State Housing Funds Awarded to 29 SCAG Jurisdictions
The California Department of Housing and Community Development approved another 35 jurisdictions for Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) funds, bringing the total to 135 jurisdictions state-wide. Specifically, 29 of the 35 jurisdictions are located in the SCAG region and totaled another $49.4 million in homelessness and affordable housing funds for PLHA’s second round. Total SCAG awards for PLHA’s second round are $121.9 million for 54 jurisdictions. SCAG has provided free PLHA technical assistance to SCAG jurisdictions since Fall 2021 and is gearing up for the next PLHA Formula Notice of Funding Availability, which will be published next month.
Los Angeles Chamber of commerce ‘ACCESS Sacramento’ Day
On April 20, President Clint Lorimore joined the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce for its annual “ACCESS Sacramento” event at the State Capitol. A delegation of business, civic, elected, educational, and community leaders from Southern California came together to represent the greater Los Angeles region. The delegation met with state legislators to discuss various policy priorities relating to economic growth and job creation. While meeting with legislators, President Lorimore highlighted the Regional Council’s Infill Infrastructure Grant budget request and other legislative priorities of both SCAG and the Chamber.
The Chamber delegation advocated for a $10 million budget request to expand its OneLA program, which provides technical assistance for small, women, and minority-owned businesses to access corporate or governmental contracting and procurement opportunities. The delegation also advocated for AB 1864 (Gipson), which would incentivize small businesses to hire locally through a local hire tax credit for businesses with fewer than 49 employees who hire full-time employees living within five miles of the business.
Go Human Update
Go Human Demonstrates Safety Improvements at the ‘Activate Fair Oaks’ Pop Up in Pasadena
On April 23, the City of Pasadena, in partnership with SCAG’s Go Human campaign, hosted “Activate Fair Oaks,” a temporary demonstration showcasing safety improvements at the Valley Street and Fair Oaks Avenue intersection. Adjacent to the Jackalope Arts Fair in Central Park, the demonstration showcased artistic crosswalks, curb extensions, and a parklet to engage community residents on the proposed improvements. The event engaged over 80 residents and attracted new audiences, with 81 percent of participants reporting they had never attended a community meeting on transportation. Attendees shared positive feedback on proposed safety improvements, 96 percent of participants wanted to see creative crosswalks permanently installed, 84 percent wanted to see the parklet permanently installed, and 80 percent wanted to see curb extensions permanently installed. The city looks to use the public feedback as they prioritize improvements highlighted in “Pasadena Walks!,” the city’s pedestrian plan.
SCAG Staff Highlight Successful Strategies at National Conferences
On April 21, SCAG staff, alongside Go Human Community Ambassadors, presented at the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Annual Meeting, which gathers racial equity practitioners who work in local, state, and regional government to uplift best practices, celebrate victories, and share lessons learned from their work advancing racial equity. Staff facilitated an interactive workshop called, “Go Human Community Ambassadors: Creativity, Resilience & Equity through Community-Centered Cohort Learning.” This session focused on the key considerations that build meaningful virtual spaces, accessible learning environments, and real relationships. The session meaningfully engaged 127 participants.
On April 27, staff presented on the “Indio Streets are Treats” temporary safety demonstration project at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit, organized by The Street Trust, to convene professionals and advocates to discuss transportation issues. Along with partners from Alianza Coachella Valley and the City of Indio, staff facilitated an interactive workshop called, “More than the Sum of Parts: The Critical Role of Community-Based Storytelling and equitable partnerships in co-powering community.” This session focused on the importance of building partnerships and leveraging community assets when planning and implementing safety projects. This session engaged 72 participants.
SCAG and Partner-Funded Projects Receive Awards from the American Planning Association – Inland Empire Section
SCAG, and its funded partners, have been selected as award winners by the American Planning Association – Inland Empire Section (APA Inland Empire) for the following projects:
- SCAG’s Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative: Best Practices Category, Award of Excellence – SCAG developed a low-cost tool to develop active transportation plans for communities across the region. The tool was piloted through the development and completion of seven active transportation plans in disadvantaged communities in each of SCAG’s six counties.
- Muscoy Sidewalks for Safety: Healthy Communities Category, Award of Merit – This Go Human Mini-Grantee conducted community engagement in the unincorporated community of Muscoy in San Bernardino County and showcased temporary safety improvements, which resulted in a $1.88M infrastructure grant from the California Active Transportation Program.
- Artlands Crosswalk Mural: Grassroots Initiative Category, Award of Merit – This Go Human Mini-Grantee utilized grant funding to implement an LGBTQIA pride-themed mural crosswalk in the City of Redlands, showcasing the importance of both infrastructure as well as inclusion and representation as a means of saving lives.
Moreover, the City of Palm Desert’s San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project, was selected by the APA Inland Empire for the Award of Excellence in the Implementation category. This implemented project is connected to a Go Human demonstration project which catalyzed the community engagement and feedback.
Congratulations to all of the award winners!
Toolbox Tuesday Training Held on Advancing Equity
SCAG’s Toolbox Tuesday technical webinars provide a range of practical skills and knowledge for local planners, including training in the use of tools and education in practical approaches to timely planning issues such as equity. On April 12, SCAG, in collaboration with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and the City of Long Beach and the City of Portland, provided a webinar that was focused on taking action to advance equity by developing and implementing action plans and frameworks. Materials from the training session, as well as for past trainings, are available on the Toolbox Tuesday Online Training Materials webpage. Register here for the next Toolbox Tuesday training on “Preserving Affordable Homes in Priority Growth Areas,” scheduled for May 24, 2022.