Sacramento – 300 leaders convene today in Sacramento for the California Catalyst Conference, an inaugural event hosted by the Strategic Growth Council focused on building partnerships and identifying solutions to implement the Justice40 Initiative in California and beyond. The first day of the Catalyst Conference is focused on building readiness and capacity to enable California’s frontline and underserved communities to successfully access and implement climate investment.
The Conference follows both the release of Governor Newsom’s proposed $48 Billion climate budget, which prioritizes continued funding for frontline communities, and the availability of additional federal funding for climate resilience through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Governor provided pre-recorded opening remarks for the Conference, underscoring the need for whole of government partnerships and local leadership to successfully implement state and federal climate dollars.
Following the Governor’s pre-recorded remarks, attendees previewed a film highlighting the work of the East Oakland Collective, the recipient of a $28.2 million grant from the Strategic Growth Council supporting community-led planning and implementation. The TCC-funded, community-led efforts in East Oakland have created neighborhood-serving affordable housing, community health services, and urban food systems. Day 1 speakers also included Pastor B.T. Lewis II, a local leader spearheading community-led planning and development in Fresno, California, and Karthick Ramakrishnan, Executive Director with California 100, whose session on strategic foresight guided the audience through a future visioning strategy session.
Panels and breakout sessions on Day 1 will consider how to invest available state and federal funding by identifying specific obstacles communities in California face in accessing funding and implementing projects. Additionally, participants will contribute to investment criteria framework to ensure state and federally funded projects reduce pollution, minimize climate impacts, meaningfully engage communities, avoid displacement, create good-paying jobs, and advance other community priorities.
The 2023 SGC Catalyst Conference is hosted in partnership with the Milken Institute and sponsored by the James Irvine Foundation, Dream.org, the California Endowment, Meta, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Edison International, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and ARUP.