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Gateway Cities Regional Climate Collaborative

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COLLABORATIVE OVERVIEW

The Gateway Cities Regional Climate Collaborative (GCRCC) was founded in 2023 by five community partners that had enjoyed trusting, working relationships for over five years – the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (the COG), the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, TreePeople, GRID Alternatives, and the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office. These partners worked on multiple joint projects designed to help increase the health, wealth, and sustainability of the Southeast Los Angeles region’s individuals, families, and neighborhoods. The establishment of the GCRCC was supported through the California Strategic Growth Council’s (SGC) Regional Climate Collaboratives (RCC) Program, a capacity-building grant that enables cross-sectoral partners to deepen relationships and strengthen local coordination, leadership, knowledge, skills, and access to critical resources to drive and sustain climate action.

The GCRCC leverages an existing policy agenda, The SELA Agenda, to inform and guide its work. The SELA Agenda was created through extensive community engagement and outreach strategies led by the SELA Collaborative and bringing together more than 80 SELA residents, businesses and nonprofit leaders to identify the impacts of COVID-19 and to lay out a process to ensure the region’s recovery and future prosperity by bringing SELA’s needs to the attention of elected officials, philanthropy, business sector, and community stakeholders. The resulting plan, released in March 2021, includes eight policy focus areas: education, environmental justice, economic recovery, healthcare, housing, nonprofit safety net, civic engagement, and regional advocacy. Each policy focus area has suggestions for immediate and long-term investments to support recovery, promote equitable access to resources, address changes at a policy or systemic level, and serve as a guide for the GCRCC’s projects and work.

OUR VALUES

Community-driven equity: The GCRCC prioritizes communities most in need. Just decision-making and resource allocation is driven by evidence including community lived experience and data.​

Innovation: The GCRCC courageously asks hard questions.​ We challenge assumptions, embrace a diversity of ideas, and are ambitious in implementing creative solutions.

Collaboration: The GCRCC promotes interactive co-creation of solutions. Leading with curiosity, we recognize that solutions come through gathering diverse expertise, being open to other perspectives, and respecting differences.

Accountability: The GCRCC is a reliable partner. ​We act with integrity, take responsibility for our actions and words, and commit to the community and each other.

OUR SELA COMMUNITY 

GCRCC invests resources in and partners with Southeast Los Angeles communities to create regional plans to mitigate environmental factors. The area experiences more than 58 extreme heat days,  has a 10.85% percent tree canopy (vs. LA County’s 17.4%), and has an over 72% impervious surface cover (vs. LA County’s 60.1%) - factors that have a detrimental impact on the environmental health of the area.   

SELA’s vibrant communities face limited park space, a low tree canopy, and a significant freeway and road network that exacerbates extreme heat conditions and increases health impacts that will only worsen with current climate change trends.

Public health impacts include unusually high rates of asthma and other pulmonary disorders in communities that experience significantly lower access to healthcare (both in medical insurance and available medical facilities). 

SELA communities also face other inequities that increase their vulnerability to climate change. These include lower levels of education, linguistic isolation, and poverty, which limit their access to resources and information that can better equip them to manage and survive climate threats and challenges.   Immediate interventions are needed, and GCRCC will work with SELA communities and their local governments to identify immediate and long-term solutions to improve overall conditions. 

OUR PARTNERS

The GCRCC is funded by the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), a 10-member council comprised of seven state agencies and three public members with the mission to build healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all. Funded through California’s Cap and Trade system and the California General Fund, SGC’s grant programs, strategic initiatives, and interagency coordination focus on multi-benefit and community-centric solutions at the nexus of climate and equity. Since 2008, SGC has invested over $3 billion in projects strengthening communities and addressing climate change. 

The Southeast Los Angeles Collaborative (SELA Collab) is a network of organizations working together to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector and civic engagement in Southeast LA. Founded in 2011 by eleven core organizations, the SELA Collaborative seeks to revitalize the communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, South Gate, Vernon, and Walnut Park. Through its partners, SELA Collaborative works to strengthen the SELA community, build, collective power, and encourage innovation to drive regional systemic change. 

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments is a joint powers authority composed of 27 cities and unincorporated Los Angeles County that undertakes targeted initiatives including economic development, climate, and air quality, housing and homelessness, and transportation. The COG will serve as the GCRCC’s Managing Stakeholder leading the governance of the Collaborative and grant implementation and integrating the eight SELA cities into the GCRCC.

GRID Alternatives empowers communities in need by providing access to green technology and energy efficiency services, equipment, and training. GRID Alternatives’ role in the GCRCC collaborative will be to identify opportunities and develop strategies for clean energy technology adoption, particularly among low-income homeowners and renters, as well as to develop a workforce development plan for local trainees and businesses. 

TreePeople inspires, engages and supports people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun, and sustainable and to share their process as a model for the world. The organization’s role in the GCRCC collaborative will be to support the improvement of environmental health and climate resilience through nature-based solutions. 

The Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office provides comprehensive and coordinated policy support and guidance for the Board of Supervisors, County Departments, the unincorporated areas, and the region to make our communities healthier, more livable, economically stronger, more equitable, more resilient, and more sustainable. The Office will provide access to the information and knowledge that the County has accumulated, through their leadership in creating the OurCounty Sustainability Plan and the LA County Climate Vulnerability Assessment.