August 2017                                 
Congrats to Our 2016-17 Cohort!
On August 29th, Fellows, Regional Coordinators, program partners, friends, and family members came together to celebrate the dedication and hard work of our 2016-17 cohort throughout the past 11 months. State leaders joined the graduation ceremony to recognize the cohort's accomplishments and share words of encouragement with key speakers including Ken Alex, Director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and Karen Baker, Chief Services Officer for CaliforniaVolunteers. Noe Martinez Diaz, the Fellow-elected cohort speaker, also shared words of encouragement and a  spoken word performance .

Collectively, Fellows dedicated over 96,000 hours of service.  Fellows served on a range of climate action, energy efficiency, water conservation, transportation planning, and waste management projects to build local government capacity to respond to climate change and water management issues. 
Congratulations to our 2016-17 CivicSpark Fellows and thank you for dedicating a year of service to support California's communities!
Regional Spotlight
Piedmont Climate Action Planning 
Bay Area Climate Fellow Olivia Ashmoore is working in the City of Piedmont to develop a climate action plan update. The goal of the climate action plan is to reduce Piedmont’s community greenhouse gas emissions through 2030 and meet state goals for climate mitigation.  The plan includes a greenhouse gas inventory, a strategy to reduce emissions, a plan for implementation, and a description of how the city can adapt to climate change. Throughout the climate action planning process Olivia has been engaged with the public. Monthly public meetings have been held beginning in March to discuss the ways residents can support Piedmont’s climate action efforts. 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month What has been the most memorable day for you over the past eleven months with CivicSpark?
Jacob Straus | Bay Area Region
"The most memorable day of my CivicSpark year was the Bay Area's day of service at Mt. Tam. I got to explore some great woods with some great folks, learn about local ecology, and help get rid of invasive French broom--using a weed wrench is very cathartic! After the volunteer event, a few other fellows and I hiked out to Alamere Falls to catch the sunset. It was an educational & exhausting day. "

Jacob Straus is a native New Yorker and recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where he studied Environmental Geopolitics and Comparative Literature. He has worked in grassroots conservation, publishing, and nonprofit administration, and he hopes to use this experience to improve the efficiency and equitability of the Bay Area and the world. Jacob is dedicated to long-term sustainability and hopes that his work with CivicSpark will help guide Berkeley towards a greener future.
Elektra Fike-Data | Southern California Region
"CivicSpark has been the defining element of this past year, but there was one particular day when the fellowship experience hit its peak. After receiving multiple job offers one morning, I was asked to share my understanding of climate action planning and green business networking to a group of stakeholders learning about sustainable best practices. It occurred to me in that moment that CivicSpark created a platform on which I was able to develop my understanding of significant climate change topics, share what I had learned, and act as a change agent in this field. Thanks to this fellowship, I am looking forward to many more “most memorable” days."

Elektra grew up in Marin County near San Francisco, California. After graduating from college, she worked for private sustainability research firms and later earned her masters in Sustainable Tourism from Arizona State University in order to gain insight into international best practices and sustainable methodology. Following this fellowship she aims to bridge the gap between private and public sectors facilitating partnerships and exploring programs offered by local, state, and federal agencies.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Noe Martinez Diaz, Climate Fellow - Southern California Region
"Because through the journey, you have gained wisdom / You met people who share your passion / Even when the road might seem daunting at first/In your future endeavors know your worth "...
Upcoming Event
ARCCA Learning Session: General Plan Guidelines Update
September 12, 2017 | 1:00 - 2:30 PM PDT

Join ARCCA and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research for an overview of the new General Plan Guidelines. The webinar will focus on adaptation, GHG emissions reduction, and environmental justice. Participants will have opportunities throughout the webinar to ask questions and engage with speakers.Register today at .
17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 1-3, 2018 | San Francisco, CA

Save the dates! The 17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is being held February 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The 2018 conference program will feature eight thematic tracks that will provide participants an opportunity for a deeper, more dynamic hands-on learning experience. Each track will be designed to create a peer cohort of practitioners that leave with new tools, strategies, models and templates to integrate into their work – with our signature multidisciplinary theme running throughout. To learn more, please visit .

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 .