At the federal, state, and regional levels, a historic amount of public funding is being allocated to support climate-resilient infrastructure. This funding has the potential to correct longstanding infrastructure injustices and to create more equitable and sustainable communities. Implementing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects also has the potential to usher in a new era of an inclusive “green economy,” with tens of thousands of good-paying jobs that support climate mitigation and resilience. The potential for this moment cannot be overstated...but nothing is guaranteed. As public agencies, private companies, and nonprofits collaborate to shape and implement these projects, community voice must be centered on ensuring equitable implementation of funds.
So how will these issues uniquely play out in Northern California? According to the Putting California on the High Road: AJobs and Climate Action Plan for 2030 report, “Construction constitutes 54% of the expenditures from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, due to investments in high-speed rail, other transit investments, and transit-oriented infill multi-unit housing”, which could be bolstered by federal infrastructure and inflation reduction act funding streams. Governor Newsom also recently signed legislation making it easier to develop housing in commercial areas without minimum parking requirements, and when combined with state and federal infrastructure dollars, it has the potential to speed up the development of climate-oriented, affordable housing development. Among these state-specific priorities, we will also see a huge investment in green infrastructure and energy. The state of California also just announced funding to support sustainable and resilient regional economies across California, through the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF).
At this meeting:
- We’ll take a deeper dive into the potential to promote green jobs and inclusive economies when developing transit-oriented, climate-friendly infill housing and green infrastructure in Northern California, both in existing urbanized areas and in less developed, rural communities.
- We will explore the opportunities, barriers and strategies needed and we’ll learn from a set of local stakeholders working on issues that connect to an evolving green jobs ecosystem in Northern California.
- Space will be provided for those already supporting just transition work to share and learn from each other.
Veronica Garibay (she/her), Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability
Veronica Garibay immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico, at a young age with her family. She grew up in the small farmworker city of Parlier in Fresno County. As a first-generation college student, Veronica attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology, and Law and Society. Upon graduation, Veronica joined the California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.’s Community Equity Initiative as the program’s first Community Worker. Veronica earned a Master of Public Administration from Fresno State. As co-founder and co-director of Leadership Counsel, Veronica leads the team in advocating for sound policy to ensure equal access to opportunity for all Californians.
Sally Greenspan, Senior Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners
Sally Greenspan is a senior program director at Enterprise Community Partners, where she leads Enterprise’s Statewide Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Technical Assistance (AHSC TA) practice. In this role, Sally works to advance dozens of innovative projects around the state that are combining affordable housing with sustainable transportation infrastructure investments to create sustainable, thriving, connected communities. Sally joined Enterprise in 2009 as a project manager working on housing redevelopment projects involving close collaboration with numerous public and private partners. Sally also previously lead Enterprise’s New York-based Vulnerable Populations program, which is devoted to leveraging affordable housing tools to create opportunity for people with special needs, especially seniors and those experiencing homelessness. Sally’s background includes positions in private real estate, architecture, public policy and research, and urban planning. She holds an undergraduate degree in urban studies from Stanford University and a master’s in urban planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
Jenn Guitart (she/ella), Executive Director, TransForm
Jenn has worked in nonprofit leadership since 1999, the last eight years in transportation policy advocacy at the California Bicycle Coalition, where she helped build Cal Bike into a powerful voice for mobility justice. Previously, she directed Bay Area Communities for Health Education, leading parents in advocating for comprehensive sex education. Jenn has brought her strategic thinking, relationship-building, and fundraising skills to an array of nonprofit agencies in transportation advocacy, direct services, arts education, the environment, and health. She’s worked directly with prisoners, homeless youth, sex-workers, and disadvantaged families. She holds an MA in anthropology and a BA in Latin American Studies. She is Cuban American and fluent in Spanish. For fun, Jenn writes songs, produces music videos, and plays piano in a Cuban music ensemble. She loves to cook and eat delicious food. Jenn lives in Berkeley with her partner and two teens, and mostly bikes, walks, and takes transit.
Ron Milam Director, SmartGrowth CA (an initiative of the Funders Network)
Ron Milam joined Smart Growth California in 2014 as the coordinator of the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative and since fall of 2017, has directed Smart Growth California. Ron brings 17 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, having served over 150 sustainability-oriented organizations as a consultant. Ron is skilled at developing leadership, building stronger teams, improving organizational effectiveness, and facilitating collaborative change. He brings an understanding of issues related to transportation, land use, climate, housing, water, the environment and racial equity. He served as the founding executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Under Ron’s leadership, the organization grew from an idea into a 1,000-member organization. Ron studied planning, public policy, and management at the University of Oregon, and has a Master in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, where he wrote his thesis on managing collaborative change efforts in Southern California.
Alvaro S. Sanchez, Vice President of Policy, Greenlining Institute
Alvaro S. Sanchez (he/him/his) is an urban planner with extensive experience crafting, implementing, and evaluating strategies that leverage private, public, and philanthropic investments to deliver benefits to priority communities. Alvaro is The Greenlining Institute’s Vice President of Policy. He leads a team that develops policies that create a future where communities of color can build wealth, live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity, and are ready to meet the challenges posed by climate change. Under his leadership, The Greenlining Institute has shaped over $5.2 billion in California Climate Investments targeted at priority communities, established the Transformative Climate Communities and Regional Climate Collaboratives state programs via legislation, and launched the Towards Equitable Electric Mobility Community of Practice, a multi-state effort to advance equitable electric mobility policies. In 2011 he received a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California, where he focused on affordable housing and economic development.