For those that don’t know, ClimatePlan went through a major transition this summer. We transitioned from our long-time fiscal sponsor, TransForm, to our new fiscal sponsor, Community Partners. While we transitioned to Community Partners, most of ClimatePlan’s staff were offline.
While the transition took longer than expected, I am happy to announce that we are back (and yes, both childhood Chanell and my son are pleased that I could fit a Ghostbusters 2 reference into this blog post, especially since Halloween is around the corner).
What is the first thing we did when we returned? Setting our strategic intentions for greater transparency, connection, and advocacy within our network. As a team, we wanted to be intentional about the structures we set up as we returned back to work. We wanted to make sure that our structures and decision-making were transparent for our network and nimble enough to address the massive transitions we’re experiencing externally (the wildfires, pandemic, and racial reckoning) as well as internally (new fiscal sponsor, new Advisory Board and staff roles and responsibilities).
Keep reading to learn more about the changes at ClimatePlan.
Decision-Making: How do we make decisions at ClimatePlan?
How do we make decisions at ClimatePlan?
First, we start with our staff team, Amy Hartman, Nailah Pope-Harden, and Nicole Cheng. They are working closely with our network partners through a variety of structures to develop proposals and recommendations to advance ClimatePlan’s mission as well as build a holistic movement that addresses the intersection between land use, transportation, housing, and climate change with a strong equity lens.
- After Amy, Nailah, and Nicole collaborate with network partners to develop proposals, we meet at our weekly staff meetings to discuss the proposals. I offer input and thought partnership as needed.
- Next, we use our Advisory Board to offer feedback and refinement. Our Advisory Board is responsible for big picture decisions that involve strategic direction, significant policy decisions, and organizational and partnership strategy. The Advisory Board is meant to reflect the diversity of the ClimatePlan network--both in terms of issue areas, geography, and race--and help staff further refine policy proposals.
- Finally, we share the decision with the ClimatePlan network. Through different tools, including a brand new newsletter (which will be coming this November!), Twitter, and our listserv, we share announcements, policy campaigns, and more.
Nailah described this decision-making model as a series of hugs, and I love that term! We’ve strived for a decision-making model that isn’t hierarchical but allows for leadership and collaboration at all levels.
New! Revised Staff Roles and Responsibilities
After almost a year of working as a team, we wanted to revise our roles to play to our strengths and maximize impact. As you can see above, we’ve restructured so that Nailah is leading our policy work, Amy is advancing our communications and partnerships, and Nicole is managing our water and land use work in the Bay Area. With Amy, Nailah, and Nicole focused on these programmatic areas, I am moving more into a visioning and oversight role. This is exciting--especially since I am able to join the policy conversations as a participant now :) The Advisory Board also has specific tasks in relation to my supervision, budget approval, and advancing a value-based decision-making model. This is in relation to when ClimatePlan takes positions on legislation -- we want to lead from our values to advance policy that promotes equity and justice while achieving our mission.
Network Structure: How does ClimatePlan work?
One of the last things we wanted to share is our vision of how ClimatePlan’s network structure will work. In the center, we have ClimatePlan’s annual workplan which is based on our Strategic Direction. These documents are built from our 2020 listening sessions and guide our work for the year -- it also influences our different workgroups and communications. From the annual workplan and Strategic Direction, we have six main spaces for ClimatePlan partners to collaborate in:
- Policy Workgroup: Nailah convenes this workgroup, and this is the space where we’re crafting policy recommendations, legislative proposals, comment letters and more. The policies discussed come from our partners as well as proposals that are included in our annual workplan.
- Quarterly Meetings: Amy manages these spaces, and our goal is to have a space where ClimatePlan partners can share knowledge and build relationships each quarter. These meetings can be workshops, webinars, or an update space -- it’s very open so we can be nimble and adjust depending on external factors.
- Webinars: In addition to Quarterly Meetings, Amy also oversees our webinars. While all staff can host webinars, Amy works with staff to make sure that we’re clear in terms of who the webinar is for and what we want to achieve with the webinar -- and making sure we’re sharing this information with the network.
- Listening Sessions: Amy and Chanell work collaboratively with Nailah and Nicole to develop our annual listening sessions. These listening sessions are key because they are the space where we operationalize our Strategic Direction. Amy and Chanell work together to craft agenda templates and make sure staff are prepared to lead listening sessions across the state.
- Water and Land Use Roundtable: Nicole is working with multiple partners to advance this roundtable in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are a number of organizations and agencies working on land use and water. As Nicole has shared, the goal isn’t to create a new structure in the San Francisco Bay Area, but instead to work together with other organizations to collaborate and continue to better integrate water and land use.
- Advisory Board: Chanell facilitates monthly Advisory Board meetings to ensure Board input on ClimatePlan’s progress on the goals outlined in the Strategic Direction, as well as feedback on significant policy decisions, and organizational and partnership strategy.
In closing, we want to be as transparent as possible in terms of how ClimatePlan works -- both for our network partners, allies who work with us, and those who fund us. We are reliant on our partnerships with all of you to achieve our mission, and hope this peek under the ClimatePlan hood helps you understand how we want to move forward to achieve our vision.