SB 1072 Levels the Playing Field for Underresourced Communities

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – Today, by a bipartisan 48-9 vote, the California Assembly passed crucial legislation designed to level the playing field for disadvantaged communities seeking funding for climate change and clean energy projects funded either by cap-and-trade dollars or other sources. SB 1072, introduced by Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and cosponsored by The Greenlining Institute and the Trust for Public Land, previously passed the Senate in slightly different form and faced no organized opposition. It has been endorsed by 100 organizations (partial list here).

“California has made it a priority to direct climate funds to the communities most burdened by poverty and pollution, and that’s absolutely the right thing to do,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Manager Emi Wang. “But the grant process is tough and competitive, and places that most urgently need the help often don’t have the resources to compete with larger, wealthier communities. SB 1072 levels the playing field.”

The measure provides for development of technical assistance guidelines covering areas like greenhouse gas quantification and grant-writing. It also provides further assistance by establishing regional climate cooperatives — local hubs staffed by local experts that will answer questions, convene stakeholders, foster partnerships and help to develop project ideas. Taken together, these programs will provide a crucial boost to rural towns, high-poverty areas and other communities for whom the grant process may be daunting.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute