In the 2021–2022 Climate Resilience budget, the CA Strategic Growth Council (SGC) was allocated funds to implement the Community Resilience Centers Program. SGC kicked off the program guidelines development process in July 2022 and is committed to robust stakeholder engagement and interagency collaboration in the program design and implementation phases. Now, the Governor proposes to delay a significant portion of the funding for this program. While we know California is experiencing a budget deficit, this is the very kind of program in which investing sooner makes a pivotal difference, including saving lives.
The CRC program funds new construction and upgrades of neighborhood resilience centers that will support communities during climate and other disasters, as well as build long-term resilience, preparedness, and community recovery operations. Examples of possible CRC costs include:
- Comprehensive retrofits such as solar installation, energy and water efficiency upgrades, broadband infrastructure, and water and energy storage systems that support the ability to provide shelter during emergencies,
- Upgrades such as community gardens, shade trees, and low-carbon transportation to and from the resilience center
- Local workforce development and job training programming
- Distribution of community services and resources such as food, clean water, and personal protective equipment
- Disaster preparedness programming, such as first responder training for climate emergencies
The CA Strategic Growth Council anticipates applicants to include: California Native American tribes, community-based organizations, community development financial institutions, faith-based organizations, foundations, joint powers authorities, nonprofits, libraries, local government agencies, schools, and small businesses.
The CRC program is the shared top priority of the leading environmental justice groups, including the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Communities for a Better Environment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Greenlining, the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment and numerous others, who together are calling for preservation of full funding for planning and implementation of CRCs. In agreement and solidarity, RAC-CA calls for the full funding of this vital, forward-thinking investment in community resilience.
The impacts of climate change require collective adaptation in addition to individual action. Jewish traditions such as the requirement of a minyan to support a mourner or hold a full prayer service with the call to prayer, teach us that our collective presence creates strength that we cannot create alone. The sage Rabbi Hillel taught, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?” Community Resilience Centers will benefit all Californians by enabling people to build closer connections with neighbors, making it easier to share resources, and reducing the inequities among individuals and households. And Hillel’s teaching continues, “And if not now, when?” Waiting until climate impacts increase will cost more in both lives and other resources. Now is the time to prioritize building infrastructure and programs to support our communities.
For More Information
For more information, please contact RAC-CA Organizer Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller (email@example.com).
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