Lake County News

SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, the California State Senate approved legislation authored by Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will maximize greenhouse gas reduction and climate adaptation investments in low-income and under-resourced communities statewide.

Cosponsored by the Trust for Public Land and The Greenlining Institute, SB 1072 would specifically create the Regional Climate Collaborative Program – to be administered by the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) – and guarantee local capacity building and technical assistance funding.

The program would authorize the SGC to award grants to collaboratives for a variety of local capacity building activities, as well as require state agencies or departments that administer programs with targeted funds for under resourced communities to develop policies and programs for technical assistance, as well as standardize and align technical assistance efforts.

“Though California has continued to prioritize climate investments for communities that are suffering most from the impacts of poverty and pollution, those same communities have not always been able to access the necessary resources to transition to a more stable future. SB 1072 will help disadvantaged communities build local leadership and capacity to access statewide public grants so that they can also reap economic, environmental, and health benefits locally,” Senator Leyva said. “It is important that every community in California – small or large – can attain its own long term goals and SB 1072 is an important part of ensuring that there is indeed equity in accomplishing those local objectives.”

California is home to some of the worst air quality in the nation, specifically in areas such as the Inland Empire which serves as the primary route for transporting goods from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the rest of the United States.

Many of our state’s most polluted areas are small under-resourced communities, which are oftentimes the very same communities with the least resources and capacity to compete for funding.

In order for the state to meet its commitment to our most vulnerable areas and reach our climate goals, every community in California must have equitable opportunity and access to the resources that lead to local transformations.

These communities need increased technical expertise, infrastructure, partnerships, resources, and implementation experience to compete for funding, which SB 1072 would help to foster through the Regional Climate Collaborative Program.

SB 1072 is supported by many environmental, health, education and environmental justice organizations and local cities.