Exciting list of Members Creates Buzz for the White House Council on Community Solutions

Many community forums delve deep into local solutions and change the reality of an entire community. But what if those solutions also applied in another town?  What if they would work all over the country? What if that solution that started in Colby Kansas would work in a community in Zagreb, Croatia? Leading social entrepreneurs often unveil these patterns and now the American Government is taking a shot at it. 

Back in June 2010, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) introduced “The Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act” to the Committee on Government Reform, the Committee on Ed. and Labor and to the Committee on Science and Technology. It aimed to not only build a strong relationship between the federal government and the nonprofit sector but also give the nonprofit sector a voice to raise concerns and propose solutions to our nation’s challenges.  To get the bill through it needed bipartisan and administration support. It would be tough, but was needed. 

On December 14, The White House Council for Community Solutions was established by President Obama. You may have heard of it in the last few weeks under the headlines “Bon Jovi Gets White House Appointment.”  But there’s more to the council than celebrity. In fact, there’s a lot of integrity. 

Here’s what it’s set up to do, and the unique set of people brought in to do it:

Obama appointed 30 volunteers to make up the Council.  They were tasked with providing advice to the President on the best ways to mobilize citizens, nonprofits, businesses and government to work more effectively together to solve specific community needs.

Some of the key deliverables:

Support social innovation and civic participation - Highlight excellent and effective work already being done in communities around the US - Make some recommendations to Obama on engaging all kinds of groups in the US to address our most pressing problems & Identify policies on the table that could uniquely support cross-sector collaboration.

There’s another part of the story that is hard to miss.  The Council members include a diversity of character and approach, field and focus. Here are a few of them:

Maurice Lim Miller is using elevated expectations, personal responsibility, and social networks to realize transformative social change and break the cycle of poverty in the US.  His work is not uncontroversial, and his history is radical and disruptive, but Maurice Lim Miller is pioneering a unique and pivotal model bringing families into sustainable independence and employment.

Bon Jovi, whom you may have hear of for his work in making rock and role history, now runs a foundation.  Through the Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, communities can access food and affordable housing while supporting social services and job training programs.

Kristin Groos Richmond is co-founder and CEO of Revolution Foods, a rapidly growing institution that transforms the way we feed our students in this country by serving healthy meals and offering nutrition education to low income students.  Revolution foods is providing meals across the country, including in 25 of our nation’s lowest income schools in Washington DC.

John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBay Inc.,  enables civic entrepreneurship as Ebay grows and develops as a global online marketplace

Other members include representatives of major foundations, civic organizations, and corporations that have demonstrated their commitment to community service and solutions. You can read about all of them here then start working on some community solutions yourself!