Community Engagement

The work of the Common Ground team extends beyond San Francisco's City Hall. More than half of Leiasa Beckham's time as CEO is advocating on behalf of her community and educating/advising civic leaders on how best to support the long-term financial needs of their non-institutional, nonprofit organizations.  

Common Ground has helped to pursue multiple projects at the intersection of real estate and the arts, and is now a key part of the national conversation around urban development,
equity-based place making, and the dual role arts and family support have in the revitalization of 21st century cities.

We believe the built environment is a physical manifestation of the people who are responsible for its governance, finance and management. Common Ground especially encourages opportunities for women at the city building table in order for the built environment to reflect more inclusive values.

As the granddaughter of "Dust Bowl" migrants who moved from Oklahoma to California in the 1930s, Leiasa knows firsthand that ownership is the best defense against eviction.

The built environment of my childhood taught me how to scale fences and get in back doors. Segregation and displacement are not philosophical concepts to me. I’ve dedicated my career to creating a continuum of ownership opportunities for people and nonprofit organizations that would have previously been left out of capital transactions. I consider it my sacred duty to provide opportunities for social equity and access for all, not the few.
— Leiasa Beckham, CEO Common Ground Urban Development

Speaking Engagements


In support of young women entering Urban Development, Common Ground CEO, Leiasa Beckham talks to Career Girls about her early career and the unconventional choices she made to revitalize a small mill town in Maine. (2019)

Uploaded by NCCLF on 2016-06-08.
Support CounterPulse in our 25th year of creating change through culture! With words from Leiasa Beckham, the original instigator of the 80 Turk Project, Jesse Hewit, current CounterPulse presenting artist, Tomás Riley, our Executive Director, and Laura Elaine Ellis, CounterPulse Board Chair.
Allen Matkins and San Francisco Business Times proudly sponsored the 2015 Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence, held at the Intercontinental in San Francisco. The event honored women who have broken gender boundaries by making significant impacts in commercial real estate, and have contributed to the advancement of other women in this very competitive industry-from seasoned Hall of Fame inductees to up-and-coming industry Rising Stars.