Help us Spread the Word

At CivicSpark HQ we realized that two months just wasn’t enough! For the first time ever we’re opening up our priority application period for the 2020-2021 service year starting this November!
CivicSpark offers a unique opportunity to gain experience in the sustainability and resilience sectors, gain professional and technical skills, have a strong statewide network of professionals and all while having a lasting impact on communities. 
Application will be rolled out on November 11th. Apply early to get a foot into the most critical sector of our time, engage with real world projects and help create just, strong and more livable communities!

VERGE 19 came, went and was fantastic!

Youth environmental justice leaders Marlow Baines, Tokata Iron Eyes and Isha Clarke discussing how their work on the frontlines drives positive change the world over with Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor, .

On October 22-24th, leaders and innovators from across the nation came to exchange ideas and talk candidly about the future of climate solutions in Oakland, CA. The GreenBiz Group put on a spectacular conference, engaging diverse groups of people from the public and private spheres, across sectors in cross-cutting and critical conversations — from how we invest in sustainability and carbon removal, to reallocating resources when it comes to “waste”, applying regenerative agriculture practices on a large scale, and distributed energy systems to improve community resilience.
VERGE is a place where truly innovative and forward-thinking ideas are created, exchanged and realized and we were lucky to be part of the 2019 convening. It’s invigorating to leave a conference feeling confident and hopeful that with persistence, creativity, and passion, we are cultivating and empowering leaders for livable communities!

Shoutout to our ten CivicSpark Leaders (Fellows and Alumni) selected to be a part of the conference’s Emerging Leaders program!

Casandra Cortez
19-20 Fellow, City of Culver City
Colgan Powell
17-18 Alum, Ceres
Erin Ronald
19-20 Fellow, Town of Truckee
Helen Wagner Maggitti
19-20 Fellow, City of Carpinteria
Jerel Francisco
19-20 Fellow, County of Santa Barbara.
Karina Takemoto
19-20 Fellow, City of Goleta
Ryan Silber
16-17 Alum, Strategic Growth Council
Shannon Rivers
14-15 Alum, SF Public Utilities Commission
Vanessa Shin
19-20 Fellow, City of Cupertino
Zachary Reda
18-19 Alum, City of Pleasanton

Regional Digest

Fellow Spotlight

Question of the Month“If you could recommend one article, book, or movie that focuses on environmental or social issues, what would it be and why?”

Amanda Cobb | Bay Area Region
“The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein thoroughly displays the blatantly active role that local, state, and federal governments took in racially segregating American cities. Rothstein dispels any notion that urban segregation was the outcome of passive actions by individual actors such as bankers, realtors, and neighbors. Instead, he paints a clear picture that it was and still is an active choice on the part of governments to maintain segregation, backing up his claim that finding solutions is a “constitutional as well as moral obligation that we are required to fulfil.” Incredibly well researched book, I would highly recommend!”

Hannah Davidson | Sac – NorCal Region
“What sparked my interest in California water was a documentary that was assigned in my Environmental Economics class back in college titled Cadillac Desert: Water and the Transformation of Nature. It is an informative film on the history of some water issues in the American West, my favorite part being on the acquisition and transportation of water into Los Angeles (a formerly dry and vacant area by nature). While there is still controversy on whether the distinguished city should even exist, the documentary provides an insightful analysis on the value of water and mankind’s role in altering nature. I encourage you all to consider the documentary’s validity while still maintaining critical thought and to learn about other areas touched on in the film such as the Colorado River, the Central Valley, and more!

Ayelet Zamek | Central Coast Region
One of my top recommendations would have to be Dune by Frank Herbert. Even though Dune was published in 1965, its message has only become more relevant over time. In Dune, Herbert takes the issue of water scarcity and pushes it to the extreme, creating the desert planet Arrakis. In doing so, he explores the value society places on natural resources, the potential and perils of technology to solve environmental challenges, and the need for societal change to save the Earth.”

Erin Ronald | Sac – Sierra Region
“I would recommend that everyone watch the documentary The True Cost. The price of clothing has been decreasing rapidly over the past few decades, but this expense has not just disappeared. It’s burden has instead been shifted, and this documentary highlights who and what pays for it. Watching the film will open your eyes to the reality of fast fashion, and will give you a greater understanding of how to vote with your dollar!”

State Corner

Join the conversation!
The Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) Technical Advisory Council is holding a quarterly meeting on Friday December 6th in Sacramento. For more information, see the ICARP Meeting Page.

From Annie Carroll
We would like to serve as a resource to you in you have any questions about OPR, please reach out to me at:

Upcoming Events

2019 California Economic Summit:
November 7 – 8, 2019 | Fresno, CA

Californians know that the time to fix our state’s economy is now. People from every region are standing up and demanding change. We must create real and intelligent remedies that will attract capital, generate jobs and encourage sustainable, resilient communities all over California.

The Summit’s broad and diverse network of business, equity, environmental, and civic organizations will come together to craft strategies to take on California’s challenges in housing, cradle-to-career education, workforce development, water quality and sustainability, forest resiliency, broadband access and more.

Find more about the California Economic Sumit here!
Also, be sure to watch the livestream of the event through: LIVESTREAM.

2020 California Environmental Assembly:Beyond Seawalls and Electric Vehicles
January 25, 2020 | Sacramento, CA

Each year, PCL addresses top environmental policy issues that face California. In addition to panels on water, energy, climate change, transportation, housing, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), this year, they’re adding new workshops on environmental advocacy and environmental writing/photography. These workshops will help teach important skills to anyone interested in entering the environmental activism world.

PCL will continue their Emerging Leaders Panel as a way to bring young advocates into the environmental policy conversation to discuss their perspective on a more sustainable future.

CivicSpark Fellows and Alumni can apply to receive sponsorship to attend the Assembly for free. Follow this link to fill out an application. You will be notified within the weeks following your application of whether or not you received sponsorship
Find more about the environmental assembly here

2020 California Adaptation Forum:
August 18 -20, 2020 | Riverside, CA

The biennial California Adaptation Forum gathers the adaptation community from across California and beyond to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to create resilient communities and tackle our state’s most pressing climate change challenges. The Forum offers a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, tours, networking opportunities, and more to support our transition from adaptation awareness and planning to action on the ground.

CivicSpark Fellows and Alumni can apply for volunteer opportunities! For more information regarding volunteer opportunities send an email to You will receive further instructions within the weeks following your inquiry.
Find more about the California Adaptation Forum here!