Fresno Transformative Climate Communities Collaborative

Bringing together elected and community leaders to leverage public and private investments that will catalyze economic and environmental transformation in Fresno.

THE INITIATIVE

Background

In November of 2016, the California Strategic Growth Council selected Fresno as one of three cities in the state to be a pilot for their new Transformative Climate Communities Program. This program was created “to fund the development and implementation of neighborhood-level transformative climate community plans that include multiple coordinated greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects that provide local economic, environmental and health benefits to disadvantaged communities”. The funds are intended to be used for “comprehensive public investments” that can effectively catalyze private and public resources to achieve environmental and economic transformation. The SGC intends to allocate funds toward a few larger investments, rather than more comparatively smaller awards, in order to attract catalytic private resources and have greater transformational impact. Because these are funds from the state’s cap and trade auction proceeds, there are significant restrictions on the types of projects that can be funded. Fresno was selected to receive 50% of the total available funds, or $70 million, to implement projects that have been identified through community-driven planning processes that achieve significant greenhouse gas reduction benefits, improve public health and environmental benefits, and expand economic opportunity and shared prosperity. Fresno was chosen to receive the highest amount of funds due to having the highest per capita concentration of people living in the state’s most disadvantaged communities; significant concentrated poverty and infill development challenges stemming from suburban sprawl; and, significant local leadership, policy change, climate-smart investments, and community-driven planning processes that have prepared Fresno to be ready for significant state investment. A Final Statement of Reasons published in November 2016 outlines these justifications in more detail.

Where We Are Now

Now that Fresno’s $70 million allocation has been approved, the Strategic Growth Council has launched an administrative guidelines process to determine how communities can apply for the funds through a competitive process. The latest version of the Transformative Climate Communities Program Guidelines indicates that they would like to see proposals developed by multi-stakeholder partnerships that include entities such as non-profit and community-based organizations, local governments, community development finance institutions & community development corporations. The guidelines also stress that applications should be consistent with one or more up-to-date, adopted community or neighborhood plans or local climate action plans. As such, at the request of Mayor Lee Brand and Councilmember Oliver Baines, the Central Valley Community Foundation has convened a multi-sector steering committee that is comprised of elected leaders, institutional leaders from the education, economic, housing, and transportation sectors, and community leaders from downtown, Chinatown, and southwest Fresno.

THE PROCESS

The California Strategic Growth Council is anticipating to finalize their program guidelines sometime in late spring of 2017. The Fresno Transformative Climate Communities Collaborative, a multi-sector steering committee comprised of elected and community leaders from Fresno, and convened by the Central Valley Community Foundation, will be meeting regularly to establish a proposal that will be submitted to the state for the $70 million. The purpose of the steering committee will be to bring together project ideas that can catalyze private resources and result in economic and environmental transformation, provide direction on the types of projects included in the application to the state, and leverage their constituencies and institutional resources to ensure that the projects will have long-lasting and transformational impact in Fresno.

In addition to the Steering Committee, the Collaborative will include several working groups that will consist of members from the steering committee as well as local, state, and national technical experts. The purpose of the working groups will be to further develop and refine potential projects that may be included in Fresno’s proposal to the state for the $70 million. Working groups may be organized by geographical project areas (e.g. HSR station area) or by program areas (e.g. development without displacement). Working groups will be convened by April and will meet regularly throughout 2017. Public outreach will be solicited through multiple channels: ongoing participation through the Southwest Specific Plan Process; an informational town hall hosted by Councilmember Baines this spring; and, a public workshop to present project ideas from the working groups and get community feedback on the proposals. Later this fall, the working groups will continue to refine project ideas based on community feedback, project feasibility, and availability of match sources, and finalize the proposal under the guidance of the steering committee by December of 2017. Awards are expected to be announced by the Strategic Growth Council in mid-2018.

The Revised Draft Scoping Guidelines for the program have a significant focus on consistency with existing specific, community, or climate action plans. Below are a list of specific and community plans developed in Fresno in the last ten years:

Fulton Corridor Specific Plan (adopted October 2016)
Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan (adopted October 2016)
High-Speed Rail Station Area Master Plan (anticipated completion in April 2017)
Southwest Specific Plan (anticipated completion in November 2017)

Events

Fresno TCC Townhall  April 27th

WHO WE ARE

Oliver Baines, Chair

Fresno City Councilmember

Pastor D.J. Criner, Co-Chair

Saint Rest Baptist Church

Sandra Celedon

Fresno Building Healthy Communities

Morgan Doizaki

Central Fish/Chinatown Revitalization, Inc.

Dr. Carole Goldsmith

Fresno City College

Arthur Moye

Full Circle Brewing Company

Sal Quintero

Fresno County Supervisor

Jake Soberal

Bitwise Industries

Lee Brand, Co-Chair

City of Fresno - Mayor

Brian Angus

Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission

Gary Chahil

Office of Congressman Jim Costa

Lee Ann Eager

Fresno County Economic Development Corporation

Genoveva Islas

Cultiva La Salud

Bob Nelson

Fresno Unified School District

Tom Richards

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Ashley Swearengin

Central Valley Community Foundation

Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Co-Chair

Assemblymember

Aaron Blair

Downtown Fresno Partnership

Ashley Cortes

Mural District resident

Grecia Elenes

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Pastor Booker T. Lewis

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church

Paul Pearson

Chef Paul’s

Chuck Riojas

Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Building and Construction Trades Council

Yolanda Randles, Co-Chair

West Fresno Family Resource Center

LeRoy Candler

NAACP

Debbie Darden

Southwest Fresno resident

Sabina Gonzalez-Erana

The California Endowment

Sarah Moffat

Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

Preston Prince

Fresno Housing Authority

Esmeralda Soria

Fresno City Councilmember

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Danielle Bergstrom, Policy Director

Central Valley Community Foundation

Office: 559.825.6191
Email: danielle@centralvalleycf.org

Elliott Balch, Chief Operating Officer

Central Valley Community Foundation

Office: 559.825.6192
Email:elliott@centralvalleycf.org