April 2021
CivicSpark 2019-20 Annual Report is Available Now!
Over the past 6 years, CivicSpark has grown in scale and breadth, expanding to address new issues such as water and housing, and serving a growing range of communities across California.

Our most recent Cohort’s (2019-2020) successes are especially momentous given the context the Fellows faced. Displaced from their sites by COVID, reeling from racial equity upheavals affecting their communities and the country, Fellows and their Partners persevered and adapted to a continually changing landscape.

CivicSpark Fellows’ collective impact, highlighted in this report is both astounding and humbling. The results of this collective effort offers a chance to share accomplishments and lessons learned. But more than celebrating successes, we hope it offers inspiration to think more holistically, collaborate more fully, and build back more resilient and equitably.

For these reasons, we are extremely proud to present the

Thank you to everyone involved!
CivicSpark comes together virtually for 2021 Mid-Year Retreat
On the week of March 1st, CivicSpark held Mid-Year Retreat, one of the program's most important service year events, featuring an entirely virtual week-long program including various leadership and professional development workshops as well as Fellow-led presentations and activities. 
Most notably, as part of the keynote lineup for the week, Fellows and Staff were fortunate to hear from Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell, AmeriCorps Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships, and Sarah Jornsay-Silverberg, Executive Director of Good Grief Network.
It was also a space for Fellows from across the State to de-compress and step away from their project service while connecting with the rest of the cohort through screen-free activities or virtual workshops to share personal experiences, fun skills or, simply getting creative!

Enjoy some of the pictures shared by Fellows of the activities that took place across the state:
Celebrating community diversity! 📷: Elizabeth Havey
Hitting the slopes.
📷: Jackson Realo
Learning to PLARN.
📷: Cailin Notch
Hiking the beautiful Central Coast. 📷: Michelle Geldin
Getting creative and having a pint... of ice-cream! 📷: Marlys Jeane
Taking the cat out to enjoy the scenery. 📷: Tory Brewster
Greater LA and San Diego Fellows Help Clean LA River for Cesar Chavez Day of Service
"...Chávez moved thousands to stand together for their rights and led our nation toward a fuller recognition of the dignity of work. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chávez’s enduring legacy is at the forefront of our minds as Californians are reminded of our deep debt of gratitude to the farmers and farmworkers working tirelessly to supply food to supermarket shelves, food banks and our tables."

Governor Gavin Newsom.
March 31, 2021
In remembrance of the life and legacy of César Chávez and in solidarity with our communities in California, every year CivicSpark Fellows celebrate Cesar Chavez Day by partnering with local nonprofits and NGO's to get their hands dirty and give back to their communities.
This year, CivicSpark Fellows from across the state served virtually alongside community volunteers to support LA Works in their efforts to conduct wellness check-in calls to elderly residents in Los Angeles. Collectively, the group made over 400 calls, ensuring the elderly had access to the resources they needed such as medications, food, COVID-19 vaccinations, and even social connection as we mark one year into the pandemic. 
Also, on March 22 Fellows from the Greater LA and San Diego Region served in-person at Rio de Los Angeles State Park. Fellows teamed up with USC School of Landscape Architects and Rio de Los Angeles State Park Volunteers and took part in native plant identification, mulching, cleaning up and an urban hike tour to the LA River.
LGC receives 2021 Best of Sacramento Award!
The Local Government Commission (LGC) has been selected for the 2021 Best of Sacramento Award in the Community Organizations category by the Sacramento Award Program. 

“LGC is honored to receive 2021 Best of Sacramento Awards in the category of Community Organizations,” said Kate Meis Wright, Executive Director.

The Sacramento Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Sacramento area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate long-term value. 

"While the real award is always the positive impact we can have on each other, the leaders in our network, and the communities we serve, it is nice to have this recognition for all of the hard work and creativity of the Local Government Commission’s staff, especially over this challenging past year, “ Meis Wright said. 
CivicSpark and California Climate Action Corps still accepting project Partner applications
While the regular deadline to apply for the California Climate Action Corps is coming up on April 30, we will continue to accept applications for CivicSpark on a rolling basis 

Share this opportunity with your network and potential applicants.

To learn more about the program and how our emerging leaders may support your agency's community and climate initiatives visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn or download our program flyers using the buttons below:
CivicSpark and California Climate Action Corps regular Fellow application deadline April 30!
Launch a meaningful career and make a difference in local communities! Our programs offer a unique opportunity to build professional experience in the environmental and resilience sectors through national service.
The regular deadline is April 30!
Share this opportunity with your network and potential applicants.
To learn more about the programs and how you may support communities in California visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram or download our program flyer
Fellow Spotlight
Question of the Month: "How has serving through AmeriCorps impacted you?"
Sy Baker | Bay Area

"Serving at StopWaste and within local government has taught me the importance of understanding what skills I can bring to the table, and having the self-confidence to use them. I've had to learn how to both be there to deepen my understanding of the challenges in the community while simultaneously exercising the skills I do have to make meaningful contributions. I've really learned to recognize that I possess a unique perspective and that my voice and efforts can make a difference, if it first comes from a place of listening and observation. ."
Paulina Mejia | Greater Los Angeles

"Serving others through the AmeriCorps program has impacted me deeply in understanding the social, economic, and environmental challenges our communities are faced with across the state. As a CivicSpark Fellow serving with the City of Riverside, I support the city’s efforts in tackling climate change at the local level through capacity building, education, and engagement with staff, elected officials, stakeholders, and community members. With the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change crisis and the fight for environmental and racial justice, my work as a CivicSpark Fellow has taught me to be resilient and an advocate for diverse communities and our home - Mother Earth."
Bryan Redden | Sacramento & Sierra

"My time serving through AmeriCorps has reaffirmed my desire to do positive things not only for the planet; but for humanity. It’s taught me so much about the needs of our society and how we can only get through these difficult times by working together. I’m grateful for the people I’ve met and the challenges I’ve come across so far. 5 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I would be doing a program like this, but am glad my journey has led me down this path."
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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, 90 Fellows are placed across California in regional hubs to implement targeted projects that build capacity for local government agencies to better address community resilience issues such as climate change, water resource management, and access to opportunities.
Learn more about CivicSpark at www.civicspark.lgc.org.