Community Centric Fundraising in Action: Roberto’s Cantina Dinner – 10/23/23

Community centric fundraising depends on people showing up. We sold out Roberto’s Cantina’s indoor and outdoor capacity of 100 with additional walk-ins on a Monday night! Live music by the band, Triple Ilusion, made up of Fremont High School students, was perfect for the event and venue. Our volunteers from FHS were great! It was a first time for them to volunteer for a campaign and they enjoyed getting to know each other as well. We’re building community across differences – Spanish speakers, English speakers, younger, older, families, singles, moms night outters, Stanford rehab colleagues, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. 

When I first started going around town asking for silent auction donations or lunch for staff appreciation week for the San Miguel PTA, Roberto was always kind and generous and insisted on “giving from the heart.” Years later, as we embarked on starting this campaign and planning for community centric fundraisers, I immediately thought of Roberto’s Cantina as a place where I’d want to bring our business.  

Community centric fundraising means raising money in a way that centers and includes the communities where I have been serving and representing. It is based on inclusion, belonging, and empowerment. It means finding a price point that families from my kids’ Title 1 schools can attend or at least not be put off by. Other community cultures may prefer to write a check and be done with it. At my kids’ schools it means offering value for money spent (a good time, food, live music) while raising some money for a cause that people feel a part of. I don’t have big donors or longtime political connections. When we go into election season our grassroots volunteer based campaign will need to have funds to purchase flyers, mailers, postage, lawn signs, PDI software, and more. 

Anti-racist community building means building bridges and bringing people together across barriers of race, language, cultures, and socioeconomic status and realizing we’re all connected in community and a shared desire for all of our kids to have a good education.

There are still a lot of unknowns in the FUHSD election, but what we do know is that we need fair representation across the whole district and all kids need to do well. Little by little, we’re doing this. Poco a poco se va lejos!