alliance meeting (First Monday from 11:30-1:00pm)
- Partner on an event (preferably one that was already happening that we would join in with as a partner, and
- Community Forum to allow recommendations and feedback from the residents