[FILLED] Carbon Free Albany

Host: City of Albany
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Energy Efficiency, Urban Planning, Waste Management
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Project Management, Community Outreach, Stakeholder Engagement,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – There is flexibility for the Fellow to work from home and/or from the office on a supervisor-approved schedule (typically 2 days in office per week), however the Fellow must be able to attend in-person community events and in-person public meetings (at least 2 per month) throughout the year.

Service Needs & Plans

The City of Albany 2024-2025 CivicSpark projects will target both the waste reduction/recycling sector and the climate action sector. The Fellow will provide essential support to meet the City’s goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, community resilience, community engagement, and equity by working on a range of projects. The Fellow will support the implementation of the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation plan, particularly the completion of the Street Tree Management Plan and implementation of electrification programs, including a gas line decommissioning pilot project. The Fellow will also support waste reduction efforts such as outreach and education for a sustainable restaurant foodware ordinance, and implementation of waste sorting and prevention measures required by SB 1383.

Project Description

The Fellow will split their time between Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) Implementation, including the completion the City’s Street Tree Management Plan and supporting building electrification programs, and waste reduction projects, including support with education and outreach for a new sustainable foodware ordinance for restaurants and implementation of SB1383.

The City lacks capacity to implement all policies and programs defined within the 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, so the Fellow will be critical to the success of implementation of the CAAP. To implement one of the CAAP’s most significant policy directives, the Fellow will support the completion of the Street Tree Management Plan (STMP). The Fellow will serve as the lead coordinator between the City’s Community Development Department and Public Works Department, as well as consultants to the City, to see the Plan through Council adoption and will help refine the plan, ensuring it meets the goals and needs of our community. The Fellow will be the point-person for presenting the Plan to and soliciting feedback from City advisory bodies, which will include writing staff reports/memos and delivering presentations at public meetings. The Street Tree Management Plan will aim to address existing disparities in tree canopy coverage and health between wealthier Albany neighborhoods and those neighborhoods that have received less attention and resources related to tree canopy coverage. Of note, the communities closer to San Pablo Avenue, which contain much of the City’s multifamily housing stock, have far less canopy cover. The STMP aims to rectify these disparities. The Fellow will also play a critical role in supporting other areas of CAAP implementation, especially with programs supporting building electrification. In particular, the Fellow will assist with a pilot project to decommission the gas line on one city block. This project is an exciting new approach to larger scale electrification, but it will require 100% of building owners on a block to agree to participate. As such, this project will include intensive outreach and education with residents of potential pilot sites, which the Fellow will support.

The Fellow will also work on waste reduction related projects, particularly a sustainable foodware ordinance for restaurants. The City is currently developing the ordinance and the Fellow may help with the final stages of writing and passing the ordinance, depending on how long the process takes. The Fellow will also take the lead on outreach and education to businesses to help them comply with the ordinance and improve waste prevention generally.

For SB 1383 implementation, the Fellow will support vital public education and outreach support to help the City comply with SB 1383 regulations. The Fellow will have the opportunity to implement creative solutions to increase waste diversion in the City, which may include, but is not limited to organizing and running virtual and/or in-person events, creating and disseminating social media and print outreach materials, and directly engaging community groups. The Fellow may also partner with the City’s waste hauler to update quarterly outreach materials, such as bill inserts, as well as the consultants supporting the City with implementation. SB 1383 implementation support may also include research on and implementation of best practices and programs for compliance with the state mandate. The Fellow will develop vital outreach and educational tools that can be adapted annually to help the City reach its SB 1383 waste diversion goals. The fellow will also have the opportunity to collaborate with Technical Advisory Groups/Committees dedicated towards clean energy initiatives and waste reduction efforts, respectively. This will allow the fellow to learn more about regional collaboration and policy developments, while networking with likeminded members from the rest of the Bay Area.

Desired Skills

The Fellow should be organized, self-motivated, have a positive attitude, an eagerness to engage with the Albany community, and a desire to develop and exercise public speaking skills.

Organization & Workplace Highlights

The City of Albany prides itself a long history of providing CivicSpark fellows a chance to be on the front lines of a progressive city that seeks to develop and implement meaningful policies and programs. The selected fellow can expect to be welcomed within the organization, and to work with all levels of professional staff across various city departments. City staff are familiar with and appreciative of the CivicSpark Fellows’ work. There are also ample opportunities for CivicSpark Fellows to work with City commissions, committees, as well as Albany’s active community groups. Albany’s staff are dedicated to providing a positive, inclusive, and supportive environment.

The team that the Fellow will be working with directly prioritizes respect, teamwork, and work-life balance. Albany’s small size gives Fellows an opportunity to work on a wide range of issues and take on a leadership role in their main projects. Albany is also a very human-scale City, allowing fellows to understand the community on a personal level and directly see the impact of their work.

Community Highlights

Albany, California is a small city of about 20,000 residents, located within the greater San Francisco Bay area. Albany today combines a small-town ambience with its central location in a major metropolitan region. Albany prides itself on being a safe, community-oriented city, with strong services and programs for youth, families and the elderly. It is a city made up largely of single-family homes and small businesses. Our city is beautifully located on the eastern shoreline of the San Francisco Bay, directly east of the Golden Gate Bridge. Surrounded by the San Francisco Bay to the west, the Berkeley Hills to the East, and the communities of Berkeley, El Cerrito, Kensington, and Richmond, Albany’s 1.7 square miles offer a fascinating diversity within a small-town community. Community events, the arts, and a vibrant commercial district cater to the needs of the community. Albany is a walkable and bikeable City that is also served by AC Transit, and located between the El Cerrito Plaza and North Berkeley BART stations. City of Albany elected and appointed leadership, as well as City staff, are committed to enhancing social equity and social justice in all areas of policy and programming.

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