May 2016
2016-17 Project and Fellow Applications Now Open!

Project Applications
We are now accepting project applications for the 2016-17 service year (October 2016 - September 2017)! CivicSpark provides high-quality support services to assist local governments with their climate change related research, planning, and project implementation initiatives. Learn more and apply today at .

Fellow Applications
Fellow applications for the 2016-17 service year opened today! We are recruiting 68 recent college graduates to serve as Climate Action and Water Action fellows to support local initiatives throughout the state. The priority deadline to apply is July 15th. Learn more and apply today at

Help us spread the word!
We would greatly appreciate your support in helping spread the word about CivicSpark recruitment. Please feel free to share the project recruitment flyer and fellow recruitment flyer through your networks. Please contact Ariadna Hernandez at if you are interested in additional materials or sample language.

Find us on Facebook!

We're excited to announce that CivicSpark is now on Facebook!  Visit our page  and like us to get the latest news and to see what our fellows are up to!

Regional Spotlights
Electric Vehicles in Humboldt
Fellow Pierce Schwalb's main focus in Humboldt County has been to get more people to make the switch to electric vehicles. On top of converting gas car drivers, he makes sure to take care of the current EV community. Pierce recently brought around an EV simulator (pictured to the left) to all nine of the newly installed stations to make sure they were all functioning properly. He has also been working on signs, which will be placed around town, that point drivers to the stations. These signs really have two purposes: to help current EV drivers find the stations and also to show gas car drivers that EV infrastructure is present in their community. Pierce and his team have worked with the City of Arcata to evaluate their vehicle fleet. The fellows identified four vehicles that could be replaced by EVs with very short payback times, and hope the city will make the change!

May is Bike Month in San Mateo
On May 18th, the County of San Mateo and Redwood City were each designated as Bicycle Friendly Communities and were both awarded at the Bronze level by the League of American Bicyclists. Fellow Drew Harrington had the opportunity of playing an integral role in coordinating Bike to Shop Day, which is a one day event that unites businesses and bicyclists. Businesses are encouraged to create special offers for biking customers to encourage the community to use a bike for short distance trips, such as running your Saturday errands. By offering an enticing deal, they hope to educate the community about the infinity of benefits associated with bicycling. So far, 55 businesses have signed on! Drew feels that it has bee n great to see the combined efforts of multiple communities coming together to pull off magnificent events like Bike to Shop Day that make National Bike Month a huge success in the Silicon Valley.

Energy Efficiency in San Buenaventura
Fellow Abbie Huvard had  the opportunity to attend this year's Better Buildings Summit in Washington D.C from May 9-11 through her host agency, the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura. The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where industry leaders from the commercial, industrial, public, multifamily, residential, and data center sectors come together for three full days to discuss energy efficiency, and share their successes and failures in trying to reduce the energy intensity of their building portfolios by 20% in ten years. While at the summit, Abbie attended a multitude of energy related sessions covering topics such as utility tracking and benchmarking, water reduction strategies, energy modeling for building owners, and deploying energy efficiency in low income communities. In addition to these sessions, each day of the Summit presented opportunities to hear different Keynote Speakers ranging from Kasim Reed, the Mayor of Atlanta, to Ernest Moniz, the United States Secretary of Energy.

Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: Why is volunteerism an important component of civic engagement?
Amanda Le, North Coast Region
A:  "You cannot be given something without also giving back. This is not meant to sound like a tedious trade-off, but rather a constant flow of connection, soul nourishment, and understanding that strengthens community.

Amanda is a recent graduate from Lake Forest, California, with a Bachelor's in Environmental Science and Policy from Chapman University. She is interested in environmental, social, and economic  equity and justice.

Gilian Corral, Bay Area Region
A: "While getting paid to do work I love is great, my job won't make me a good citizen. To train my civic muscles, I have to hit the ground and get my hands dirty. As a volunteer I learn what matters to my fellow man because I am there with him, working for a cause we both care about. Later I can step back and see with clarity the issues that affect us both. Volunteering helps me make better civic decisions, because it demands both head and heart. "

Gilian is from Blacksburg, Virginia and earned a B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech. She also has an M.S. in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics. She is looking forward to learning about the systems involved in climate action planning and increasing her network in the Bay Area.

Frank Chen, Central Coast Region
A: "In my opinion volunteerism is an important component of civic engagement because it promotes a healthy value system that is based on the service to others. It challenges the unintended effects of our economic system predicated on self-interest. A healthy dose of both civic duty and private interest is important for the prosperity of a community. "

Frank Chen graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. There he obtained a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning with a Minor in Geographic Information Systems. Cal Poly gave him hands-on and practical experience working with local and regional agencies, involving research and data analysis for SCAG and community outreach and project implementation for the City of Claremont. His professional interests are climate action planning and resource conservation. In his spare time he enjoys photography and woodworking.

CivicSpark Great Stories
Clifford Wang, Bay Area Region
So a few questions beckon: is Spring beautiful? Hmm... I guess so? Let's ignore the allergies. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and people are out and about...

Kelly Ryan, Southern California Region
I ran through the options as to why my alarm was blaring loudly while it was still dark outside. Work? My second job? Practice? I then realized the day that I had spent hours and hours stressing about and working towards was finally here: our volunteer day.

Lora Elliott, Sacramento Region
AmeriCorps is hard....Even still, AmeriCorps has made me nothing short of thankful for everything I have. I am grateful for a home, and for food to eat...

Anna Johnson, 2014-15 Central Coast Alumna
In the last few months since finishing up my service year with CivicSpark, I have gone to a climate conference, continued to network, applied to jobs and even had a few very comfortable interviews...

Stephen Luther, 2015-15 North Coast Alum
Scanning the AmeriCorps site listings for all states under the "Environment" service area (cast a broad net, right?), I stumble across the perfect opportunity four pages in: "Community climate planning in Glacier National Park" with a program called EnergyCorps based in Montana.

Read these Great Stories and more at
Upcoming Events
CivicSpark 2016-17 Fellow Recruitment Webinars

- Tuesday, June 21 at 1pm
- Monday, July 25 at 3:30pm
- Wednesday, August 24 at 12:30pm

Join us for one of our informational webinars on the CivicSpark Fellowship and learn more about the program, the recruitment process, and the new CivicSpark Water Action Fellowship!

Register today for the   7th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum, taking place  from June 15 th- 16 th  in Riverside, CA, with pre-forum events taking place on June 14thThis year's forum, which is offered at no-cost to California local governments, will feature 16 interactive breakout sessions that highlight innovative and practical frameworks, projects, and tools to help you advance your community's energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives, as well as updates from key state agencies and plenty of networking opportunities.

The California Adaptation Forumhosted by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the State of California, will take place on September 7th-8th in Long Beach, CA. The two-day event will be the premiere convening for a multi-disciplinary group of 1,000+ decision-makers, leaders, and advocates to discuss, debate and consider how we can most effectively respond to the impacts of climate change. Save the date - registration will open in June!

The 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is coming to St. Louis, Missouri! The conference will take place  February 2-4, 2017  at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.

The Local Government Commission is conducting a formal Call for Session Proposals (CFSP) for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference program. The submittal review process will take place from mid-July through the end of August 2016. The LGC will notify those who have submitted sessions by mid-September as to whether their proposal was accepted for inclusion in the conference program. 

Click here to submit your proposal by June 30th.

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.