April 2019
Fellow Applications are Now Open!
If you are interested in learning more about the program, our three tracks (Climate, Water, and Opportunity Access), and the recruitment and interview process,  register today for our final informational webinar on Friday, May 17th at 12 PM.
Giving Back on César Chávez Service Day
Fellows across the state served communities for César Chávez Service Day , from sorting and organizing donations at Women's Empowerment to volunteering at FOOD Share Inc. of Ventura County. Our Fellows are dedicated to making a difference in their communities!
Bay Area Fellows volunteered at Alemany Farms to weed and harvest in the community garden. Fellows also toured the farm and learned about what the Friends of Alemany Farm do to grow food security and educate local residents about how they can become their own food producers. 
Sacramento and Sierra Nevada Fellows started their Cesar Chavez Service Day at California Governor's Office of Emergency Services with an in-depth discussion on access and functional needs both in daily life and in relation to disasters with Vance Taylor, Chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs. Following that, Fellows spent the afternoon with Women's Empowerment helping to sort and organize a huge donation of makeup for women experiencing homelessness.
From working on trail maintenance in Mt. Shasta to working with the SacTree Foundation to assist in their tree planting, Fellows provided a wide array of support across the region by getting their hands dirty and down to the root. In the weeks to come, our Central Inland Fellows will be providing support at the Merced County Food Bank.
Inland Empire Fellows volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in observance of Cesar Chavez Day. The IE Fellows joined in on Habitat’s monthly “A Brush with Kindness” event where they had a chance to paint a mobile home in Moreno Valley. After helping to paint the home alongside other Habitat for Humanity volunteers, Fellows Stacey and Mairany led a discussion about Cesar Chavez, the Farm Workers' Movement, and the major role that Dolores Huerta played in the movement.
Central Coast Fellows volunteered at FOOD Share Inc. of Ventura County. We sorted and packed over 5,200 lbs of produce (lemons, oranges, apples, and pears) which will be distributed to hungry individuals and families throughout the area.
Greater Los Angeles and San Diego Fellows sorted and repackaged 8,500 lbs of food to be distributed to families facing food insecurity. They also discussed food justice, took a walking tour of the South Central Farm and heard from a community leader who shared the history of the farm and plans to revitalize the 14 acres for community farming.
Project Spotlights
Climate and Sustainability Initiatives in the Bay Area
Maggie Torpey-Murray is a Climate Fellow working at a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area called the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3). BC3 helps its members (Google, Salesforce, Whole Foods, Gap, etc.) to collaborate and share best practices on climate change solutions. Maggie’s work has been focused primarily on education and outreach for a program that BC3 administers called the SunShares program. SunShares offers deep discounts on solar and electric vehicles (EVs) from pre-vetted providers and dealerships. The SunShares 2018 season (August-November) finished strong: 188 homes made the switch to solar, totaling 924 kW of clean energy...that's almost 1 MegaWatt of new solar energy in the Bay Area! Beyond SunShares, BC3 is working on several exciting projects that engage our membership in zero waste and supply chain conversations, as well as employee engagement efforts and initiatives. BC3 is also working to help member companies better align their climate goals with the City and County of San Francisco’s 0 , 80, 100 Roots climate action framework. Maggie hopes to continue to work with large, influential corporations to push climate and sustainability initiatives for a more sustainable future.
Water Equity in Riverside
Brian Keener is a CivicSpark Water Fellow serving the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) in Riverside, CA. He primarily works on SAWPA’s Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program, and has been helping to coordinate various activities aimed at increasing the involvement of structurally disempowered communities within water management. Since joining SAWPA in September, Brian has been managing the Community Water Internship Program, a capacity building program for water agencies and non-profits serving communities in need, and coordinating SAWPA’s on-call translation services for document and meeting translations. He’s also facilitating the composition of SAWPA’s Community Water Ethnography Report—a novel document that prioritizes the expertise of community members while aligning their insights with the distribution of technical assistance monies. Brian hopes that his work will contribute to a more connected and resilient Santa Ana Watershed, and will continue to advocate for equity on behalf of all the watershed’s inhabitants. 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month : " In the spirit of Earth Day, what is one easy way to reduce your carbon footprint? What have you done for Mother Earth lately?"
Gianna Marasovich | Central Inland Region
"One easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to vote! From local measures to national elections, you can make change for Mother Earth by being a participant in the political system. Use your vote for not only the planet but for your neighbors, human and nonhuman!" 

Gianna Marasovich is from the Central Valley and went to San Francisco State University where she graduated with a B.A. in environmental studies. As a student at San Francisco State University, she was an active member of the environmental community on campus and got to intern at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Most recently, she worked for Mutual Housing California as an AmeriCorps VISTA where she worked on a summer literacy program for youth. She joined CivicSpark because she is excited about the opportunity to work on California’s climate change issues.
Andrew Wakelee | Central Coast Region
" One easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to carpool, take public transit, bike, or walk whenever possible. However, since commuting with your personal car is often a must, I plan to lease an all-electric vehicle within the next few years so I can run on 100% renewable clean power. During outreach for my EV focused service project, I highlight how EVs can offer zero-emission transportation while costing less than half the price of gas to fuel. I plan to be a part of this clean transportation movement. "

Andrew Wakelee is from Ventura, CA. After teaching English in Spain this past school year he will be working on the CivicSpark project in his hometown. This is a great opportunity to build on local environmental and community engagement projects he's worked on there in the past. He's excited to learn more about electric vehicles and help make his community more sustainable!
Michael Jimenez | Greater Los Angeles Region
" Much of the food we grow and buy gets thrown out, which significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. I’ve teamed up with my roommates to eat communally, allowing us to waste less food and get a better bang for our buck. From working at a farmer’s market in high school, I learned to eat, buy, and grow (if you can!) locally. There’s lot of work to be done to reduce waste in the food system, from production to transportation and personal waste. However, I’m hopeful for future food systems to offer all populations the resources they need to access and enjoy fresh, local options. "

Michael Jimenez grew up in Sacramento intrigued by climate change and the environment. While majoring in Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he engaged with various community organizations that combat displacement and fight for environmental justice. From organizing toxic tours to volunteering with transit and housing alliances, he became aware of the economic and environmental disparities across his home state. As a CivicSpark Fellow, Michael looks forward to engaging with local communities on climate resilience, public health, and social equity. In the coming year, he hopes to learn more about climate policy while beginning his career in sustainability and community development.
Partner Spotlights
Question of the Month : “What are some of the most important sustainability innovations (technical, community, policy, other) you are seeing today?”
Paul Ahrns, Chris Mertens, and Justine Quealy | Sierra Business Council

"Here at Sierra Business Council we are recognizing that climate resiliency and adaptation are quickly becoming the lens through which most major state and local policy decisions are being made. We can see this in both state level responses and local community initiatives to address wildfire, housing needs, energy and grid reliability, as well as business resilience. SBC develops and supports innovative approaches to tackling rural climate-related issues, and is uniquely positioned to work with local governments to increase their energy resilience, work with businesses on disaster preparedness, advocate for funding that directly contributes to climate resiliency, as well as a number of other related projects and programs. For example, our Government Affairs team is closely monitoring SB 45, a bill that would direct $4.3 billion to preparing the state's urban centers, rural communities, and natural and working lands for the impacts of climate change. With the impacts of climate change becoming more evident each year in the form of record heat, catastrophic wildfire, and extreme weather, state and local decision makers are getting serious about building climate resilience into major decisions and acting to ensure we have the resources necessary to protect our communities and environment."

CivicSpark alum Nikki Caravelli and SBC's Sierra Small Business Development Center Program Manager Chelsea Waltersheid are pictured speaking with a community member.
Great Stories
Sam Ruderman, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Sacramento and Sierra Region
"While I was excited for the event, I wasn’t sure exactly how relevant the content would be to my service projects. Ideally, I was hoping to be able to bring some novel ideas and information back to South Lake Tahoe, but I knew that would be easier said than done. The workshop turned out to be super interesting, and I really enjoyed listening to these transportation pioneers in what reminded me of a lecture setting (anyone else miss school?). But what stuck with me most as I walked back to my car at the end of the day wasn’t a transportation solution, or even a piece of information..."

Reid Miller, 2018-19 Opportunity Access Fellow - Central Inland Region
"This month, however, I began to look into the process of starting a home share program, as the County is required by our housing element to encourage the development of such a program, but not necessarily take on the project ad run it ourselves. In the process of doing this, I spoke with many home share organizers who had started their programs fairly recently, and I came to realize that some had started out as a sort of transitional housing for those who were in the process of exiting a homeless shelter and looking for a safe and affordable place to stay and get back on their feet..."

Anna Fessler-Hoffman, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
"The past couple of months have definitely been a turning point for me, professionally. I am doing the CivicSpark service work that we agreed upon when I first started at the City, and doing loads of additional work to support the Environmental Services Division while my site supervisor is on maternity leave. While some might see this as an overload, I have taken this as an opportunity to grow..."
In the News
Simone Cordery-Cotter, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Sacramento and Sierra Region
“The Energy Action Plan is a community-oriented, multi-year plan to reduce Grass Valley’s natural gas and electricity usage by 29 percent and 36 percent respectively, and will save the community over $10 million over the course of 15 years ..."

Zack Reda, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
"We have a bike blender station, which I'm kind of new to the idea," Reda said. "They bring a bike and then you end up blending a smoothie (while riding it), so with the power you generate from your bike, you'll have a smoothie..."
Upcoming Opportunities and Events
California For All Emergency Preparedness Campaign

Governor Newsom’s California For All Emergency Preparedness Campaign is a new effort to boost disaster preparedness by connecting over one million of the most vulnerable Californians to culturally and linguistically competent support.

To ensure success, the campaign empowers and engages local communities on emergency preparedness to support California’s diverse and vulnerable populations, which can be described by social vulnerability factors including social isolation, poverty, language barriers, and other access and functional needs challenges. The $50 million effort will invest directly in targeted regions and communities to help transform and improve how Californians get prepared. 

The first phase of the joint effort between California Volunteers and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that aims to effectivity and efficiently select partners and begin implementation by summer 2019. California Volunteers is overseeing the distribution of $30 million, with grants available to partners.    

Click here for more information!
Funding Navigation for California Communities

The Local Government Commission is excited to announce our new  Stormwater Project Resources Section!  Make sure to visit our  redesigned homepage  for the latest in funding opportunities for local governments in the areas of Active Transportation, Drinking Water, Local Street Repair, Parks, Public Transit & Shared Mobility, Stormwater, and Wastewater Management.

Want help finding and accessing funding to implement your project?
Let us assist you! Click here to submit a brief request form.

Technical assistance support is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't wait to apply!
Adaptation Clearinghouse Spring Series: Capital Region
May 23, 2019 | 1 - 2PM

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program (ICARP) is hosting a webinar on the Adaptation Clearinghouse for the Capital Region as part of a state-wide series of regional webinars. This webinar will provide an opportunity for local stakeholders to learn about the Adaptation Clearinghouse, regionally-relevant resources, and opportunities to integrate adaptation into other local planning efforts. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide recommendations on new resources and case studies to be featured on the Adaptation Clearinghouse.

Register here!
The Business of Local Energy Symposium
June 20 - 21, 2019 | Orange County, CA

Registration now open! Join us for the best community choice networking of 2019!

Join Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) experts and leaders from across the state for a  day-long Symposium  on June 21st about accelerating California's local energy resource development by establishing CCAs and sharing best practices in order to create more benefits for California's local communities. There will also be a pre-Symposium workshop "Managing Risk in a Dynamic Environment" on June 20th from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM ($35).
California Climate Action Planning Conference
August 15 - 16, 2019 | Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA

Cal Poly and the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research will host the fourth California Climate Action Planning Conference (CCAPC) August 15 & 16, 2019 at the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus.  The conference addresses the climate crisis by focusing on local and regional action, including—pathways to deep de-carbonization, successful financing and implementation, community vulnerability assessment, state planning guidance, and climate justice. The conference will focus on in-depth issues in GHG emissions reduction and climate adaptation at the local and regional level. Panels will feature leaders in the field to bring the most up-to-date and advanced thinking.
10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
June 26 - 27, 2019 | Long Beach, CA

The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, is hosting the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum). The SEEC Forum aims to provide learning, sharing, and networking opportunities to help local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action. The forum will feature engaging sessions, expert plenaries and keynotes, and new innovative activities to help energy leaders and practitioners connect to learn about innovative projects and strategies, share best practices, and troubleshoot challenges.

The SEEC Forum is offered at no-cost to California local government staff and officials. Click  here  to learn more.
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 .