Creating a clean energy transition that includes and benefits everyone is no small task. Rather, it is an all-hands-on-deck effort rooted in community-led action and collaboration. Under-resourced communities and communities of color are most impacted by the environmental and public health burdens of pollution, and are critical voices to finding solutions. In California, we are proud of our long-standing partners, including the women-led community organization Pacoima Beautiful, that help realize a healthier and more sustainable San Fernando Valley with and for its residents.
Pacoima Beautiful began as a team of concerned mothers who organized the first major community clean-ups and tree planting events in town. Since then, it has become a force for collective action on environmental justice issues. Pacoima Beautiful and GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles have been partners since opening our doors in Los Angeles 12 years ago.
State dollars are backing community partnerships, too! In 2018, we were part of a coalition awarded a Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant from the California Strategic Growth Council to expand our work in Pacoima. Through this community-led effort, known as the Green Together Collaborative, hundreds of households in Pacoima and Sun Valley will go solar through GRID's Energy for All program. We are proud to have been a part of every TCC grant since the program was created, making solar accessible in Fresno, Ontario, Watts, and Sacramento.
“The communities of Pacoima and Sun Valley are hungry for this kind of investment,” Veronica Padilla, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful, said. “Residents are excited by the changes they are starting to see in their community like cleaner streets, more green spaces, and cleaner air.” We are excited to continue partnering with community organizations so that the environmental and economic benefits of solar are made available to everyone.
In addition, GRID GLA and others received $500,000 in funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation to build out workforce development programs in Pacoima and Sun Valley. These programs will be underlined by our ambitious goal of installing five megawatts of rooftop solar in the area. The demand for infrastructure will spur opportunities for workforce development and job training, creating 150 new local jobs.
Thank you to our partners in the San Fernando Valley for your commitment to positively transforming the lives of those on the frontlines of climate change. Our work would not be possible without you!