On Thursday, December 20th, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) awarded $46 million to Sacramento and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacoima as part of its Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program, which supports community-led, neighborhood-scale development and infrastructure projects that achieve important environmental, health, and economic benefits. These large-scale investments will make a difference in the lives of the residents of some of the State’s most disadvantaged communities, while also reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Ken Alex, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and SGC Chair said, “Pacoima and Sacramento have submitted exceptional proposals for community transformation and greenhouse gas emission reduction. We are very pleased to be able to fund this unique and groundbreaking effort. “
The TCC program invites communities to develop proposals that address the needs of local residents and businesses. Collaboration among residents, community-based organizations, and local government lies at the heart of the program. Through this collaborative effort, applicants develop an approach that includes a collection of possible climate projects, including clean energy, affordable housing, public transit, parks and street trees, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, electric car share, and more. These projects work together to achieve environmental, economic, and social benefits. Each TCC project is unique in that it creates a collaborative of community partners to lead outreach, design and implementation for each TCC grant.
SGC Councilmember and CalEPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez said, “With this second round of funding, we’re able to bring the TCC program’s integrated, multi-faceted approach to more of California’s most vulnerable communities. The level of engagement is inspiring and clearly demonstrates that even where the challenges are great, there’s no shortage of commitment and creativity. These proposals offer models for reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while supporting economic development and building healthier, more resilient neighborhoods.”
SGC’s Executive Director, Louise Bedsworth, said, “The SGC is proud to support these projects in Sacramento and Pacoima. Each of these communities is demonstrating the enormous impact and potential that is realized when local partners come together to develop a common vision for transformation in their communities.”
In Pacoima, a neighborhood located in the northeast San Fernando Valley, Community Partners and Pacoima Beautiful coordinated efforts among a variety of stakeholders to create a unique plan for a green, socially inclusive, and climate resilient neighborhood. The proposal integrates a variety of projects that will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in addition to strategies to promote equity through job training and displacement avoidance policies and programs.
Veronica Padilla, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful said, “This investment in our community is a reminder that authentic community organizing and engagement leads to a sustainable, resilient, and a healthy home for current and future generations.”
In Sacramento, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency worked with local community-based organizations to design a proposal that will transform the neighborhood surrounding the Twin Rivers Housing Project. The project will create a new light rail station that will connect residents in this neighborhood to a variety of jobs, services and amenities throughout the city. The TCC grant will also contribute to the construction of more than 480 units of affordable and market-rate housing equipped with solar panels and storm water planter boxes.
La Shelle Dozier, Executive Director of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency said, “Through the use of TCC funding Sacramento will achieve our vision of creating mixed income communities that present opportunities for all residents. This cross section collaboration is transforming a disconnected and isolated neighborhood into the most integrated multi-modal community in the region.”
In addition to these place-based infrastructure grants, the SGC also awarded $800,000 to four communities across the State to support local planning efforts that can help communities build capacity to apply for future TCC funding. The four TCC Planning Grant recipients for this round of funding are: South Los Angeles, Tulare County, the City of McFarland and the City of Bakersfield.
Speaking about South Los Angeles’ TCC Planning Grant, Gloria Walton, President and CEO of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education said, "This award signifies a shift in the way we think about community planning and investment, acknowledging systemic injustice and marginalization facing low-income communities of color. The South LA TCC plan provides an opportunity for us as a city to grapple with critical issues like climate change, structural poverty, and displacement, in a way that prioritizes the solutions of Black and Brown communities, allowing us to reimagine what's possible in a more equitable and just future."
This is the second round of awards allocated through the TCC Program. The first round awarded a total of $133 million to the City of Fresno, the City of Ontario and the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in TCC Implementation Grants. $1.6 Million in TCC Planning Grants was awarded to 10 jurisdictions across the State.