Sacramento, California – August 17, 2015 – The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) has partnered with CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, to help build capacity for local governments in the Bay Area to address climate change. This exciting new partnership will help advance climate action in the region, providing broad support to the program, as well as to CivicSpark AmeriCorps Members and their sustainability projects.
As the Bay Area Regional Partner, ABAG will help CivicSpark align its projects with the region’s greatest needs, provide critical regional context and resources, and assist in member and project recruitment efforts. In the upcoming service year, CivicSpark Members in the Bay Area will develop an Alternative Planning Strategy for the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Community Strategy in Merced County; provide technical assistance to advance bicycling in San Mateo County; assist local jurisdictions in developing and implementing energy audits, climate action plans, and other local climate change initiatives, and; build the volunteer base to provide a source for long-term added capacity for Bay Area local governments.
Each year, 48 CivicSpark Members, organized in regional teams, work with a range of local and regional partners such as cities, counties, regional agencies, school districts, MPOs and NGOs, helping them implement local climate-smart projects. By executing targeted research, planning, or implementation projects, supporting volunteer engagement, and providing valuable regional and state resources, CivicSpark provides the support needed for local governments to develop new programs, enhance staff skills and expertise, and engage stakeholders in order to respond to climate change quickly, effectively and equitably.
“CivicSpark is creating a model of climate action in the state of California,” said Wade Crawfoot, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to the Governor. “We are looking and expecting [CivicSpark Members] to move the needle and take California to the next stage of its climate action.”
In its first year, CivicSpark has assisted 88 local government agencies, completing mitigation and adaptation projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, solar procurement, urban forestry, sea level rise, climate action plan implementation, and more. To date, Members have provided over 40,000 hours of service to California’s communities supporting a wide range of actions including 8 climate or energy action plans; 17 climate action policies; 10 vulnerability assessments; 8 greenhouse gas inventories; 12 community workshops, and energy benchmarking for 4 cities.
CivicSpark is now recruiting for the 2015-16 service year. The program provides recent college graduates with a unique opportunity to gain professional experience, build important skills, and create a meaningful and lasting impact by supporting local government climate initiatives. Member and project applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more at www.civicspark.lgc.org.
About Association of Bay Area Governments
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is the comprehensive regional planning agency and Council of Governments for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region. The Bay Area is comprised of nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
About Local Government Commission
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and social equity by supporting local government policies and projects. The LGC is CivicSpark’s overall program manager, providing statewide program infrastructure and overall member and local government support, coordinating training, and ensuring that performance goals are met.