It was wonderful to see so many of you at the 2022 Partnership Retreat. We have a lot of news to share that will, I hope, help you in your work.
I want to remind all Executive Directors (including interims) that on September 6 from 4 to 6 pm eastern we will hold the Partnership Annual Business Meeting, where you will be updated on the health of the Partnership and we will have two important discussions: one about our upcoming strategic planning process and one about the positions you would like the Partnership to endorse or avoid on federal legislative proposals we anticipate in the wake of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, to guide the Board in its decision making. (The Partnership will provide information to support members’ work at the state level but will also have to decide how to act with respect to federal proposals.)
First, I want to thank our fabulous administrative assistant Caleb Herbst, who will be leaving us September 9 in order to take a position with the New Jersey Department of Education working to support their engagement with the legislature. Caleb has been an anchor for our work over the last two years; he will be much missed. Zoë Kilbourne has agreed to expand their time with us to take on his duties, so please refer any questions you would have sent Caleb to them.
New Services: Based on your comments and feedback, we have developed some new services that we will be kicking off in September. Please look for the following:
- Invitations to Brown Bag Lunch calls on Fridays at 1 eastern. We will hold these weekly in September and October; if they prove helpful, we will add to the series. These are informal chats for all interested Partnership member staff. So far, we have scheduled the following:
- September 9: Message Framing for Red, Blue, and Purple Audiences
- September 23: Parental Rights and Children’s Needs
- September 30: Conversations and Reflections on Race Equity
- October 7: Reproductive Rights and Child Advocacy
- October 14: Structuring Staff Roles by Organization Size
- October 21: Preparing for the Year Ahead (advocacy agendas and campaign strategies)
- October 28: Working with Parent Coalitions and Grassroots Groups
- Monthly model material requests. Many of you asked for model materials from colleague organizations. So each month, we will send out a general request for one type of document (such as hiring processes, communications plans, or grassroot training materials). If you think you have a good example, please share the document on the listserv. We will post all of these documents on the Partnership website in the password protected area for members to find when they need them. This month, our request is for Board training materials.
Next Steps: There are some upcoming developments for which we will be calling on you for support.
- Website. Many of you have noticed that we had to stop updating the website. That was because our platform became badly outdated and nonfunctional. We have moved the website to WordPress. Please check it out at www.foramericaschildren.org, and especially note that you can search all Partnership members’ websites using the search function at the top of the home page. We are now adding new content about your strategies and successes. Please keep an eye out for emails from Caleb and from our Director of Administration and Finance, Nia Lizanna, checking that we are describing your work accurately, so we can publicize your work.
- Successes and Agendas. We are also preparing our annual description of your successes to share with each other and with funders. Jasmine Jones will be reaching out to some of you to confirm information; again, please keep an eye out for her emails, and feel free to email her at [email protected] with successes you would like us to include.
- New Leader Training: On September 15 and 16 we are offering, in partnership with the Center on Budget and the Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT team, a training for new executive directors in Washington DC. This is the first time since 2019 we have been able to offer this; if you didn’t receive an invitation and would like to attend, please email Debbie at [email protected] immediately.
- Fall Board elections: In November, we will hold our annual elections for new Board members. All Executive Directors are asked to vote; please watch for more information.
Get the most from your membership: I also want to make sure you are getting some of our recurring services. These include:
- The Advocacy Learning Lab (ALL) monthly update, with newly released or particularly relevant documents for child advocates. Any Partnership member staffer can get this and get access to the online Advocacy Learning Lab. We will also host a webinar soon on using the revised ALL. If you or a staffer needs to sign up for ALL and the monthly alerts, please email Jasmine Jones at [email protected].
- The Six Pillars series of monthly calls focuses on our main issue areas, moderated by Jasmine Jones. This Six Pillars series is designed to let you connect with your colleagues around the country to learn what they are working on and where they have had success. Our September 20 call will be on school success, October 18 will be on Equity and Diversity , November 15 on Family Stability and Economic Security , and December 20 on Child Health. We are also planning a January 2023 call on federal advocacy. You can view the resources from the past calls on Child Safety and Juvenile Justice and the resources on early success on the members only section of the website. The username is Child_Network and the password is [email protected]*
- Please remember to onboard your new staff to Partnership listservs so that they can get our emails, invitations to webinars, and consult with their colleagues across the country. You can always email Zoë at [email protected] to get the current onboarding memo, which also includes a list of important past webinars that may be useful for new staff.
I hope this report on our work will help all of you feel more connected to your colleagues around the country, and to prepare for what will undoubtedly be a very busy and important year for children in your states and communities.