Recapping our Open House with Senator Ben Allen
This Open House event aims to continue to elevate the public health benefits associated with adapting the state to extreme heat and raise awareness of ongoing imbalances in funding. In the past few years, we have expanded the environmental narrative to include social justice and public health. We have led collaborative efforts to establish several important grant programs, including the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience program at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
Recently, we successfully implemented a defensive campaign to protect these important dollars during budget negotiations in the face of a state budget deficit. In sum, the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience (EHCR) program will receive $135 million in funding, down from its original allocation of $175 million. By comparison, other programs took a much more severe hit. And we’re pleased that our activism resulted in the EHCR program being funded at a high level.
But more work (and funds) are needed.
Through the general obligation bond, we are using this alternative funding mechanism to fight for parity in funding in order to protect the most vulnerable in the state. Yes, we love our forests and lakes and rivers and beaches — and we know that California’s resources deserve protection; we must not forget that climate change impacts people. Heat waves are responsible for approximately 3,600 deaths in California each year, according to a recent UCLA study.
The senate bond currently allocates the following to climate resilience:
- $5.2 billion for drought, flooding, and water resilience
- $3 billion for wildfire and forest resilience
- $2 billion for coastal resilience
- $2 billion for biodiversity protection and nature-based climate solution programs
- $2 billion for clean energy programs
- $500 million to extreme heat
Take action to let our elected officials know that these proposed general obligation bonds need to be fairly and equitably allocated so that funds reach the people who need them the most. Click here to take action.
Thank you for your continued interest, support and advice. We look forward to speaking with you soon. For more information, feel free to contact Enrique Huerta, Legislative Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view a full gallery of pictures from the open house.