February 2018
2017-18 Mid-Year Gathering Highlights
Fellows placed throughout the state, along with their Regional Coordinators and LGC staff, reunited for CivicSpark's Annual Mid-Year Gathering to exchange best practices and receive professional development training. Fellows had the opportunity to engage in various breakout sessions on service project topics such as energy, water, adaptation, and climate action planning, as well as in engaging sessions on mental health, career development, and the Fellow experience. Michael McCormick from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research also joined us to provide an update on state policy and a Q&A session on project needs.
Additionally, the Mid-Year Gathering provided opportunities for Fellows to celebrate their accomplishments and reconnect as a cohort over campfires, hiking, an open mic night, and field day activities. Fellows and staff also led skill share sessions to share their passions, teaching each other about fencing, wire-wrapped jewelry, LinkedIn tips, baking, and more!
Regional Spotlights
El Cerrito Strategic Energy Plan
Gabrielle Ruxin's main project is working to create a strategic energy plan for the City of El Cerrito . She has spent the last several months collecting, organizing, and auditing municipal energy data. Currently, she is drafting the plan and using data analysis to find the biggest users in the city as well as areas for improvement. Due to her placement at the El Cerrito Recycling Center, she often interacts with community members on the topic of waste. She has enjoyed getting to know more about the waste industry and common concerns of residents.
A Holistic Approach to Water Management
While working at the Water Forum , Cassandra Miller's projects focus on coordinating the maintenance and continued restoration of Cordova Creek. This includes organizing work crews, developing a creek-focused community volunteer group, and learning to pilot drones to create a standardized vegetation monitoring methodology. In addition to her work on the creek, Cassandra also assists in the daily happenings at the Water Forum, which change seasonally. Cassandra admires the holistic approach that incorporates both science and policy in order to accomplish the Water Forum's co-equal goals of providing a reliable and safe water supply to Sacramento County while simultaneously preserving the natural values of the river. She plans to incorporate the Water Forum's approach and perspective in her future water management projects.
Climate Action Planning and Energy Efficiency in Los Angeles
Stephanie Cadena is working with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG) and the Gateway Cities Energy Leader Partnership in her hometown of Southeast Los Angeles. She is assisting the COG with the development of a regional Climate Action Plan Framework to benefit the Gateway Cities in being able to develop their own CAP when ready to do so. The CAP Team is having their second workshop for the project at the end of February, which will focus on climate adaptation and GHG inventories. With the Energy Leader Partnership she is assisting with various energy efficiency projects such as energy audits, facility upgrades, and electric vehicle procurement. Stephanie has really enjoyed working in her hometown region and hopes to see increased community environmental awareness through additional efforts such as this year's Earth Day!
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month : "If you could convince the government to invest heavily in only one climate change/water management solution, what would it be and why?"
Patrick Pelegrí-O'Day | Bay Area Region
"In terms of making changes, I suggest a three-part solution: honor the treaties signed with Native nations and legally recognize tribal governments; tax carbon and allocate revenues for the renewables transition and impacted communities; and invest in the transition to a non-growth-based economy."

Patrick Pelegr í -O’Day grew up in the Bay Area and is thrilled to be back after earning a B.A. from Pomona College in 2015. His previous work spans ESG management consulting, China ecosystem restoration, California water policy, urban smart growth, and food justice. A student of regenerative design and multi-stakeholder collaboration, he is excited to help develop climate change resilience strategies for the City of Alameda, much of which could be below sea level by the end of the century.
Gillian Greenberg | Central Inland Region
"I am intrigued by the possibility of expanding decentralized electricity generation like rooftop solar. Producing energy closer to its use improves resilience and reduces energy lost during transmission. I see potential in local electricity projects to build community networks that take on other sustainability-related actions and hold residents accountable for emissions reductions. Ultimately, we need to transform our lifestyles to minimize our resource use; the most effective changes will connect us to our neighbors as we prioritize relationship over consumption. Government investment can spur this process by investing in community-level solutions."

Gillian Greenberg is from Denver, Colorado where she grew up learning to treasure time in the mountains. Gillian graduated this past May from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in International Development Studies. The six months she spent abroad in Bolivia witnessing the dramatic effects of climate change in a country that contributes little to the problem convinced her to work on climate policy in the United States. She is excited to develop community-driven climate plan as a CivicSpark Fellow in Truckee this year.
Sky Eigen | Greater Los Angeles Region
" Among a plethora of choices...I would champion for a robust program that meaningfully encourages, supports, and augments community science projects by local governments. To make the invisible, tangible--real. To give agency to community members--to show them what's at stake, and give them the tools and understanding that they can do something. To make community science a norm--to usher in a new kind of civic and public service. I think we'd see a special kind of progress with such a powerful, galvanizing effort. And, of course, focus on intersectional inclusion with this program would be vital to its success. "

Sky Eigen studied sustainability with a track focus in sustainable ecosystems at ASU, and has particular interests in environmental sensing, intersectionality, and community science. Sky is excited to embark on this new adventure as a Water Fellow serving at Eastern Municipal Water District, and will be working on their Water Conservation Innovation Project. Outside of everyday life, Sky enjoys expanding the boundaries of classical violin through amplification and effect pedals, hiking, making illustrations for zines, and discussing the profundity of Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Katherine Smet, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Central Inland Region
" While the program will encourage CEOs to pledge to adopting ZEVs and to streamline the purchasing process, it will also include a self-service website and virtual help desk to assist people who are interested in purchasing or currently owns a ZEV. " ...

Aaron Dickinson, 2017-18 Water Fellow - Greater LA Region
"I think it’s important to recognize that I still carry a lot of stigma for people experiencing homelessness, and that wasn’t something I realized before visiting the encampment. I didn’t understand why I was nervous, why I felt afraid, and how surprised I was by how comfortable Eve presented herself within the encampment. "...
Upcoming Event
CivicSpark is Recruiting Project Partners!
CivicSpark , a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, is now accepting project applications for the 2018-19 Service Year! The program is offering three thematic tracks: Climate (50 openings), Water (20 openings), and a new Opportunity Access track (20 openings) that will focus on affordable housing, alternative transportation, and rural broadband. 

Applications  will be accepted in waves:

March 16 th  -  First priority deadline
May 1 st  -  Second priority deadline

Fellows will begin serving on projects mid-September 2018
If you are a local or state public agency, school or university, or a nonprofit and are interested in learning more about the program and having a Fellow support your agency’s work, register for one of our upcoming informational webinars. You can find more program details, including pricing and timing,  on our website .  
Register for a Webinar to Learn More!
Fri 3/9: 9am-10am
Wed 3/14: 9:30am-10:30am  

Become a CivicSpark Fellow!

CivicSpark Fellow Applications for the 2018-19 Service Year will open April 2, 2018! If you are interested in learning more about the program, our three tracks (Climate, Water, and Opportunity Access), and the recruitment and interview process, sign up today for one of our informational webinars .
Wednesday, March 7: 1 – 2 PM PST
Thursday, March 29: 3 – 4 PM PDT
Tuesday, April 10: 4 – 5 PM PDT
Friday, May 4: 9:30 – 10:30 AM PDT
Monday, May 21: 3-4 PM PDT
Innovation & Impact Symposium 2018
Thursday, May 31st, 2018 | 8:00 am - 7:00 pm | San Jose, CA

Join the Innovation & Impact Symposium! Located at City Hall in San Jose, CA, the event will feature the latest developments in Advanced Mobility, Energy, and the Built Environment. The region's leaders from the startup, corporate, public and research communities will discuss what it takes to implement these ideas for maximum impact. Featuring a Keynote Presentation by the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo!

Presented by ProspectSV , Silicon Valley's leading non-profit innovation hub.
Visit the website at: www.innovationandimpact.com
Purchase your tickets by clicking here .
Save 30% off the ticket price by using the event code: lgc_comp
*Special rates available for government, nonprofit and education organizations.
3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 27-29, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

Save the dates! The Local Government Commission invites you to join us for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum, taking place August 27-29, 2018 in Downtown Sacramento!
CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program implemented by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Each year, 70 Fellows are placed across California in regional hubs to implement targeted projects that build capacity for local government agencies to better address climate change and water resource management issues.
Learn more about CivicSpark at  www.civicspark.lgc.org .