Funding Request for Transformative Climate Communities and Regional Climate Collaboratives

Dear Speaker Rendon, Pro Tem Atkins, Assemblymember Ting, Assemblymember Bloom, Senator Skinner, and Senator Wieckowski,

On behalf of the Greenlining Institute and the undersigned organizations, we respectfully write to urge priority funding for the Regional Climate Collaboratives program and the Transformative Climate Communities program to ensure communities hit hardest by climate change have the resources, infrastructure, capacity and leadership to cope with the cumulative climate, health and economic crises they are experiencing. In the wake of the COVID-19, the ongoing climate crisis, and increasing levels of economic inequality, we must prioritize climate equity programs that meet the needs of communities hit first and worst by these multiple threats.

The Regional Climate Collaborative (RCC) program would establish the capacity building and technical assistance infrastructure needed in California's most impacted and least resourced communities. RCC will serve as local hubs to convene local stakeholders, foster partnerships and support the development of community plans and projects to advance local climate action. The program will select collaboratives to build community-driven leadership, knowledge, skills, experience, and resources to identify and access public funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.

The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program delivers multiple emission-reducing strategies – like affordable solar-powered housing with access to clean public transit and active transportation – in a coordinated way that can transform communities into models of economic and environmental sustainability. Moreover, TCC directly connects investments to residents impacted by multiple sources of pollution and vulnerable to the anticipated impacts of climate change, and requires robust community engagement in all phases of project development and implementation.

While the Governor’s May Budget Revise included funding for these two priorities, the Senate’s May 25 Budget proposal completely zeroed out these critical climate equity programs.

We specifically urge you to consider the following requests:

  • $35M to the Strategic Growth Council for the Regional Climate Collaboratives Program (SB 1072, Leyva)
  • $500M to the Strategic Growth Council for the Transformative Climate Communities Program

Greenlining’s Letter for the American Jobs Plan

Greenlining views the American Jobs Plan as an opportunity to revitalize and strengthen our country’s infrastructure to ensure that it works for everyone, regardless of their race, income, class, or zip code. To maximize the American Jobs Plan’s potential, our policy teams have compiled a letter of racial equity principles and recommendations that are based on California’s leading strategies for addressing disinvestment, climate change, and structural racism. Greenlining would like to see similar equity-centered programs replicated and scaled up across the nation in order to implement the American Jobs Plan.

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Opening Brief of California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability and the Greenlining Institute on COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Energy Utility Debt

The California Environmental Justice Alliance, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability filed an Opening Brief before the California Public Utilities Commission requesting emergency energy debt relief to ensure all Californians impacted by COVID-19 can continue accessing life-sustaining services like electricity during the ongoing public health crisis.

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Letter: Recommendations for an Equitable Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

The Just Recovery Network (APEN, Greenlining, SCOPE and California ReLead) developed an advocacy letter for an equitable Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Our organizations are working to secure funding for critical community resilience-building programs, such as the Transformative Climate Communities program, Low-income Weatherization, and Urban and Community Forestry.

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Letter: Just Recovery Network Letter of Support AB 1500

The Just Recovery Network (APEN, Greenlining, SCOPE and California ReLeaf) developed a Support if Amended letter for AB 1500, The Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparation, Flood Protection, Extreme Heat Mitigation, and Workforce Development Bond Act of 2022. Our letter includes specific and detailed language recommendations for our climate equity priorities that can help build climate resilience in low-income communities of color that are hit hardest by climate impacts.

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Letter: Request to Governor Newsom to Provide $2 Billion for Emergency Utility Customer Debt Relief

Due to the devastating and disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on low-income and communities of color, Greenlining joins a coalition of direct service providers, grassroots activists and consumer advocates in asking for $2 billion dollars in emergency utility customer debt relief. Hundreds of thousands of Californians face a mountain of electricity debt they cannot afford that may result in the loss of utility service. We need action now.

Testimony: Guiding Principles and Recommendations for a 2022 Equitable Climate Resilience Bond

In the wake of COVID-19 and increasingly severe and frequent climate disasters, the Just Recovery Network (APEN, SCOPE, Greenlining and California ReLeaf) developed a letter of recommendations for the legislature that strongly encourages the development of a climate resilience bond proposal that meets a triple bottom line of centering equity, meeting community climate resiliency needs and creating genuine economic opportunity, particularly for frontline communities. Each of the equity-centered programs we recommend for bond investments have environmental, racial, and social co-benefits.

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Testimony: CEJA, LCJA, Greenlining Workshop Comments

The California Environmental Justice Alliance, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability filed comments before the California Public Utilities Commission requesting emergency energy debt relief to ensure all Californians impacted by COVID-19 can continue accessing life-sustaining services like electricity during the ongoing public health crisis.

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Testimony: Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and The Greenlining Institute Comments Demanding Equitable COVID Utility Debt Relief

Greenlining and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability filed comments to ensure the CPUC protects access to electricity and grants debt relief for low-income households and disadvantaged communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic recession.

The Commission must fulfill its moral obligation and statutory mission to offer just and reasonable rates and affordable energy services to all Californians. In light of the devastating public health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission must not, under any circumstance, allow utilities to disconnect or otherwise financially injure vulnerable households during or in the aftermath of the public health emergency. In designing and implementing utility debt policy solutions during the pandemic, the Commission must “promote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience…[of] the public” and ensure that debt relief is equitable.

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A Just COVID-19 Response & Recovery to Support Resilient Communities

A Just COVID-19 Response & Recovery to Support Resilient Communities

Recommendations for Governor Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery

More than 100 organizations support a comprehensive set of principles and specific equity-centered recommendations that advance public health, economic opportunity, and climate resilience for Environmental Justice communities in response to COVID-19 and climate change. The Greenlining Institute in coalition with APEN, SCOPE, California ReLeaf, and other partners developed and submitted the letter to the Governor's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery and plan on sharing it with the governor's office and other key decision makers in the legislature and administration.

Task Force Recommendations for Office of Racial Equity

California must establish a statewide Office of Racial Equity to help the State practice equity, turning our commitment into actionable equity strategies in our immediate response to the crisis, in our recovery efforts, and as the world reshapes the global economy.

Task Force Recommendations to Support Safe Transportation

The state of California needs to use existing transportation dollars where they are most needed now -- both to survive the current crisis and to prepare a robust system for the economic recovery to come. Every sector should be spending its available resources to best address the needs of the moment.

Task Force Recommendations for Bond Proposal

In the wake of COVID-19, we strongly encourage the development of a bond proposal that meets a triple bottom line of (1) creating genuine economic stimulus, (2) meeting community climate resiliency needs, and (3) centering equity to support communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and climate change. These recommendations included are for equitable investments and projects that will support communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and climate change.

Task Force Recommendations to Close the Digital Divide

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes how differential access to essential services like robust broadband can seriously disadvantage low-income families. The solutions we offer can immediately help bridge this digital divide and also protect consumers, accelerate California’s clean energy efforts, improve health outcomes, drive investment in unserved and underserved communities, and most of all, create jobs in communities that need them most.

Task Force Recommendations for Mapping Platform to Identify Vulnerable Populations

This recommendation lays the groundwork to protect California’s most vulnerable populations from climate change by requiring the development of an integrated climate vulnerability mapping platform to help identify communities most vulnerable to climate threats.