July 29, 2023
CivicSpark Fellow Olivia Williams has supported the City of Monterey Park’s Going Green initiative to engage the community in climate change mitigation efforts and to create the Citywide Sustainability Plan. This is the first year that Monterey Park has hosted a Fellow from CivicWell’s CivicSpark AmeriCorps program.
Since September 2022, Olivia has served over 1200 hours building capacity for the City of Monterey Park by leading an interdepartmental Green Team to increase staff knowledge of climate change issues and implement the Going Green community outreach program.
“Our CivicSpark Fellow has been an extremely valuable resource for the City’s climate change work, by leading the work related to sustainability. The Going Green program brings sustainability to the forefront of conversations within the agency and pushes forward with our decision makers’ priority for the community. These efforts would not have been possible without the CivicSpark Fellow’s passion and dedication that they bring to the position.“
Beth Chow, Monterey Park Senior Planner
“The Monterey Park community has benefitted tremendously by the sustainability work performed by Olivia Williams, our CivicSpark Fellow. Over the past 10 months, Olivia launched the Going Green program through extensive outreach, collaboration with City staff from various departments, marketing through a Going Green website, social media and email blasts, and development of a sustainability plan which is to be completed in Fall 2023. Her work has been instrumental in making the City of Monterey Park a leader in sustainability.”
Jessica Serrano, Monterey Park Director of Community Development
Keeping Equity at the Forefront
Monterey Park is a city in the San Gabriel Valley with rich Asian history and culture. The Going Green Sustainability Survey was available in three languages and made accessible in multiple formats to ensure all community members had the opportunity for their ideas to be represented in the City’s plan. Additionally, Ms. Williams partnered with the City’s Economic Development department to provide survey incentives through its Shop Local rewards program.
Community Engagement and Input
Ms. Williams hosted booths at seven City events, held five community workshops, and coordinated the City’s Earth Day celebration. She analyzed input from over 500 Monterey Park residents on their priorities to create a more sustainable community.
“If all cities took steps towards combating climate change, we could make a huge impact. Monterey Park is doing its part to promote sustainability and conserve earth’s resources.”
Jose Sanchez, Monterey Park Mayor
The City of Monterey Park is using this community input to help create its Citywide Sustainability Plan, which uses a holistic framework to mitigate climate change while promoting environmental equity and community resilience.