Intro to CCA
Building a better Concord for all!
The Concord Communities Alliance - informally "CCA" - is a grass roots organization of Concord, CA residents and others who want to work together for more just and equitable conditions for all in Concord - a better Concord for all.
We want to make Concord a place of mutual respect, fairness, and real democracy. Our objectives and projects are built on a foundation of solidarity, equity and the common good. Our priorities:
- really understanding the needs of our most marginalized neighbors in Concord
- setting priorities which mitigate the systemic imbalances, and
- actively addressing livability, sustainability and affordability in Concord.
Bringing diverse communities together
Like many people, we are already part of many different communities within Concord - neighborhoods, faith groups, civic organizations, social clubs, labor unions, and more. All of these overlapping communities have differing perspectives and all deserve to be heard. This is why we call ourselves the communities alliance. A better Concord is possible only when we work together to unify the different communities that make up our diverse city.
If you feel the same, join CCA and sign up for one of our Action Teams!
Democracy from the ground up
Ultimately, we believe that healthy democracy is about the peoples’ interests primarily, and should only secondarily be driven by narrower interests. One of our fundamental objectives is to work at the grassroots for the election of City Council members who share these values and priorities. We believe that if civic affairs put the needs and interests of residents first, especially the most marginalized, then narrower interests - such as those of large businesses - will benefit as well.
The social, political and economic benefits of living in Concord should accrue first to the residents and then "flow up," rather than "trickle down."
Restoring the health of our systems
Finally, we recognize that the political and economic systems we live in have tipped towards the unhealthy: large businesses have far too much power in our society because they use their financial resources to purchase political influence and sway allegiance. This undermines the voices of the people and is often detrimental to the interests of many residents of Concord.
We therefore work to make people more important than money in elections: in CCA's activities and campaigns, we organize the grass roots. And we require the candidates we endorse to limit contributions from business interests, to refuse them completely from large corporations, and to actively work against independent expenditures.
We prefer to move forward solely with the voluntary support of people who share our values and aspirations - Concord residents and supporters. Democracy works bests when all the people are empowered and choose to work together. That's how to build a better Concord for all.
CCA places a high priority on the free flow of relevant, accurate and complete information between Concord residents. We’re all about helping residents get up to speed on subjects that are important to us all.
CCA members engage at all levels – with each other, with residents and neighborhoods, with the city council and staff, with city boards and commissions – to ensure that Concord works for everyone.
Inclusivity and accountability are critical to ensuring that Concord balances the needs of all residents in an equitable way. CCA strives to empower all voices socially, economically, and politically.
Our Comprehensive Approach
CCA at its core is oriented towards progress for all Concord residents—moving beyond the status quo to more balanced and just social conditions consistent with shared American guiding principles such as mutual respect, fairness, democracy, and the common good. But there are important additional principles and values which support our work of educating, empowering and organizing Concord residents to achieve more just and equitable conditions for all.
The Concord Communities Alliance - informally "CCA" - is a grass roots organization of Concord residents who want to work together for more just and equitable conditions for all in Concord - a better Concord for all.
CCA exists to inform, organize and mobilize Concord residents to achieve more just and equitable conditions for all who call our city their home.
We pay attention to conditions in Concord, we listen (and ask questions!), and this helps us form plans of action. Typical actions involve advocating for specific changes in city policies and mobilizing residents in support of issues and candidates for election or appointment to city boards and commissions.
For examples, see our list of "campaigns". We spread the word via our Facebook page, the Listen Up Concord podcast series, and via this website.
Anyone who cares about Concord and shares our values and the commitments we make to each other can join CCA. Residents of Concord can become voting members, and anyone else can become a supporting member.
It is important to make the distinction between values and political ideologies. For example, we believe in treating each other with respect, in grassroots democracy, giving priority to the most vulnerable and working families, and reducing the influence of outside commercial interests in making city policies. We believe that when all residents do well, business interests will do well.
So anyone who wants to help empower residents so that their interests take priority is welcome to join CCA and work with us. If you feel the same, join CCA and sign up for one of our Action Teams.
Like most people, CCA members are already part of many different communities within Concord - neighborhoods, faith groups, civic organizations, projects, advocacy groups. We invite all of these overlapping communities to join together in the project of making Concord better for everyone, and we believe voices from all these communities deserve to be heard. This is why we call ourselves a communitIES alliance.
At CCA, we believe a better Concord is possible only when we work together to unify the different communities that make up our diverse city.
The original meetings which led to the creation of Concord Communities Alliance happened during the summer and fall of 2017. We have been working on different projects ever since. For examples, see our list of "campaigns".
CCA's formal meeting of members occurs on the 4th Thursday of each month, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. We met via Zoom during COVID-time, and began the transition back to in person meetings starting in the summer of 2021. See the list of events for further information.
We also gather in smaller "action team" groups, which can and do meet separately. And we often join together to voice our perspective at meetings of the Concord City Council, the various City Council Committees, and other civic and community events. You may even encounter us at farmers markets and more social gatherings in Todos Santos or other parts of Concord.
We include as many of these as possible in our events pages - click the link above to go there.
In early 2021 CCA organized as a 501(c)(4) social welfare nonprofit. We are member based, and each year the members elect the co-conveners of our Steering Committee and other officers. We have bylaws which are available for anyone to read.
We generally make decisions by consensus, and only by vote when necessary or when it is appropriate to the circumstances.
We do ask members to be active contributors in various ways, including making financial contributions if possible, joining in our various activities, and generally supporting the work of making Concord a better place to live for everyone.
CCA at its core is oriented towards progress for all Concord residents—moving beyond the status quo to more balanced and just social conditions consistent with shared American guiding principles such as mutual respect, fairness, democracy, and the common good. Principles are universal concepts which inform our values, methods and objectives. Values are those shared ideals which broadly guide our behavior and other choices. Methods are the means by which we will achieve our specific objectives. Quick summaries of our principles and values follow, further details are available here.
Core principles include: equity, equality of voice, freedom in the fullest sense, grassroots democracy and empowerment, cooperation and interdependence, and the common good.
Core values include: mutual respect, dialogue, consensus, placing people first, strictly grassroots funding in politics, the moral priority of principles and values, and taking personal responsibility.
CCA members are registered and active in several different political groups and parties. And we don’t all agree on every issue.
But we do agree on the need to build a strong communities movement, a Concord where neighbors support each other, starting with the most in need, and where government is accountable to and works for the residents. Our agenda is improving Concord, not advancing the interests of a specific political party.