Policy & Organizing

The Quesada Gardens Initiative is a model of innovative policy and practice that blazes a path toward sustainable local systems.  The issues emerging from this cutting-edge work are explored in these articles:

Folks are working hard at the grassroots of our urban communities, through community organizing and management, small business, and other pursuits.  While they are producing the best results creating livable and just communities, they get the least acknowledgment.  "Building the community sector in an era of change" argues that we would do well to view this group of place-based workers differently than we have in the past. 
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More people are growing food in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.  "Urban Agriculture in Bayview Hunters Point - Status 2011" (with 2013 updates) offers insights into what food producers in the neighborhood have accomplished, how much is left to do, and what is different about urban agriculture in this neighborhood relative to San Francisco overall.

Download the report

What Karl Paige and Annette Smith taught us about how to build community at the local level is timeless.  The Quesada Gardens Initiative still follows the same “Community Building Road Map” for sustainable social change.  Now, you can too.  Download the “Road Map”

Replicable policy and practice recommendations are beginning to emerge from the Quesada Gardens Initiative’s model work, and from other groups concerned with community building. The "Community building policy checklist" helps chart a new course. Download the policy checklist

As the pendulum of public attention and systems’ responses to what ails the planet and its people swings wide toward the global frame, new local work may pull it back in balance.  "Think AND act locally" makes a case that it should. Download the article

Reinventing food systems is an urgent matter.  Citywide food policies and systems are an important piece of the response.  But what happens to block- or neighborhood-level systems…from food to social systems…that are sustainable precisely because they were generated by a specific community in a specific place to serve specific purposes?  "Can we grow food and grassroots social capital at the same time?" addresses these questions.  Download the article

The nonprofit sector is changing rapidly.  New recommendations for the sector, from the San Francisco CBOs Task Force, have enormous value, and raise important issues for community organizations, philanthropy, business, and all those concerned with creating sustainable local systems.  Seeing the same issues from the community-building perspective suggests changes to the CBO Task Force's recommendations, ideas presented in "Community-building in a changing nonprofit sector."  Download the article

San Francisco urban agriculture legislation, passed in 2012, fosters sorely-needed coordination between City agencies, but included a regressive component that challenges community builders who build social capital by helping residents of hyper-local communities define the use of odd lots of public land near them.  Explore the issues in "When Sustainable Systems and Social Justice Diverge."  Download the article

Reviewers have called the "Seva* Community-Based Health Policy, Practice & Advocacy Recommendations" the best articulation of Bayview Hunters Point's health care needs and solutions.  Download the policy brief

Note about our collaborative approach: Collaboration and innovation is the air we breathe at QGI. We practice principles of consensus, and build capacity around existing efforts when others just talk about it.

Along with several other community groups, QGI established the Bayview Footprints Network of Community Building Groups in 2006.  QGI continues to lead the network, connecting member groups through free community communications, such as the popular Bayview Footprints Local News, and the community portal site at BayviewFootprints.org.

QGI was an active community group with the Mayor’s Shape Up Coalition and the Southeast Sector Food Access working group (SEFA) from 2008 to 2012, working to improve access to healthy foods in Bayview Hunters Point. 

QGI was a lead partner with the Seva* Partnership, joining SF General Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program doctors with community groups to develop a Policy Brief that infuses health care policy development with a Bayview Hunters Point grassroots perspective. See much more about Seva*