Innovative Community Engagement through Leadership Long Beach
Leadership Long Beach, a nonprofit organization that initiates programs to improve the quality of life in the city, has agreed to pay Gazette Newspapers several thousand dollars for two pages of North Long Beach news articles. The agreement covers the purchase of the pages twice a month for a year beginning in about two weeks. A Gazette spokesperson said that typically in a yearlong contract, the two pages would cost $1240 each time they run.
The money Gazette Newspapers is receiving originally came from the Knight Foundation but was channeled through the Long Beach Community Foundation. On Monday afternoon, Jim Worsham, president and CEO of the Foundation; Sandy VandenBerge, the Foundation’s communications and outreach manager; Eighth District Councilwoman Rae Gabelich; and Carina Cristiano Leoni, Connected Corridor project director, met with Neena Strichart, publisher of the Signal Tribune and this reporter to discuss how the agreement with Gazette Newspapers came about. Worsham explained that he has been involved in the Long Beach Community Foundation since it was founded in 1996 and from the beginning, much of its funding came from the Knight Foundation.
He noted that a few years ago, the Knight Foundation developed a new “transformational initiative” that once again changed the criteria for awarding grants. “They wanted to fund projects that would involve citizens in the future of their community,” he said. “So our board sort of conceived this Atlantic corridor rehabilitation project.”
Worsham went on to explain that the Foundation gave Leadership Long Beach $60,000 for the project and more than half of that grant money will go to the purchase of the two pages in the Uptown Gazette. The remainder will go to the YMCA to work with a group that will develop a website containing North Long Beach news. “The material that they put into this website will also be converted to become two pages in the Uptown Gazette two weeks a month,” Worsham said.
Worsham said that he believed the Gazette’s expansion would accelerate the progress that had already been made in helping organizations on the Atlantic corridor work together.