Three Fresno neighborhoods are about to undergo an economic and environmental transformation that promises to improve the quality of life for residents of Southwest, Chinatown and Downtown Fresno.
With technical assistance from SGC, local leaders established a collaborative to pursue Cap-and-Trade funding through the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program. The TCC Program’s unique, place-based strategy to reduce GHG emissions catalyzes collective impact through a combination of community-driven climate projects in a single neighborhood. A Community Steering Committee, comprised of more than 160 residents and local business owners, participated in a series of community meetings that put the decision-making power in their hands.
Residents of Southwest Fresno, one of the State’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, played an active role in the Community Steering Committee. The City of Fresno and the Central Valley Community Foundation collaborated with community groups, such as the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities, to provide support for the meetings.
Participants developed five packages of projects during community meetings including a package developed by committee members who live in Southwest Fresno. At its final meeting, 126 committee members voted to select the projects they wanted to see come to fruition in their communities. In a 125-to-1 vote, the committee overwhelmingly chose the Southwest Fresno residents’ package.
“The SGC truly listened to the concerns of the residents by writing policy guidelines that addressed the history of racial inequities and environmental injustice that has plagued Southwest Fresno,” Ivanka Saunders, a Southwest Fresno community member said. “I believe that the transformation of Southwest Fresno will be a success and will improve the lives of current residents.”
Because of these efforts, SGC awarded $70 million to the City of Fresno in January 2018. The final package includes a wide array of community benefits, such as:
- An affordable housing project near the future high speed rail station
- Low-income weatherization projects
- Urban greening projects
- Bicycle pathways
- Active transportation and complete streets components
- Electric vehicle, vanpool and bike share programs
- Urban and community forestry projects
- Food waste prevention and rescue programs
“I am extremely proud of the proposal put forward by Fresno. The money will be directed to one of the most underserved areas in the State,” Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula said. “This money will leverage over $85 million in other funds and will help transform the neighborhoods of Downtown, Southwest and Chinatown.”
In addition to the City of Fresno, SGC awarded the cities of Watts and Ontario $35 million Cap-and-Trade dollars each through TCC. In both places, community members were also deeply involved in planning processes to create meaningful and ultimately successful proposals.
Click here for more information on the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program.