January 2016
Serving Our Communities on MLK Day

"On April 18, 1959 at the March for Integrated Schools, Martin Luther King Jr. called his audience to 'make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.'
If we want to build up a generation that can care for the planet and has the capacity to fight climate change, we have to instill a sense of care for the environment. But it is not a just question to ask people to look beyond their own needs to the plight of the planet, when the priorities of one's family are simply to survive. When we measure a city's resilience we keep in mind not only the environment but the economic and social situation of the city as well.  Lack of access to work and a poor quality of life are not sustainable. In poverty, there is no capacity to address climate change."

Mackenzie Bolger, Southern California Fellow &
Abbie Huvard, Los Angeles Fellow 

North Coast team at Arcata Elementary's Bowl of Beans Event.
Fellows sold $200 worth of donated ceramics and served 400 meals.
Sierra Nevada team at Wakamatsu Farm near Placerville.
Fellows planted trees and pulled weeds with over 40 community volunteers.
The Sacramento team in North Natomas for the 50 Bikes for 50 Kids event.
Fellows registered volunteers and offered event support, cleanup, and skills course instruction.
The Central Valley team in Fresno with the American Red Cross Service Event.
Fellows installed 34 alarms and distributed fire preparedness information packets to each household that attended.
The Bay Area team at the Presidio in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Fellows restored 80 steps of the Immigrant Point connector trail, moving nearly 2400 lbs of soil.
The Central Coast team at Avila Beach.
Fellows did a beach clean up and removed 35 lbs of waste.
The Southern California and Los Angeles Fellows worked on painting murals at Woodcrest Elementary while Daniel Maloney, served as an L.A. Works Project Leader in charge of 40+ volunteers painting murals at Washington Preparatory High School.
Regional Spotlights
Rebuilding Sacramento Through Energy Conservation
Fellows Claire Curley and Alexis Krekel are increasing outreach for Rebuilding Together Sacramento's Home Energy Conservation (HEC) Program, which offers basic energy efficiency  upgrades to low-income homeowners in Sacramento County. In the past couple of weeks, they have  reached out to dozens of organizations and staff members of  elected officials working with under-served communities in Sacramento County to raise awareness for this program. Some of these organizations include Opening Doors, the South Oak Park Community Association, and the UC Davis Med Center.

Climate Action Planning in Emeryville
Hoi-Fei Mok is working in Emeryville to update the City's Climate Action Plan and implement measures related to building energy efficiency, alternative transportation, street trees, and electric vehicle charging stations. Emeryville will soon be launching its sustainability website with various resources for the public on climate change and environmental issues. Earlier this month, City staff attended the REV Sustainability Circle workshop hosted by Pixar. The City will be wrapping up its participation in the program in March with a presentation of its Sustainability Action Plan for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction and GHG Monitoring in Santa Barbara
Since August 2015, the County of Santa Barbara has been working to implement 51 Energy Reduction Measures (ERMS) as part of its Climate Action Plan. In conjunction with its efforts, fellow Frank Chen is assisting the County with the revitalization of its GHG monitoring tools. He has also developed a draft work plan that will assist stakeholders in planning and monitoring progress as the County continues to implement the ERMS. In the coming months, the County hopes to finalize the work plan and a GHG monitoring tool to better track its emissions reductions.

Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: As an AmeriCorps member, service is a critical component of the CivicSpark model - How do you give back to your community? Why is service important to you?
Lora Elliott, Sacramento Region
A:  "Service is important to me because it is one of the few times that people stop arguing - about what should be done, or how it should be done - and set about working for productive change that benefits the world.  It is one of the times when the differences between people become smaller, and who people are matters less than what they are doing.  It is a beautiful and uniting act."

Lora is an aspiring urban planner, a recent transplant to California, and graduate from Colorado State University with bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Economics. During her senior year, she served as an intern for the 70th session of the Colorado General Assembly with the Chair of the House Transportation & Energy Committee.
Anthony Primer, Bay Area Region
A: "As an Eagle Scout, community service has been an important part of my life ever since I first repeated the scout slogan - do a good turn daily. Beyond the values ingrained in me from scouting, community service is important to me for the same reason it was important to Charles de Lint, 'I don't want to live in a world where we don't look out for each other.' Some ways I enjoy giving back include habitat restoration and permaculture projects, volunteering at the zoo, and providing foster care for animal rescue organizations."

Anthony recently received his BA Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Sustainability from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After completing his service with CivicSpark, he hopes to join Peace Corps with a better idea of a career path he wants to pursue.
Megan Hines, Los Angeles Region
A: "I give back to my community by volunteering at city events, such as river clean up days and park restoration events. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than transforming an unkempt area into a clean, useable space that the whole community can enjoy and take pride in. Service is important to me because it strengthens communities and brings people together, while also encouraging personal growth and self-esteem."

Megan's love for nature led her to earn a BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Resource Management from California State University Channel Islands in 2014. She spent the last year working for an environmental consulting firm on a large-scale transmission project through the Angeles National Forest.
Upcoming Events

Community-based Water Conservation Workshop
Wednesday, February 3rd
8:30AM - 5:00PM
City of Salinas
200 Lincoln Ave.
Salinas, CA 93901
Thursday, February 4th
8:30AM - 5:00PM
West Sacramento Community Center
1075 West Capitol Avenue
West Sacramento, CA 95691
The Local Government Commission, in partnership with Green Cities California, is hosting workshops for local agency staff to learn tools for creating effective water conservation programs! 
Expert speaker Jennifer Tabaninco of Action Research will teaching on how to change behavior in communities using social science research  and  marketing   to promote clean, healthy, and sustainable living.
REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN - for the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event! The theme for the 2016 conference is "Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities," underscoring a stronger emphasis on implementation tools and strategies, and new technologies that will help communities NOW! The program will feature a dynamic mix of over 80 sessions, workshops, and trainings for veteran experts to smart-growth novices, also including optional tours of model projects and networking opportunities. 

Visit  www.NewPartners.org for more details!

The Center for Climate Protection , the Local Government Commission , and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition  are organizing an all-day symposium to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy, driven by local government and business. The Symposium provides a forum to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs, and to learn about current energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Help accelerate the wave of local renewables sweeping California. Please join us on March 4, 2016 in San Jose for the Business of Local Energy Symposium. http://climateprotection.org/symposium-2016/

March 10-13, 2016

LGC's 2016 conference, Think Like a Startup: Private-Sector Solutions for Public-Benefit Projects, will look at how government and partners can stay ahead of the resource curve the way the private sector does. Invited speakers will talk about the role of entrepreneurs in meeting evolving housing, travel, and mobility needs, how local governments can do more to respond to market needs, and what they can do to work with the private sector to optimize community benefits. There will also be ample opportunities for insightful dialogue and valuable networking. For local officials ONLY.

More details and registration at  http://www.lgc.org/yosemite-2016

Save the date and stay tuned for more details on the 2nd biennial  California Adaptation Forum ! This forum reflects the diverse needs and challenges facing California, bringing together leading voices from around the state to share insights about how we can most effectively respond.
About CivicSpark
CivicSpark is a statewide Governor's initiative AmeriCorps program implemented by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Eight regional hubs host 48 Fellows across California, building capacity for local government agencies to address climate change. The 2015-16 service year started on Oct. 19 th , 2015 and will go through Sept. 2016.