Dr. Yvonne Scruggs Leftwich, left, and Gypsy C. Gallardo
BY GYPSY C. GALLARDO, CEO, The 2020 Plan
ST. PETERSBURG – The 2020 Plan to reduce poverty in south St. Petersburg celebrated two new milestones this August: The installation of five new members to its core leadership team, and the graduation of its third “class” of parents who are solidly on a pathway out of poverty, thanks to the 2020 Family Wrap Around program at the Pinellas Opportunity Council.
The 2020 Plan was officially launched in 2015 as a five-year “collective impact” initiative to reduce the poverty rate by 30 percent in south St. Petersburg by the year 2020. It hails as the largest poverty reduction plan happening in the State of Florida.
Since then, over 100 organizations have pitched in to reach the goal. Their combined efforts have so far helped 620 people to increase their incomes, including nearly 130 men, women and children who’ve already exited poverty through the programs of 2020 Plan partners.
The group is also credited with supporting collective impact projects such as the “200 in 2015” campaign to increase youth employment and the “$10 million capital quest” to raise funding for business capital and capacity-building services in order to grow south St. Pete’s small business sector.
The 2020 youth employment push nearly doubled the number of teens earning income and experience last year to 424 youth, while the capital-raising effort – led by the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, the City’s Urban Affairs Division, the St. Petersburg Chamber and 2020, among others – has so far raised $2.2 million. As a result, the partners more than doubled the number of aspiring entrepreneurs helped in 2015 and in the year ahead will intensively support over 200 community entrepreneurs.
Now rounding out its second year at work in the community, the 2020 Plan has expanded its leadership team and added new partners to the mix.
In addition to founding core team members who will continue to guide the effort – Gypsy Gallardo, Harvey Landress, Deborah Figgs-Sanders, Pastor Louis M. Murphy, Sr., and Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich – new members of the core team include Watson Haynes II, Charlotte Anderson, Michael Jalazo and Lounell Britt.
Transitioning off the team this year were Carl Lavender, Jr. who served as co-chair for one year, and Army-retired Lieutenant Colonel Alfredo Anthony.
As part of the new configuration, Deborah Figgs-Sanders was advanced to serve as co-chairperson of the 2020 Plan Taskforce, alongside Harvey Landress. Funding from Allegany Franciscan Ministries enabled the group to hire an executive director for the first time ever. The role was filled in February of this year by Cory Adler, whose prior positions included Public Affairs Director for the St. Petersburg Area Chamber (administering programs in Government Relations and Multicultural Diversity among others), founding executive director for Habitat for Humanity, interim executive director for CASA and most recently, director of development at the Morean Arts Center.
Adler is currently accepting applications for a new 2020 Program Manager Position, also funded by Allegany Franciscan Ministries.
Separately, City Councilmember Karl Nurse and Figgs-Sanders jointly serve as donor advisors to the 2020 Fund, which is housed at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. The Fund made eight sub-grants to community organizations last year and is prepping for another round of sub-grants this fall.
Loretta Monroe Calvin recently accepted the role of Chairperson of 2020’s Impact St. Pete project to recruit more bay area corporations to target hiring and contracting opportunities to community workers and businesses.
The 2020 Plan continues to attract new partners. The initiative remains fiscally housed at the Pinellas County Urban League. A new office will soon open at the St. Petersburg College Keane Center on 22nd Street South.
The 2020 effort is primarily fueled by the funding of Allegany Franciscan Ministries. Other funding support has come from the City of St. Petersburg, the United Way Suncoast, R’Club Child Care, The Power Broker Foundation, the Pinellas Opportunity Council, Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and others.
About 2020 Plan Leadership Team
The five-year push to reduce poverty is guided by the 2020 Plan Taskforce of 50+ members who meet quarterly. Core team members include the following:
Harvey Landress, Co-Chair, The 2020 Plan Taskforce, recently retired from his role as Director of Organizational Development for R’Club Child Care and the Louise Graham Regeneration Center for seven years
Deborah D. Figgs-Sanders, Co-Chair, The 2020 Plan Taskforce, serves as Executive Director for the Childs Park YMCA, in St. Petersburg
Cory Adler, Executive Director, The 2020 Plan Taskforce, since late February 2016
Dr. Yvonne Scruggs Leftwich, 2020 Core Team Member, is President/CEO, The Center for Community and Economic Justice, Inc .
Michael Jalazo, 2020 Core Team Member, is CEO & Executive Director, the Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition
Watson L. Haynes, II, 2020 Core Team Member, is President & CEO, Pinellas County Urban League
Charlotte Anderson, 2020 Core Team Member, is Vice President, Operations, Pinellas County Urban League
Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr., 2020 Chaplain & Core Team Member, is Senior Pastor, Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
Mrs. Lounell Britt, 2020 Core Team Member, is Executive Director, The James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center
Loretta Monroe Calvin, Chairperson, 2020 Impact St. Pete, is President & Chief Strategist, Monroe Consulting Group specializing in “Inclusion and Cultural Competency”
Karl Nurse, Chairperson, The 2020 Financial Reinvestment Council, is a two-term St. Petersburg City Councilmember & owner of Bay Tech Label
Gypsy C. Gallardo, CEO, The 2020 Plan, is CEO of Urban Market Analytics and Publisher of The Power Broker magazine