CivicSpark

CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change in California. The program operates in nine regions throughout the state, including the San Joaquin Valley, with 48 fellows who are launching their careers in sustainability while gaining valuable training at the local level. 

As a regional partner in the program, MCAG is hosting CivicSpark fellow Rebecca True for a ten-month term of service which will conclude in September 2016. As part of the MCAG team, Rebecca will be working with local governments in Merced County who are interested in developing and implementing climate change projects and programs. MCAG is offering this assistance at no cost to member jurisdictions in an attempt to build local capacity and encourage cities to pursue clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and safeguard against climate change impacts. 

For more information about CivicSpark, please visit: www.civicspark.lgc.org

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Name Affiliated Sponsor Deadline
Sustainable Energy Roadmap
$5000 stipend as well as guidance and support for San Joaquin Valley jurisdictions in identifying smart growth goals and a customized "roadmap" to optimize sustainable initiatives within local communities. Has a good resources library which is useful when researching case studies and best practices nationwide.

Strategic Energy Innovations Accepted on a rolling basis
Electric Vehicle Charger Incentive Program
Provides funding to public agencies with the intention of installing EV charging infrastructure for public access.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Accepted on a rolling basis
Bikeway Incentive Program
Funding to increase the feasibility and utilization of bicycles as an alternative form of transportation within the SJV.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Accepted on a rolling basis
Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program
Funding to support sustainability through infill development and increasing mobility and connectivity, as well as ensuring affordable housing in disadvantaged communities.
Strategic Growth Council March 16, 2016 (proposal), June 20, 2016 (complete application)
Active Transportation Program
Grant money to go towards active transportation infrastructure, particularly focusing on school children in disadvantaged communities.

CA Dept of Transportation Late March through mid-June 2016
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program
Used for transportation projects and programs that help to improve air quality and traffic congestion.
Federal Highway Administration Coming soon in 2016

Tools and Information

Name Description
Sustainable Energy Roadmap $5000 stipend as well as guidance and support for San Joaquin Valley jurisdictions in identifying smart growth goals and a customized "roadmap" to optimize sustainable initiatives within local communities. Has a good resources library which is useful when researching case studies and best practices nationwide.

San Joaquin Valley Greenprint

This mapping and data resource looks at non-urban areas in the SJV and can be used to help inform land-use decisions, yielding information about resource conservation and economic development in the areas of agriculture, biodiversity, water, and energy.
San Joaquin Valley Blueprint

Provides information on case studies and best practices regarding smart growth in SJV urban areas. Also has templates to help you apply these initiatives in your own community.
Web-based Archived Air Quality (WAAQ) System

Records air quality estimates in SJV and provides a tool to compare locations with both county and valley-wide averages to depict progress over time.
Drinking Water Mapping Application

Lets you search by place or address water suppliers, potential sources of water contamination, and current pollution levels.
California Climate Investment Map

Searchable database regarding climate action investment projects in the state.
Climate Benefits for California This platform allows you to search for different projects funded by the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) regarding transportation and sustainable communities, clean energy and energy efficiency, and natural resources and waste diversion.
Clean Energy in California

Provides energy statistics, resource maps, as well as a listing of policies, rebates, and incentives for clean energy in California.
CalEEMod A model to help quantify emissions and air quality impacts of land use throughout the state. Also helps to identify mitigation measures to aid government agencies and planners in developing strategies for climate action.

SEEC ClearPath Suite After putting local data in this tool, it aids in generating a greenhouse gas inventory, emissions forecast, climate action plan, and can be built upon for long-term emissions monitoring. Also has an excellent resource library.

Energy.gov State and Local Solution Center

Terrific resource library when looking to access resources and case studies for increasing renewable energy usage and efficiency at the local level.
Adaptation Planning Guide Takes climate science and interprets it into what it means for local governments in California. Identifies both environmental and socioeconomic factors that decision-makers can use in formulating the best climate action strategies.

Project Leadership and Staff Capacity

Name
Contact Information
CivicSpark
A Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program established in 2014, CivicSpark Fellows are recent college graduates with sustainability backgrounds hired through a selective process. They spend 10 months working in local governments throughout California to build capacity for climate action utilizing the latest knowledge and innovations in the field. In exchange, fellows gain relevant training and experience that will help to set their careers in motion.

Kristen Wraith,
Local Government Commission

kwraith@lgc.org
Sustainable Energy Roadmap
$5000 stipend as well as guidance and support for San Joaquin Valley jurisdictions in identifying smart growth goals and a customized "roadmap" to optimize sustainable initiatives within local communities. Has a good resources library which is useful when researching case studies and best practices nationwide.

Karly Zimmerman, Strategic Energy Innovations

karly@seiinc.org
MCAG Internship Program

Rebecca is in the process of developing the framework of an internship program targeting students at UC Merced, Merced College, and CSU Stanislaus to bring about long-term climate change capacity for Merced County. If you are interested in hosting a student intern in your city to lead or support climate projects, contact Rebecca to customize an internship program that fits your entity's needs.

Rebecca True, CivicSpark Fellow

rebecca.true@mcagov.org

Other Resources and Articles of Interest

Name Description
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

Search renewable energy usage and efficiency incentives and policies available by location.
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs

A website that explains PACE and offers tools on how to implement PACE programs in your community.
CalEnviroScreen Provides maps of California that show where different health, income level, and ethnic populations live, as well as shows where different pollutants are prevalent around the state.

Provides interactive maps, charts, and data regarding how changing temperature, snow pack, wildfires, and sea level rise can affect individual communities in California. Also contains peer-reviewed articles in the resource library supporting climate science.

OPR General Guidelines

Provides guidance on formulating general plans, including emissions reductions, climate adaptation, renewable energy, infill development, public health, and regional planning.

EcoAmerica Climate Messaging Report

An interesting research report outlining best practices and key phrases to use when delivering messages to different interest groups of Americans to motivate them to take climate action.