Newly elected city councilmember and senior district representative for California State Senator Steve Glazer (D - Contra Costa) Susannah Meyer was recently honored by the American Red Cross (ARC) for her collaborative nonprofit work.
During a Zoom ceremony on Dec. 10, Meyer was recognized for her efforts supporting nonprofits through the pandemic. Several times a month, Meyer led a conference call with area nonprofits and representatives of local elected officials. Though she credits Glazer with the idea, she put in the effort to create a place for groups to exchange information and resources.
“In the beginning of the year, the senator was looking at a way to continue serving the nonprofits because they are key partners in the community, and my background is in nonprofit work,” said Meyer. “He asked that I pull together a group of people who were doing the most direct and service critical support for the most vulnerable during this time.”
Meyer said the goal for her office was to remove barriers from organizations providing important service. Beginning in March, she hosted the call weekly – this summer, she began hosting every other week – to bring together those serving the community with the goal to ensure critical support services were in place.
“It’s been really heartwarming and inspirational and heart breaking,” Meyer said of the calls. “Every time we talk to these nonprofits, we find out how much more is being demanded of them and how much more is needed as we are in the middle of all this.”
She said several positive, measurable outcomes have been the result of these calls, with different groups working together to get supplies to those in need and exchanging information. The nonprofits also said they appreciated having the ear of elected officials like County Supervisor Diane Burgis and California State Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Fairfield, giving them the opportunity to help shape legislation.
“Resoundingly, we are hearing that the opportunity to have the ear and talk with each other, it’s working,” said Meyer. “It’s a team effort. I was beyond humbled and moved that I was singled out for this, but it’s absolutely a team effort.”
Briana Taylor is a member of the ARC Bay Area Board of Directors. She represented the ARC on the phone call most weeks and said Meyer built a strong group to care for the community and ensure nonprofits got what they needed to help the community.
“The work Susannah was doing was so beneficial that we were able to work with the partners that she brought together and have a specific time every week to get together and meet with everybody,” she said. “It was really about identifying needs and resources so those needs could be met in the community if someone had the resources to step up and do it.”
Meyer said she appreciated everyone who participated in the calls, the nonprofits, elected offices and other community partners.
“I think the fact so many people are putting time into this and understanding the significance and doing what they can to help and recognizing all the work the nonprofits are doing to help people survive right now, I really hope they come across as the important and significant heroes,” Meyer said. “They are going above and beyond and helping so many people in need when the need has grown so much this year.”