As a program of DSAL (Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League), we are excited to communicate about the Community Capitals Framework that guides DSAL’s work, as well as that of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO). As explained, in 2015, by the Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Economics, the Community Capitals Framework is a way of evaluating as well as strengthening communities, by presenting seven kinds of capital vital to maintaining a healthy, vibrant community with a robust economy:
- Natural Capital: This includes a community’s environment, rivers, lakes, forests, wildlife, soil, weather, and natural beauty. (UDHR Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure)
- Cultural Capital: This includes ethnic festivals, multi-lingual population, traditions, heritage, or a strong work ethic. (UDHR Article 27: Everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life of their community)
- Cultural capital influences what voices are heard and listened to, which voices have influence in what areas, and how creativity, innovation, and influence emerge and are nurtured.
- Human Capital: This includes the skills and abilities of residents as well as the capacity to access outside resources and knowledge in order to increase understanding and to identify promising practices (education, health, skills, and youth). (UDHR Article 26: Everyone has the right to free and equal education)
- Human capital also addresses leadership’s ability to “lead across differences,” to focus on assets, to be inclusive and participatory, and to be proactive in shaping the future of the community or group.
- Social Capital: This reflects the connections among people and organizations or the social glue that makes things happen. (UDHR Article 29: Everyone has the responsibility to help create a community where these rights and freedoms are possible)
- Bonding social capital refers to those close ties that build community cohesion.
- Bridging social capital involves weak ties that create and maintain bridges among organizations and communities.
- Political Capital: This is the ability to influence standards, rules, regulations and their enforcement. It reflects access to power and power brokers, including government officials and leverage with a regional company. (UDHR Article 21: Everyone has the right to vote and to participate in their government)
- Financial Capital: This includes the financial resources available to invest in community capacity building, underwrite businesses development, support civic and social entrepreneurship, and accumulate wealth for future community development. (UDHR Articles 17: Everyone has the right to own property & 23: Everyone has the right to work)
- Built Capital: This is the infrastructure that supports the community, including telecommunications, industrial parks, main streets, water and sewer systems, roads, etc. Built capital is often a focus of community development efforts. (UDHR Article 28: Everyone has the right to the kind of world where their rights and freedoms, such as the ones in this declaration, are respected and protected)
With the Community Capitals Framework as a guide, the ACSO is implementing what they call Community Capitals Policing, an approach that, with DSAL’s programs, recognizes that public safety intersects with public health and placemaking.
TWAICB became a program of DSAL in 2014, complementing the incredible work already underway to strengthen community. We initiated The World As It Could Be Is Within Reach Rite of Passage program with the aim to initiate youth as engaged members of the community, and to know what it means to be part of a healthy community, using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a guiding framework.
The 2017-18 Arroyo Rite of Passage Class created a beautiful graphic image for their culminating presentation, showing the UDHR as the impetus to take action for a healthy community. It is meaningful and inspiring to have such a strong connection across the Community Capitals Framework, Community Capitals Policing and the UDHR.