Lights. Water. Action!
Working Effectively with Local GovernmentsPosted on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 8:57pm
by Imran Battla
It's been a year since we've changed our name and launched our newly designed website (www.retrofitamillion.org) and we have a lot to be thankful for.
One of the best experiences Retrofit A Million has had in 2012 has been our ability to work with the municipalities of College Park, and Forest Park Ga. Thanks to the help of Rep. Keisha Waites we have been able to coordinate with the Mayors of College Park and Forest Park, and Keep Forest Park Beautiful to engage 432 households just minutes south of our coordinating warehouse and distribute 4,167 energy efficient clean fluorescent bulbs, 437 water conservation kits to residents; saving them approx. $553,890 on utility expenditures
Throughout our coordination with College and Forest Park, we have learned no single practice, process or documentation in isolation can ensure good government-nonprofit relationships. Having good practices and clear documents is important, but not sufficient for effective working relationships. Straightforward communication and mutual trust are also necessary.
No local government has all the power, resources or authority it takes to address many common community concerns such as saving money while protecting the environment. Chances are though, that every government has within or near its borders organizations that can put additional resource, expertise, and energy into addressing those problems. The challenge lies in working across organizational boundaries to identify shared concerns, negotiating differences, all while keeping in mind accountability to the public. As a non-profit, Retrofit A Million has been blessed to work with the local governments of College Park and Forest Park to provide a valuable public service so that residents can begin to explore the health, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainability through our retrofit efficiency packages.