May 2020
CivicSpark is able to focus on
COVID-19 relief activities.
In response to the significance and urgency of COVID-19 , CivicSpark is prepared to focus local-level Fellow support on recovery activities such as: supporting development of responsive programs, researching recovery options, or connecting community members with needed resources. Hosting a Fellow could be a cost-effective way to bolster response efforts and engage community members who are willing and able to help.
Explore potential recovery activities by contacting Kif Scheuer ( [email protected] ), or visit our website below to learn more about hosting a Fellow and the application process.
Sacramento Fellows organize
Earth Day Live Sacramento!
50 years after the first Earth Day mobilized millions of Americans for the planet, kick-starting the modern environmental movement and leading to the enactment of landmark environmental laws, we find ourselves sheltered in place working to come up with creative strategies to come together and continue to be stewards of our environment and champion the solutions that our communities need.
Demonstrating amazing creativity and commitment, current CivicSpark Fellows Erica Trinidad, Hannah Schanzer and Emma Diamond commemorated Earth Day's milestone anniversary by dedicating their Volunteer Engagement Project to putting together Earth Day Live Sacramento a 12 hour long live stream, focusing on cultivating interaction, education, entertainment, and awareness in an attempt to provide a community-based response to the related problems of climate change and COVID-19.
The live stream amplified the intersectionality of the climate crisis through performances by local artists, calls-to-action from climate activists and organizations, virtual town halls with local elected officials, as well as healthy ways to promote solidarity and social cohesion. Additionally, the event was preceded by fundraising efforts for local organizations and charities providing community-based responses to the Coronavirus.
Fellows share project achievements through virtual mid-year regional impact presentations

In April, Fellows celebrated hitting their service term mid-year milestone by delivering virtual presentations to share the progress and successes taking place in all the different regions.
In case you missed it, follow the link to watch the regional impact presentations on-demand, and find out more about all the great achievements Fellows have been having this year, e verything from plans completed and communities engaged to projects implemented throughout the state!

We're still accepting Partner applications for 2020-21 on a rolling basis for limited regions.
Apply today to receive project support for your agency to address emerging environmental and community resilience challenges.

Visit our website to apply, and download a flyer to learn about CivicSpark’s 5 year track record of helping California communities while fostering the next generation of leaders and what it takes to become a CivicSpark partner!
CivicSpark Fellow late application deadline May 30

We are still looking for candidates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact!

Apply now to be part of the movement!

Visit our Fellow page to learn more! Questions? Check our  Fellow FAQ  page or email  [email protected]
Fellow Spotlight
Question of the Month : " What are some lessons you've learned from adapting your service projects to being remote?"
Michael Jimenez | Greater Los Angeles

" Serving in a climate-focused program at a local health department, I see the links between climate change and COVID-19. The sense of urgency to protect people from getting sick reflects efforts to slow climate change and protect public health. My co-fellow Yema and I are implementing flexible, virtual methods for stakeholder engagement, which include organizing an online health equity listening session that was initially going to be in person. Overall, we’re of a lucky few whose project service has remained intact while sheltering in place."  
Rebecca Berg | Central Valley

"I’ve learned that it was very important for me to designate a place that would be my workspace, and make sure it is a place where I can block out distractions as much as possible. I’ve also had some difficulty staying organized, so continuing to use my planner and keep my calendar updated has been very important to staying on track with my projects. Finally, I’ve had an increase in meetings with my supervisors and project partners and I’ve had to be very conscious of my time management and balancing this extra time with the other tasks I need to accomplish."
Partner Spotlight
Tell us about your project, what makes you excited about it?
Kathy Dice |Board of Directors President
Borrego Springs Water District

"I've lived in the rural desert community of Borrego Springs, CA for over 30 years and in all that time (and longer) we have been working on how to create sustainable groundwater management plan, as our only source of water for our basin is an aquifer fed by the mountainous watershed that surrounds us. 
In 2014 the State Legislature passed the State Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) mandating to bring our aquifer to a sustainable yield that would guarantee the survival of our 3000 resident town. Enter our Civic Spark Fellow, Meet Panchal who we hired to help us create a water and land management plan that would work alongside the SGMA process. 
Meet has been challenged by the lack of a government system in this community, thus has been instrumental in helping create and writing an Action Plan for the Borrego Valley Stewardship Council, a forum for visioning and planning the future of Borrego Springs, acting as a leader for challenges that affect the well-being of this special place. Because of the sudden arrival of the Covid-19 shut down order and protocols, Meet has become active in organizing community resources to assist residents and has been part of food bank distributions in Borrego.
We appreciate the flexibility and the ongoing work of our Civic Spark Fellow!"
The Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) Impact Report released
The ICARP Report released April 2020 highlights ICARP accomplishments since its launch in 2017, and outlines recommended programmatic next steps to advance California’s leadership on adaptation, resilience, and integrated climate action. The report touches on ongoing and emerging opportunities, challenges, gaps, and risks, and explores the work ahead for ICARP to best respond to the unique realities present in California. The intent of this report – and the work of ICARP – is to motivate and inspire action under challenging and complex circumstances.
SGC welcomes staff to form the Health and Equity Program (HEP) team
SGC is excited to welcome three new staff to form the HEP team: Nanette Star, Program Manager; Bo Chung, Program Analyst; and current CivicSpark Fellow Michael Jimenez , Program Associate. This new team represent a commitment from Governor Gavin Newsom’s Administration to advance cross-sector collaborative action on the social determinants of health and equity. The Health and Equity Program team at SGC will be responsible for supporting the HiAP Taskforce, infusing health and equity into all of SGC’s policy and program areas, and leading the implementation of SGC’s Racial Equity Action Plan .
HCD’s Local Early Action Planning Grants Are Now Live
The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is accepting applications for its Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grants, which provide local governments with funding to plan for increased and accelerated housing production. All California cities and counties are eligible for funding.
LEAP marks a great opportunity for jurisdictions to develop their plans for housing. General Plan updates, rezones, Specific Plans, policies to promote Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and other planning activities are all eligible under LEAP. Additionally, HCD encourages local governments to align their housing plans with the state’s goals for transportation and climate change, by pursuing housing development at higher densities and in ways that promote transit ridership.
For more information on how your jurisdiction can apply for funding, check out HCD’s LEAP webpage , or contact the team at [email protected] .
Explore a New Funding Partner- Finding Platform From the CEC:
May 5, 2020 | 11 AM - 12 PM

Join LGSEC for a live demonstration of Empower Innovation, a professional networking platform created by the California Energy Commission to help local governments and businesses identify funding and partnering opportunities to advance a clean energy future for all.   Find out more and sign up here!
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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 .