Community Engagement Partnerships to Implement Climate Action Plans

Year Complete: 2015
Grant Amount: $40,000
Local Government: City of Oakland, CA
Local Foundation: The San Francisco Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation

Project Purpose

To engage community organizations and residents in the implementation of the City of Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

It is important to directly engage vulnerable communities in climate action and adaptation planning and implementation. To do so requires a holistic and integrated approach that leverages relationships in the community, among community-based organizations, and between city agencies and community-based organizations.  A key focus of these relationship-building efforts has been how to design a process to maximize meaningful participation of impacted residents in setting priorities.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

The involvement of community foundations in providing additional grant support to community leaders and in hosting convenings to discuss strategies has leveraged the impact of the grant. This type of rapport-and-trust-building work between community leaders, funders, and agency staff is key to successful and equitable planning and implementation.

Additional Information and Resources

The coalition is currently engaged in four campaigns, consistent with the Oakland’s Climate Action Plan: Adaptation & Resilience, Food Justice & Land Access, Transportation & Land Use, and Renewable Energy which engage Oakland’s communities in implementing climate justice policies and programs that address the needs of low-income communities of color while leading the transition to a non-fossil-fuel economy.  Further information on these ongoing efforts can be found here.