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Victor Flores

CERF: An Economic Boost for Resilient Communities

This blog is updated regularly. Originally published in January 23, 2023. Last updated on October 10, 2023.

Equitable governance and resilient infrastructure are key to ensuring our Bay Area communities and ecosystems are safe from growing climate disasters. At Greenbelt Alliance, we work to advance solutions that center historically marginalized groups in climate resilience work. We advocate for more funding that enables our communities to protect their neighborhoods and natural lands as well as implement nature-based infrastructure initiatives that can create jobs for a healthy economy.

This is why Greenbelt Alliance is proud to be a part of the Bay Area High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC), a group of 52 organizations led by All Home and the Bay Area Good Jobs Partnership for Equity. The HRTC has been awarded a Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) planning grant by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to develop and implement inclusive, sustainable economic strategies in the Bay Area. Learn more about what it means and what we are doing below.

Convening Engagement

In May of 2023, Greenbelt Alliance was selected as the Alameda County subregion co-convener alongside the Alameda County Central Labor Council. In the last three months, we worked to convene community organizations, labor unions, local, and large businesses to develop an equitable governance structure and create a diverse group of stakeholders representing various communities and sectors.

In September 2023, the State released its updated Catalyst Program guidance. The program reserved $14 million dollars from CERF per region.

  • $2 million is for identified conveners
  • $1.5 million for the development and recruitment of sector coordinators
  • $1.5 million for grant compliance and administration
  • $9 million for pre-development and last mile projects.

Over the next year, each regional collaborative will draft guidance for how the regional funding will be used. We will also continue our community engagement through the subregions in preparation for the rest of CERF funds which are reserved for implementation.

At Greenbelt Alliance, we are excited to take a leadership role in shaping our communities and economy. Stay tuned for more updates and learn how to get involved below.

What is The Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF)?

The Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) is a $600 million fund to build a sustainable and equitable economy across California, with a focus on supporting new strategies to diversify local economies and develop industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

CERF is an economic and environmental investment to protect communities from a changing economy and environment. High-road economic development supports environmentally sustainable businesses that pay living wages and create opportunities for career growth. As California recovers from the economic distress of Covid-19, the CERF aims to ensure that California’s economy works for all residents, particularly those who have historically been marginalized.

About the Bay Area High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC)

In the Bay Area and 12 other regions in California, organizations have come together to create High Road Transitional Collaboratives (HRTCs) that include balanced representation from the workforce, community, labor, business, government, economic development, education, philanthropy, and indigenous communities.

The State has chosen one HRTC in each region to receive a CERF grant of $5 million for a two-year planning process. After the initial $5 million planning grants are provided, an additional $500 million for implementation will be administered in rolling, competitive grants. Greenbelt Alliance sits on the Bay Area High Road Transition Collaborative (BA-HRTC) steering committee.

Learn more about the planning and implementation phases. 

Bay Area HRTC Members

  • Alameda Labor Council
  • Arts Contra Costa County (ARTSCCC)
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
  • Bay Area Community College Consortium
  • Bay Area Council
  • Bay Area Regional Health Inequities (BARHII)
  • Bloom Energy
  • BlueGreen Alliance
  • Building Skills Partnership
  • Building Trades Council of Alameda County
  • California Green New Deal Coalition
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Canal Alliance
  • Center for Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • Centro Legal de la Raza
  • Chinese Progressive Association
  • Construction Trades Workforce Initiative
  • Contra Costa Building Trades Council
  • Contra Costa Economic Partnership (CCEP)
  • Contra Costa Labor Council
  • East Bay Economic Development Alliance
  • Emerald Cities Collaborative
  • Greenbank Associates
  • Greenbelt Alliance
  • Jobs with Justice San Francisco
  • North Bay Jobs with Justice
  • North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO (NBLC)
  • Othering and Belonging Institute, UC Berkeley Port of Oakland
  • Prospera
  • Rural County Representative of California (RCRC)
  • San Francisco Foundation
  • San Francisco Labor Council
  • San Mateo Labor Council
  • Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network
  • SF Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter
  • Silicon Valley Creates
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)
  • Small Business Majority
  • Solano Economic Development Corporation
  • SOMOS Mayfair
  • South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
  • UC Berkeley Labor Center
  • United Way Bay Area
  • UpValley Family Centers of Napa County
  • Transition U.S.
  • Working Partnerships USA

HRTC Members have signed a Collective Partnership Agreement Letter, which includes a commitment to working in partnership to achieve the goals set out in the program and collectively devise a more inclusive, equitable, and competitive regional economy.

Ensuring everyone in our region can thrive means ensuring everyone has access to economic opportunities—particularly those who have been excluded in the past—while also addressing one of our most imminent challenges: climate change.

Get Involved

There are five subregional tables. If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out to the organizer for the table in your region:

  • Marin-Sonoma. Contact: Aaron Burnett, aaronb@canalalliance.org 
  • Solano Napa. Contact: Glenn Loveall, glennloveall@gmail.com 
  • Contra Costa. Contact: Emma Ishi, emma@apen4ej.org
  • Alameda: Contact: Victor Flores, VFlores@greenbelt.org
  • San Mateo-San Jose: Contact: Louise Auerhahn, lauerhahn@wpusa.org 
  • San Francisco: Contact Kim Tavaglione,kim@sflaborcouncil.org

The Bay Area HRTC is still growing. If you or your organization are interested in getting involved, have questions about the Bay Area HRTC, or would like to receive updates about CERF and the Collaborative’s process, please fill out this form or email cerf@allhomeca.org. 

Upcoming Monthly Stakeholder Meetings

If you or your organization are interested in getting involved or would like to receive updates about CERF and the Collaborative’s process, please reach out to Zoe Siegel (zsiegel@greenbelt.org) or fill out this interest form.

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