June 2017                                                                                                          civicspark.lgc.org
Join CivicSpark's 2017-18 Cohort!
CivicSpark Fellows
We are still accepting applications for Fellows! CivicSpark Fellows have the opportunity to implement targeted projects in support of local government agencies, and develop technical skills while creating a meaningful and lasting impact in California's communities. The next priority deadline is June 30th.
CivicSpark Delivers

CivicSpark projects have provided significant contributions to local climate change and water resource management efforts. Notable projects from our past 2 service years include: 

  • SCAG Green Indicators Project: The Green Region Initiative - Sustainability Indicators project tracks sustainability progress throughout the counties and cities in the SCAG region. CivicSpark Fellows developed metric reports, researched and tracked the data, and collaborated with staff on an interactive online map.
2016-17 Fellow Accomplishments
A Northern California Fellow helped with a Grid Alternatives installation and their volunteer engagement project has involved 25.5 hours served by one-time volunteers and 6 hours served by an ongoing volunteer. In Chico, they have hosted three Neighborhood Home Energy Efficiency Workshops and a Sustainable Business Expo & Happy Hour
Southern California Fellows presented on their work using ICLEI's ClearPath for the Gateway Cities Climate Action Framework at the 2017 SEEC Forum in Fresno, and in the City of Vista, a Fellow continued to engage the Vista community in a Climate Action Plan review process. 
Climate Fellows in the San Francisco Bay Area
supported the development of a white paper on existing Community Choice Aggregation programs and exploring pathways for development in upcoming programs, in collaboration with the East Bay Energy Watch, the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, and StopWaste staffers. 
Bay Area Water  Fellows work with the Marin Municipal Water District's Conservation Department both to educate customers on the importance of water efficiency and implement sustainability efforts. For this last project, the Proactive Leak Detection Program, they analyzed water use data, performed site visits and meter checks at addresses with unusually high consumption, and then notified customers of potential leaks. From January to June they have visited 513 sites and discovered leaks at 235 of them—or 46%. On average, these customers were unknowingly losing more than 750 gallons per day to leaks!
Regional Spotlights
Sustainability in Richmond
Bay Area Climate Action Fellow Samantha Carr is completing her second year of service with the City of Richmond supporting the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. She recently received approval from the City Council for a $346,000 contract to install solar compactor trash and recycling bins in local parks. This project supports Samantha’s leadership on a larger City initiative to beautify and add recycling facilities to trash bins along city streets and in parks. She is also proud to be distributing the City's 7,700 reusable bags she designed in collaboration with City Staff, to residents at Richmond community events and festivals. The multilingual reusable bags encourages recycling and fosters civic pride.
Water Protection in San Luis Obispo
Jacqueline is a CivicSpark Water Fellow serving in San Luis Obispo at the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board focusing on drinking water protection projects. Jacqueline’s main focus lately has been planning a Free Domestic Well Testing Project in San Luis Obispo County. This includes identifying communities that rely on domestic wells, deciding priority well testing areas, and organizing outreach materials and follow-up tools to ensure that community members who are at risk of unsafe drinking water are properly informed and aware of available solutions. She will be using a smartphone Nitrate App, developed by Deltares, to test the levels of nitrates in the drinking water samples. The goal of this is to compare the app’s results to those of the laboratory to ensure accuracy and come up with a procedure to improve the app’s effectiveness.
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: What social issues are you most passionate about and how do you get involved?
Harrison Stewart | Southern California Region
"Nearly 40% of the country lives in coastal counties threatened by relative sea level rise, with a massive amount of associated infrastructure at risk as well. Finding innovative ways to respond to rising seas is imperative to protecting our coasts. I've been involved with a managed retreat and dune restoration project in Ventura since October. I've been helping with invasive species removal and general maintenance of the dunes at Surfers Point, which keeps the dunes healthy and stable so they can keep doing their job. Since it's start in 2010, the project has become an example of management in Southern California without the need for expensive and ineffective shoreline                                                            armoring."

Harrison (Harry) is originally from New Haven, Connecticut. Following a lifelong passion for the ocean, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. During his undergrad, he worked on several research projects in fields ranging from paleoceanography to sea level reconstruction to marine ecology. His other interests include surfing, hiking, photography, and diving. He hopes to eventually attend graduate school and pursue a career in coastal management and/or academia.
Naomi Lichtner | Southern California Region
"I am extremely passionate about wilderness preservation! I believe that keeping our wilderness intact is essential for the social welfare of our biodiversity and the beauty of our planet. And it is entirely important for the social welfare of our human populations. It may sound a bit whimsical, but everything is connected! I get involved by attending events such as trail maintenance days or beach cleanups whenever I can. I also love to take pictures to raise awareness of what we could lose if we are not looking! I make sure I am quite vocal to my elected officials about my views and volunteer with environmental NGOs whenever I get the chance!"

Naomi is a proud Angelino by birth, meaning that she knows car culture and its effects on the environment first-hand, but she is also a tree-hugger by upbringing.  Naomi hopes to make her mark on this city by helping its citizens adapt to and appreciate climate change in Southern California with electric vehicles.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Fanny Yang, Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
"My partner and I went snorkeling for the first time during Memorial Day Weekend and I’m not sure how, but spending almost every day in the ocean reminded me how much I had, in the past, valued the existence of a perfectly, beautiful, ocean landscape and the marine ecosystems that came with it. "...
Upcoming Opportunities
Job Opportunity: Community Design Project Manager
Position Open Until Filled

The Local Government Commission (LGC) is seeking an experienced and dynamic individual to serve as Community Design Project Manager.

The Community Design Project Manager will manage multiple projects led by the Local Government Commission, including:

  • Statewide project to provide technical assistance to disadvantaged communities applying for funding for sustainable development and transportation programs.
  • Local transportation and land use planning focused on planning, design and implementation of complete street, bicycle and pedestrian, shared mobility and other innovative mobility enhancements that improve coordination between land use, transportation, community development and revitalization.
Applicants should send their résumés and cover letters describing their qualifications and interest in the position to Carissa Gutierrez at the Local Government Commission (cgutierrez@lgc.org). Download the full position description here.
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 newpartners.org.

Call for Presentation Ideas deadline EXTENDED! Through this process, they are looking for presentation ideas, potential speakers, innovative tools, best practices, and case studies from around the country — to support and inform the work of each of the eight subcommittees. The submission deadline has been extended through July 11, 2017. Learn more 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, 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 www.civicspark.lgc.org.