The central question every organization must consider is “Are we doing work that positively impacts the community in ways that are relevant and useful?”
At Rebuild NorthBay, we ensure we are focusing on the right areas at the right time by asking this question every day: “What do you need and how can we help?” We are committed to “leadership through followership” when we undertake a project or an action. We do not set the agenda; instead, we listen carefully to what the community is requesting and then we assess what is possible.
From the beginning, our desire is to fill in gaps where needed and to avoid duplication of efforts. Our region’s recovery and rebuild is so monumental, it is critical we do not waste resources serving only one set of needs. To rebuild the North Bay will require all of our collective talents and efforts until the last family is home.
“Our vision is to rebuild the North Bay better, safer, greener and faster. How do we achieve this vision? Primarily through collaboration with the private, public and non-profit sectors. Our three main buckets are Advocacy, Coordination, and Economic & Workforce Development.”
Rebuild NorthBay Foundation
We expect the needs of the region to change as we move through the next few years.
In Year One, there was a need for information that helped those building, rebuilding, business owners, and the entire community. From listening, the Board of Directors determined Rebuild could fill this need through a digital portal offering one comprehensive site for resources, information, personal stories, and updates.
Rebuild created an Honorary Board, Chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and populated by elected leaders from local, state and federal entities. Our newly launched Advisory Council enables nonprofit and public sector leaders from five counties and 50 organizations to work on challenges collaboratively.
Rebuild also works on filling gaps and unmet needs through our current projects in Coffey Park, Larkfield & Mark West Estates, and through our Disaster Kit program that distributed 5,000 GO! Bags across four counties on the anniversary week of our firestorms.
While we spend about 20% of our time and resources on Advocacy, this is the most impactful area of our focus for the region. Rebuild NorthBay works in lockstep with our local, state and federal leadership to ensure we bring as many federal and state resources as possible to the four counties we represent:
Rebuild does not set the agenda and we do not benefit from these funds, instead the public sector sets the agenda. We then partner in order to gain the highest level of access to lawmakers and agency heads who make decisions on funding.
We are very proud to do this work in service to our region.
Economic & Workforce Development
We are at the beginning of our rebuilding process, but one thing we are sure of: We need a skilled local workforce to support the huge demand for labor.
However, without meeting our housing needs, we cannot move forward economically. Housing is a central issue to all areas of our workforce, from farmworker to cardiologist. We need all talents to remain in our region. Without addressing housing, we are at serious risk of losing our talented workforce.
In response, Rebuild is working on creating a scholarship program to support training for a skilled workforce. We have partnered with Bay Area Council and North Bay Leadership Council to create the first housing survey that asks the workforce what they want in terms of housing.
Finally, Rebuild is convening with leaders in the public and private sector on a regular basis to proactively address our desperate need for workforce housing across our region.