February 2019
2018-19 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 reflect on their leadership skills, 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, opportunity access, adaptation, and climate action planning development and implementation, as well as in engaging sessions on mental health, career pathways, and the Fellow experience. Dr. Frank Benest from the International City/County Management Association also joined us to provide a session on local government and leadership, as well as CivicSpark alumni for a Q&A panel session.
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 investing, calligraphy, aztec dance, slack lining, and more!
Regional Spotlights
Diverse Housing in the Bay Area
Darryle Ulama is a California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) Fellow placed at the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the regional planning agency for the nine counties of the Bay Area. Working alongside the implementation team at ABAG, Darryle is helping the region’s 109 jurisdictions tap into Senate Bill 2 - the Building Homes and Jobs Act - the first permanent source of state funding dedicated to affordable housing. Over the past couple of months, he has presented at planning director meetings across the Bay Area and acted as a liaison between local government staff and the State. He is currently working on a research project that examines the region’s diverse housing markets to provide a more nuanced perspective of housing in the Bay Area and to better inform policies that can be tailored to unique physical, social, and economic contexts. 
Renewable Energy in Goleta
Angeline Foshay is a Climate Fellow working with the City of Goleta on their 100% Renewable Energy Work Plan. Angeline’s main projects have included collecting solar installation data to compile a baseline for future projections, researching the viability of programs such as PACE and green leasing to expand local energy efficiency and solar, and exploring the intersection of equity and energy within the context of the City’s renewable energy plan. In addition to helping the planning department, Angeline is working with the Public Information Office to develop strategies to engage the Goleta community with the City’s sustainability initiatives and to develop accessible, consistent messaging on topics surrounding climate. Earlier in the program, Angeline helped the city recertify under the County of Santa Barbara Green Business Program and has researched the City’s next sustainability steps under the LEED for Cities program. Angeline is excited to conduct more extensive community outreach through strategic energy planning workshops and to continue to engage with the community on the topics of renewable energy and sustainability.  
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month : "What drives your passion for sustainability work ? "
Elisa Barrios | Greater Los Angeles Region
"As a young woman I always had the aspiration to be a geoscientist, to understand, protect, and conserve the natural wonders of our Earth. It was this passion that lead me to earn my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Geoscience and to find an organization that would integrate my love for science and the planet. My work at CivicSpark allows me to touch on all aspects of sustainability and understand the lengths at which Southern California is working to ensure a sustainable planet. It is through this work I hope to inspire others to take accountability and recognize that the preservation of our natural resources will result in an Earth that we can all enjoy."

Elisa Barrios a recent graduate from California State University, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Science in Geology Opt. Environmental Geoscience and GIS Certificate. Her experience includes 80+ hours of field work, using some environmental practices such as Geologic Mapping, Watershed Analysis, Digital Cartography, and Geochemical Analysis. As well as 3 years of leadership training on Executive Board and as a Norma Minch Leadership Conference Nominee, for the international Delta Zeta Sorority. She hope to use her environmental and leadership skills, to change the way environmental issues are managed, in the California community, as a CivicSpark 2018-19 Fellow. Overall, Elisa is a tenacious graduate, excited and committed, to understanding and exploring greenhouse gas dynamics, Earth’s climate change components, and sustainability issues.
Danny Kosiba | Central Coast Region
"Since childhood, the environment has had my full attention, and I basically studied biology purely for the chance to play outside for credit. The last couple of years have cemented the stark reality of a lot of environmental issues for me. I’ve been forced to grapple with the byproducts of unsustainable practices, such as witnessing countless marine life swim through human trash, or watching the sea lapping at homes of those too impoverished to move elsewhere. I embrace that without further sustainable practices, our world will continue to fracture and change irredeemably. I’m driven to fight for the people, places, and animals prevented from fairly fighting back for themselves, because without them our world is incomplete."

While growing up in Michigan, Danny’s passion for conservation and the environment started early. Danny is a graduate of Hope College with a degree in Biology, where his passion led him to various research positions across the globe, from the Arctic to the South Pacific. These research and service opportunities provided Danny with firsthand visuals of what the changing environment threatens, and he has developed a drive to combat the daunting issues that threaten the livelihood of so many populations. He is excited to join CivicSpark to enhance his abilities to engage local communities and implement environmental initiatives. He is eager for the opportunity to learn more about local government, and to make a difference in the local communities facing environmental changes.
Great Stories
Lizzie Carrade, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
" My favorite part of the workshop was the opening activity, which was inspired by the CivicSpark Community Engagement Technical Training in December. We asked community members to write down on a notecard how they hope Albany will have changed by 2050. Community members were then encouraged to tape them on the wall above the sign-in table. Many of the answers made me smile . .. "

Andrew Wakelee, 2018-19 Climate Fellow - Central Coast Region
" The strength of this community was most apparent following the devastating Thomas Fire in December 2017, as friends and perfect strangers did everything they could to help those who had lost everything. One of the most rewarding things about doing my service project back home in Ventura is being able to grow and tap into the many connections of that community in unexpected ways . .. "
Upcoming Events
CivicSpark is Recruiting Project Partners!
CivicSpark , a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, is now accepting project applications for the 2019-20 Service Year! CivicSpark is dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address emerging environmental and social equity resilience challenges such as climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility.

From  September 2019  to  August 2020 , 90 Fellows will bring energy, commitment, and drive to a range of locally-defined project throughout California.

Visit our website  to learn about CivicSpark’s 5 year track record of helping California communities tackle their biggest challenges while fostering the next generation of leaders. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis:
The first priority deadline is  March 15th  and the second is  May 3rd .

Fellows will begin serving on projects mid-September 2019
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  

Attend a 1-hour  informational webinar  to learn how CivicSpark works, how to host a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow, and what it takes to become a partner, local match costs, and more.

General Project Partner informational webinars:

Become a CivicSpark Fellow!

CivicSpark Fellow Applications for the 2019-20 Service Year will open April 1, 2019! If you are interested in learning more about the program, the application and interview process, sign up today for one of our informational webinars. Select the time that works best for you below to register.
Upcoming Regional Climate Symposia
Long Beach, CA | Stateline, NV
Fresno, CA | San Luis Obispo, CA

The State of California has released the  Fourth Climate Change Assessment , which provides the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions. A series of regional workshops are being organized to showcase key findings, as well as to discuss opportunities to advance local adaptation initiatives.

Join researchers, key state agencies, local jurisdictions, and community leaders at a regional climate symposium to learn more and build connections! In the meantime, we encourage you to take the  Cal OES Adaptation Planning Guide User Needs Assessment Survey !

Learn more about the regional events here .
California Shared Mobility Policy and Modeling Workshop
March 22, 2019 | Berkeley, CA
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Save the Date! Learn how shared mobility is transforming California communities! Join UC Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center for an interactive workshop featuring discussion son how public agencies are incorporating shared mobility into public policy and modeling, how they are sharing data with the public sector, and challenges they would like to solve.

The afternoon will feature breakout sessions on micromobility policy and transportation modeling followed by a discussion of how to prepare California for a shared automated vehicle future.

Learn more here . Questions? Contact Adam Cohen at apcohen@berkeley.edu .
California Water Policy Conference
April 4 -5, 2019 | San Diego, CA

This is a premiere event in the State that brings together agricultural, urban water and environmental communities to discuss current policy issues impacting California's water. 

The California Water Policy Conference Planning Committee is developing a stimulating conference agenda that will take the leading water issues of the day head-on and bring all participants into the heart of the debate and problem-solving.

Learn more here and 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).
10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
June 26 - 27, 2019 | Long Beach, CA

The  Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum  is offered at no-cost to California local government staff and officials, and provides valuable opportunities for participants to connect with state leaders, learn about new strategies and best practices, and network with peers from across the state.

For more information on this year's Forum, visit  californiaseec.org/forum/2019-forum

Call for Session and Poster Proposals NOW OPEN!
Proposals are due April 2, 2019 at 5:00 PM PDT.

The Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum is an opportunity to showcase best practices, local projects, and innovative strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability. This year, we will continue to offer a robust program by soliciting session and poster proposals from across the state on timely and applicable topics that will inspire and engage local government participants. If you have innovative projects or strategies to share, we encourage you to submit a session proposal!

Submit a session proposal or poster proposal here !
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 .