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Archived Grant Projects

Since its inception in 2008 (then operating as Common Sense California), the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, has been proud to support communities across California through our annual grant program.  While the program has evolved over the years, our commitment to helping cities, counties, special districts, school districts, regional governance organizations and community organizations conduct legitimate civic engagement with their residents has not changed.  Here you can find some information about our early grant projects. 

2009 Grant Projects

In 2009, the Davenport Institute awarded eight grants to cities, counties, special districts, and non-profit organizations seeking to expand civic engagement in their communities. The 2009 Grant Recipients were: 

  1. California Common Cause - San Diego City Charter Review
    California Common Cause is a statewide grassroots organization with over 80,000 members. In 2009, they joined with community members in the City of San Diego to promote civic engagement over an important question regarding the form of government in the City of San Diego. As Board Member Ric Bainter recognized "The issue of the form of city government is not one that typically draws the interest or excitement of the press or the public. Without a proactive and sustained effort by civil society, the public will only be informed (or misinformed) through the political advertisements of advocates on opposing sides of the ballot issue." 

    California Common Cause produces such an effort through such elements as educating the public through a diverse group of national and local experts, developing informational materials, engaging the media and organizing and facilitating deliberative public discussions.

  2. City of San Pablo - San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan
    San Pablo Avenue is the major arterial street within the City and connects San Pablo with the city of Pinole and Richmond to the North and the City of El Cerrito to the South. Properties along this corridor are underutilized and in a state of decline and require urgent attention. The Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), in conjunction with two other regional partners, AC Transit and WCCTAC recognized this fact by designating this corridor a Priority Development Area (PDA) as part of the FOCUS initiative.
    The Davenport Institute grant supported the City in its efforts to develop a Specific Plan for this corridor. To encourage public participation and to solicit public input for the General Plan update, the City organized a Free Community Barbeque/Workshop at a local park. The event was very well attended with over 100 community members, elected officials, and staff members present. The resulting element was incorporated into the General Plan, which was passed by Council in April, 2011.

  3. City of Villa Park - City Park Development 
  4. City of Walnut Creek - Participatory Budgeting 
  5. Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District
  6. Redwood City - Climate Change Protection Dialogues
  7. Sonoma County - Participatory Budgeting 
  8. Sutter County - Youth Programs to Reduce Gang Involvement

2008 Grant Projects

In 2008, then- Common Sense California awarded three substantial grants to city and counties seeking to engage residents around particular policy decisions.  In addition, seven smaller "catalyst" grants were awarded to help spur engagement efforts. 

Annual Grantees included: 

  1. The City of Hercules - Refugio Creek Watershed Plan
  2. The City of Salinas - City Service and Delivery Dialogues 
  3. Ventura County Alliance - Visioning for Growth

Catalyst Grantees included:

  1. City of Sacramento
  2. Antioch Chamber of Commerce - Clear Vision 2020 
  3. City of Morrow Bay Fire Department - Engagement on Contract Services 
  4. West Montclair, East Pomona Council for Advancement of Neighborhoods (WECAN) - Community Policing & Problem Solving
  5. Ripon Unified School District - Visioning Campaign 
  6. Town of Colma - Economic Planning 
  7. Cities of Brea and LaHabra - Service Prioritization