Clients and case studies

Mary Hughes, Co-Founder, Close the Gap, former executive director, California Democratic Party
What makes Sharon Cornu effective?  She’s a careful listener, clear communicator and a big thinker — a rare and winning combination.

Henry A.J. Ramos, former President and CEO, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Opportunity Partners is simply the best in the business at providing full service, highly informed and actionable TA that advances social justice and economic opportunity in and around Northern California.

Olis Simmons, founder, Youth Uprising
Sharon is brilliant, deeply committed to her work, and one of the best strategists in the field. Her diverse experience — ranging from small business owner to political campaign manager — makes her exceedingly competent in a number of areas, including but certainly not limited to communication, organizational development, and economic development. I always welcome the opportunity to work with Sharon.

Oakland WIBOakland WIB Community Engagement Report 2015

BIG Initiative Planning Grant ReportBuy Invest Give Initiative Report to Surdna Foundation – Insight Center

LISC Healthy Richmond

LISC Healthy Richmond Small Business Opportunity

Oakland Votes Redistricting Commission

Oakland Votes Redistricting Coalition Report 2014


Shelterforce May 2017 – Bay Area Ballot Wins for Affordable Housing

Case studies

Strategic Communications and Coalition Building
To support a national economic development and policy center, I reframed economic security issues and revitalized an advocacy coalition. Working with university researchers, statewide advocates, and legislators, we created training materials and a series of 58 county-level fact sheets in English, Spanish and Cantonese — showcasing for the client’s leadership and contributing to a revitalized coalition and campaign for Californians relying on SSI.

Marketing for New Business
A hip co-working space needed a hand with the marketing and management of an Event for Event Planners. I pulled out the rolodex to help host an over-the-top successful event and launch their valuable book of new business. The project delivered greater-than-anticipated billings on shoestring expenses, enhancing the sustainability of an innovative business incubator.

Strategic Communications and Campaign Management
Working with transit employees at the regional bus service, I managed messaging, press conferences, and employer relations through a complex series of negotiations. Through speakers bureau training, social and earned media, community leader briefings, and stakeholder engagement, I supported my client and their employer in reaching a constructive settlement.


Anew America – Strategic support and constituency development for business planning by social enterprises in immigrant and low-income communities

Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO – Communications support including political mail, activist newsletters, website and social media management, leadership and activist trainings. Strategic support to community benefits campaign for Concord Naval Weapons Station re-use

East Bay Housing Organizations – Messaging and strategic communications around state cap and trade allocation,  EBHO’s role in the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, and 30th Anniversary Celebration

Impact Hub Oakland – Marketing and management support for innovative co-working space and incubator. Event planning, marketing materials, systems support

Insight Center for Community Economic Development – Multiple projects to spur, analyze local development and economic security issues, including support for Elder Index on Self-Sufficiency, #CA4SSI, the BIG Initiative for local employment, procurement, investment and philanthropy, and a case study of Richmond opportunity

Leadership Center for the Common Good (Center for Popular Democracy) / Rockefeller Family Fund – Authored report analyzing opportunities in local policy initiatives, coalition building and leadership development

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Healthy Richmond) – Coordinated outreach on procurement opportunities to Richmond, CA small and local businesses to improve shared prosperity, local hiring and community wealth building

Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California – Communications, advocacy and electoral strategies for regional industry leader, including leadership development, fundraising, and staff / volunteer training

Oakland Votes Redistricting Coalition / James Irvine Foundation – Initiated, managed coalition to defend Voting Rights Act. Grassroots redistricting campaign brought sunlight and neighborhood participation to process

Peralta Community College District – Research and pre-planning for community engagement process in workforce and economic development, with an eye toward social enterprise and removing obstacles to employment

Pete Stark Re-Election Committee – Campaign manager for 20-term progressive stalwart, Medicare expert and anti-war activist in challenging new district

The California Endowment Consultant to Built Environment Workgroup, 14 grassroots groups collaborating for housing, transit, food justice in East Oakland. Housing policy power analysis, support for transit advocacy, food justice, urban agriculture

United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council –  Leadership conference and strategic plan updates, including support to executive team and legislative advocates on new partnerships

Urban Strategies Council – Organizing and media strategies for Hon. Sandré Swanson’s Assembly Select Committee Hearing on Boys and Men of Color

Youth Uprising Working with Aspiration Tech and key staff, developed a communications matrix to align social media, communications, and press outreach for leading community transformation youth center

Partial list January 2018. View research projects at Research Gate.