David Johnston's article on the success of United Way's current campaign is thoughtful and thorough. As a close professional colleague of Frank McNamara, United Way's president, for 20 years, I know him to be a dedicated leader.
I'd like to accentuate the positive in Johnston's report.
First, of course, is the good news that the final tally of the campaign may show as much as $84.5 million in pledges, an increase over last year of more than 6%. The clients--children, the elderly, the poor, the homeless, and many others--of United Way's 360 agencies and partners will all benefit from that effort; and so, as a consequence, will our whole community.
Second, United Way's policy of adding more minority-controlled charities to its membership is certainly to be applauded and is consistent with policies of most major charitable organizations in the Greater Los Angeles area. The creation of specialized United Way task forces to recruit Latino and Asian leaders is likewise a sign of healthy responsiveness to community needs.
Third, Frank McNamara has sought and obtained substantial support among the area's corporate leadership. The Greater Los Angeles community can be proud of his achievements. Chief among them is the growth of United Way's campaign revenues from $33 million a decade ago to this year's estimated $84.5 million.