When I stepped into leadership at the Partnership for Working Families over three years ago, I was driven by the Partnership’s core mission: contesting for power in our cities. I’ve seen what that looks like when we’re successful - we aggregated our wins across our network and improved 3.2 million lives in 2 years!
I’ve intentionally led bolder shifts in our work to define our role in the progressive movement. We are piloting new models of national campaigning that deepen coordination among our affiliates and build local base, while also partnering with national allies. We are naming white supremacy, patriarchy and other systems of oppression as our root problems and challenging those inter-related systems. We are taking on corporate power - from exposing Wall Street investors who would benefit from building Trump’s border wall to pushing Amazon to respect a community and worker-centered vision for the development of its second headquarters. We have launched the creation of a long-term agenda to take our second decade of work to a new, transformational level. Finally, I am proud to have supported a more “leaderful” network that is investing in a new generation of black leaders, women and people of color.
I don’t feel that my work at the Partnership is done, however the housing and displacement crisis in my hometown of Oakland have compelled me to take on a new challenge in public service, which means I will be transitioning out of the Executive Director role in summer 2018.
We’ll have a 9-month transition process, and I am very confident in the future of the Partnership. I’ve intentionally built a “leaderful” organization of talented staff, board and affiliate leaders who will carry our work forward.
One of the critical roles the Partnership plays is providing a pipeline to leadership for people like me. We have seen other Partnership leaders move into a range of forms of public leadership, and little by little, the makeup of our civic organization, city councils, legislatures and commissions are starting to reflect the communities they represent and prioritize the issues that working families care about most.
Our Board Chair Darlene Lombos said,
“Like many of our affiliate leaders, I have loved working with Nikki and will miss her leadership. And, I’m also excited for her and confident that she has built a solid foundation and a strong direction. We have a very talented team to continue our work and identify our next network leader.”
One of our foundation partners said,
“I know the Partnership is well positioned to continue its important work because Nikki has been building a deep bench of leadership across the network.”
We welcome your input during this transition period - this is a chance to build new relationships, strengthen old ones, and identify the qualities that will sustain and grow our network for decades to come.
With deep gratitude for our partnership,
Nikki Fortunato Bas