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Climate Resilience Investments in Southern California: The Implementation Question

Friday, May 21, 2021
10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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Locally in Southern California, more than a billion dollars of public funding is now available to support critical investments in green infrastructure, housing, parks, and transportation through Measures W, H, A, and M, commonly known as WHAM. State and federal stimulus efforts will likely mean even more funding is on the way. But is our region ready to make these investments support broader policy goals of addressing climate vulnerability and making our communities more resilient?

Numerous research reports and taskforces have made the case for the importance of this moment, but while the vision for green jobs and a just transition is clear, implementation continues to be elusive. Several ingredients are critical, including ongoing leadership from elected officials, inter-agency coordination around implementation, authentic public engagement, and support from the philanthropic community. With a limited window of opportunity, this session will explore what needs to happen in order to make this moment truly transformational.

Join this conversation to learn about opportunities to build out a green economy as public investments in a just transition in Southern California proceed, including sustainable transportation, equitable urban infill housing, parks and open space and green infrastructure investments. We’ll learn from a set of local stakeholders working in the space of sustainable and equitable urban development with an eye towards climate and racial justice, especially in communities that are disproportionally affected by environmental inequities. Leadership from implementing public agencies will also attend the conversation, with time to reflect on what they’ve heard from speakers and engage in a conversation with concerned funders to explore how philanthropy can help make a difference.

This convening is part of a series of quarterly conversations hosted by the Southern California Grantmakers Environmental Funders Group. The convening will continue lifting up themes from previous SCG Environmental Funder Peer Group convenings, including our Urban, Green Infrastructure Investments Under a New Administration, 2020 election debrief, Building an Anti-Racist Environmental Movement, Accelerating a Just transition Framework, Cultivating Environmental Leadership and Power Building, Leadership and Civic Engagement.


Quarterly Dates

Friday, August 20 | 10:30am - 12:00pm Learn more >>>

Friday, November 19 | 10:30am - 12:00pm   Learn more >>>



Jon Christensen

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA

Jon Christensen is an adjunct assistant professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the Department of History, and the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a journalist-in-residence at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, a founder of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies in the IoES, and a senior fellow in UCLA’s cityLAB. He is a partner and strategic adviser at Stamen Design, an interactive design studio specializing in mapping, data visualization, and strategic communications. He is a columnist at LA Observed, a contributor to other newspapers and magazines, and a commentator on radio and television. He is also a member of Southern California Grantmakers. 

David Diaz, MPH

Executive Director, ActiveSGV

Dedicated public servant and advocate with project management, coalition building experience who has successfully worked with youth, schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and cities to advance environmental justice, equity and public health.  David is also a Metro San Gabriel Valley Service Council Member, Metro Sustainability Council Member, and an El Monte Union High School District Board of Trustees Member. He holds a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Management and Policy from Claremont Graduate University and is happily married to Anais Medina Diaz in the City of El Monte.

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer, County of Los Angeles

Gary Gero was appointed LA County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer in November 2016.  Gary previously served as the President of the Climate Action Reserve and he now serves as the Vice-Chair of its Board of Directors. Gary’s career includes service as the Assistant General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department, and he also managed renewable and energy efficiency programs at LADWP.

Estelle Reyes

SVP Enhancing Community, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Estelle Reyes is the SVP, Enhancing Community at Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), where she is focused on ensuring that underrepresented groups are engaged in the cleantech and sustainability sector.  Prior to LACI, Estelle was the Executive Director at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Greater LA, where she played a central role in launching and growing the NFTE program to reach over 12,000 students locally.  She also has experience as a Financial Analyst in Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management as well as a First Grade Teacher.  Estelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University and a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Katy Young Yaroslavsky

Senior Deputy for the Environment and Arts, Los Angeles County Supervisor, District 3

Katy is responsible for developing the Third District’s environment, water, and arts policy. Katy previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Climate Action Reserve, a Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit committed to developing and implementing market-based solutions to climate change. Katy has also worked as land use and environmental attorney at Latham & Watkins and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. An alumnus of the CORO fellowship program, Katy now serves on the Southern California CORO Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Katy is a Los Angeles native and graduated from Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Berkeley and received her law degree from UCLA.


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Members of SCG, Smart Growth CA and EGA: $0
Non-Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, Smart Growth CA, and EGA members and eligible non-members.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Smart Growth CA, and EGA members: email Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

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