During the 2008 recession, Solano County made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Bankruptcy. Ineptitude. Violence. Poverty. But local religious and labor leaders knew these things were not the community's whole story. They were determined to take Solano County's destiny into their own hands. They approached the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), and re-organized the existing IAF affiliate in the region, Sacramento Valley Organizing Community, renaming it: Common Ground.

Common Ground is a broad-based, non-partisan organization of diverse religious and non-profits organizations in Solano and Napa Counties working to:

  • Build strong relationships within and across our communities;
  • Equip our members with leadership and organizing skills;
  • Act powerfully together on concrete issues facing our communities.

We are building this effort with the help of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the nation’s oldest and largest leadership development and broad-based organizing network and in collaboration with the West / Southwest IAF regional network.


Relationships. The issues we work on come out of conversations in which people share stories about experiences and concerns. We build on these relationships to strengthen connections between people, which is the foundation for effecting real change.

Leadership. We identify and develop leaders within our institutions and across our communities, so that our institutions get stronger and we can accomplish more together.

Ownership. Dues from member institutions, in addition to some foundation support, fund the organization. We accept no government money. This allows us the freedom to reflect the interests and values of the institutions that make up the organization.

Practical solutions. We work on concrete issues that we can do something about. Once potential issues are identified, we do research and power analysis to develop practical, achievable solutions. We measure success with a triple bottom line: Are we bringing about change? Are we developing leadership? Are we growing the power of people to act on their values?


Catholic Charities of Yolo-Solano, CA
Congregation B’nai Israel, Vallejo, CA
Fairfield Suisun Teachers Association, Fairfield, CA
First Christian Church of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fairfield, CA
Napa Valley Lutheran Church, Napa, CA
Napa Valley Unitarian Universalists, Napa, CA
SEIU 1021 - Solano Chapter
St. Basil the Great Catholic Church, Vallejo, CA
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Vallejo, CA
St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, Vallejo, CA
United in Grace Lutheran Church, Vallejo, CA
Vallejo Education Association, Vallejo, CA
Vallejo Project, Vallejo, CA

Supporting Affiliates:

CrossWalk Community Church, Napa, CA
Emmanuel Temple Apostolic Church, Vallejo, CA
Fair Housing Napa Valley
Napa Solano Central Labor Council