We’re a few weeks in, but GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles has been plenty busy in 2017. In February, Outreach took our show on the road: a beautiful assortment of slides, stories and info for a partner in the South Bay region of our county. At a team meeting for the non-profit community agency SBCC Thrive L.A., GRIDLA staffer Brian Cervantes shared the opportunities GRID presents for low-income residents looking to cut energy costs—and ways that he, along with fellow GRIDLA Outreach personnel, could start the process of bringing the benefits of solar to more homes. While our partner is in Wilmington and has relationships with prospective clients in the Harbor area, forming bonds at local events like the art walk, SBCC Thrive L.A. organizers actually do some organizing in as far-flung cities and neighborhoods as Compton, Hawthorne, and Lancaster.
Strategic Partnerships Manager Stella Ursua was on-hand to explain how these regions SBCC Thrive L.A. prioritizes have great overlap with where we install client systems. She was quick to point out that working-class spots like Wilmington, which sits by two ports, are polluted by industry at higher-than-average rates. That's why they need clean, low-cost energy in the community the most. “Every one of you is or knows someone who can benefit from this,” Stella told SBCC. We’re happy to see them start the process of partnering with GRIDLA and bringing more residents in their area the application process.
Brian fielded plenty of questions from SBCC Thrive L.A. audience members: Which families qualify? How long will the organization help with repairs on a system we install? Would we work with a family who owned a home in Pacoima? But not only was he able to answer every question, he was able to show everybody that what GRID's process involves is naturally aligned with the resident-led and community-driven world of SBCC Thrive L.A. With every future install accomplished through our partnership, we’ll give these residents a sense that they’re exercising more determination over their financial futures and more power in their communities.