May 18, 2015 Compassionate Austin Meet-up

Summary of the May 18, 2015 Compassionate Austin Meet-up 

Monday, May 18th, 6:45-8:30 pm

North Village Branch of the Austin Pubic Library 

(Address:  2505 Steck Avenue;  Phone: (512) 974-9960);  Website:

Prep for the 5/18/15 Meeting (sent out with the meeting announcement/invitation):
Think of something that has happened recently that makes you feel grateful.  Each of us will be invited to share a story of gratitude at the meeting (2 min/person).

Meeting Agenda:

  • 6:45- 6:50 pm: Welcome (Jessie Metcalf)
  • 6:50- 7:30 pm: Austin Voices of Compassion- Sharing our stories of gratitude  (All)
  • 7:30- 7:35 pm: Compassionate Austin website update/announcement (Jessie Metcalf)
  • 7:35- 7:55 pm: Report on the May 16th Cunningham Elementary School Festival: The unveiling of the “Compassionate Austin” tree sculpture; the celebration of students; passing the Compassion Torch! (Jessie Metcalf)
  • 7:55- 8:15 pm: Open Discussion/Sharing of Ideas, Activities, Info, Resources  (All)
  • 8:15- 8:30 pm: Next Steps  (All)

Handouts sent out prior to the meeting:

  • An update on the recent and ongoing “Compassionate Austin” projects (provided by Lesa Walker since she was not able to attend the May 18th meeting). Please email Lesa at if you want more info or want to be involved in any of these projects.
  • Summaries of the Compassionate Austin Service Projects completed by 2 University of Texas School of Public Health Master’s Degree students (contributing to the Compassion Assessment of Austin).

Summary Notes: 

These summary notes are provided by Ted Ziehe (member of the Compassionate Austin Core Steering Team) and Jessie Metcalf (who chaired the May meeting).

Notes from Ted Ziehe:

Jessie Metcalf shared a great story about the Cisco Systems Group response to her “COMPASSION IT” wrist bands (  I provided an overview of the Community Advancement Network (CAN) operation, all information coming from the CAN Dashboard 2014 Report.  I urged people to spread the word about the CAN Executive Director position being announced, bringing that to the attention of any worthy candidates.

Other developments:

The press conference at City Hall last Wednesday announcing the release of the CAN Dashboard 2015 Report was informative.  The speakers were Mary Dodd (the CAN Interim Executive Director), Erica Saenz (the CAN Board Chair), and David Evans (CEO of the organization of which CAN is a part, Austin-Travis County Integral Care).  The entire session was recorded.  I am trying to see if we can get access to that.  Reviewing the recording will provide a good bit of useful information.

I have 2 extra print copies of the CAN Dashboard 2015 for anyone who has need of one. The Report is available online at

Mary Dodd has Compassionate Austin scheduled to present a “Citizens Communication” at the June 12th CAN Board Meeting.

Notes from Jessie Metcalf:

Pat Siebert challenged each of us to read/digest the Charter Tool Box for Compassionate Cities that is posted on the web ( so that we each can come prepared to talk about our thoughts/learnings/findings at the June meeting (maybe 20 – 30min on the agenda.). We agreed it would be a worthwhile homework assignment since we are trying to figure out how to create momentum.

As a group we tossed around ideas about our future Compassionate Austin meetings and locations:

    • If we continue to use the Austin public libraries, it would be nice to pick 1 or 2 and set a pattern/cadence.  The Terrazas branch library is on Cesar Chavez street and  was called out as being accessible to east and west.
    • A person who was attending a meeting right before ours recommended posting our meetings in which allows groups to advertise events by category (there is a compassion category by the way)
    • The person also mentioned that ACC and UT have libraries that allow the public to host meetings just like the Austin public libraries.
    • Frank is willing to advertise the June event at Terrazas and other places
    • Jessie suggested having a calendar of meetings that includes 3 kinds of meetings:
      • public conversations at libraries to inspire and introduce and recruit;
      • socials at a host’s house to maintain the connections we’ve made along the way with those who aren’t really interested in coming to the library for the meetings; and,
      • Core Steering Team meetings where the big planning work is done to move the needle.