Pleasanton Weekly

Column - March 4, 2011

Dublin, Pleasanton bonding in community of character efforts

by Jeb Bing

With Pleasanton and Dublin mutually bound in congressional, regional transportation and local sports, civic and municipal issues, it's good that the two communities are also together when it comes to character traits. Since 2005, Pleasanton has embraced its Community of Character coalition with a mission of creating a culture built on values, goodwill and community-accepted traits of honesty, self respect, compassion, self-discipline and responsibility. Now Dublin has its "Integrity in Action," a character-based awareness campaign that was launched last Monday by city, school, business and student leaders. Former Mayor Janet Lockhart serves as president of the new organization, which now has a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Lockhart is also executive director of the Dublin Partners in Education organization, which is also supporting the new Integrity in Action campaign.

The Monday launch included a reception for about 50 community leaders at Dublin High School, where Lockhart, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, City Manager Joni Pattillo, School Superintendent Stephen Hanke and Greg Clark, former tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, talked about the new Dublin Integrity campaign. The campaign is being built around the letter "I" as the first letter in Integrity and also as a lead-in to the 10 traits the community character program emphasizes: "I am Respectful, Responsible, Caring, Giving, Trustworthy, Cooperative, Honest, have a Positive Attitude, have Self-Discipline, and do my Best."

The effort is called Integrity in Action after hundreds of Dublin residents, asked in a survey to name traits most important to them, came back with "integrity" as the No. 1 character trait they felt was vital. Building on integrity and the 10 other traits named essential in a character-building campaign, Lockhart and her Integrity in Action team has identified a number of positive outcomes they're expecting in Dublin as the campaign moves forward. These include:

* Improved grades, effort and academic achievement.

* Less verbal and physical confrontations.

* Increased awareness of positive character traits.

* Improved language and attire on school campuses, on city streets and in retail stores.

* Reduced cheating and other forms of theft.

* More sharing and less selfishness.

* Improved self-esteem throughout the community.

* Less absences and tardies at school and at the workplace.

* Reduced "road rage," less accidents.

* More positive media reports about Dublin.

* More recognition of individuals and groups that make a positive difference in the community.

* Increased volunteerism by everyone who lives in Dublin.

Lockhart is working with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the business community to roll out the Integrity program in stores, posting the Integrity in Action banners at these businesses and also by recognizing owners and managers who buy in to the program. She wants to give everyone a chance to participate so that Dublin becomes recognized for living up to its character traits. Dublin teachers have promised their support of Integrity in Action, whose traits have long been part of their classroom criteria. The Dublin Senior Center is promoting the new program along with the City Council, which gave the new organization its formal recognition last Tuesday.

Integrity in Action also will sponsor "Student of the Month" awards programs in Dublin schools, "Young Citizen of the Year" and "Organization of the Year" awards programs, and "Employee of the Month" recognition programs for the business community. Closely aligned with the efforts of Pleasanton's Community of Character program, which will host its Character Collaborative celebration May 11 at the Pleasanton Senior Center, Dublin's Integrity in Action organization marks another step forward in fostering strong relations between our two cities.

Correction: In last week's column, I identified Don Faught, vice president of Alain Pinel Realty, as a mortgage broker. He is the managing broker at the real estate firm.

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