Achieving Local Government Success: Building Resilient and Equitable Communities

Host: Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Disaster Response and Preparedness / Emergency Management (e.g., flood prevention, wildfire prevention, coastal protection), Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation / Biodiversity Protection, Infrastructure Development, including Broadband, Public Health, Transportation / Mobility, Urban Planning
Skills Needed: Project Management, Research, Data Analysis, Technical Writing,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – OPR works a hybrid schedule so the Fellow will likely follow the Supervisor’s schedule for in office days.

Service Needs & Plans

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research studies future research and planning needs, fosters goal-driven collaboration, and delivers guidance to state partners and local communities, with a focus on land use and community development, climate risk and resilience, and high road economic development. Our Fellow will help assist working on the Annual Planning Survey, General Plan Annual Progress Report, and State General Plan Guidelines update. These projects will show how local governments incorporate climate change, affordable housing, environmental justice, and an equitable transportation network into local plans.

Project Description

The Fellow will work with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) staff to provide technical assistance and help manage projects. Projects the Fellow will assist staff or take the lead on include OPR’s Annual Planning Survey, General Plan Annual Progress Report, and State General Plan Guidelines update.

All jurisdictions are required to provide OPR with General Plan Annual Progress Reports each year. Fellow duties will include collecting and organizing the data from the reports along with assisting local governments regarding the report. After analyzing reports, OPR will have valuable insight on how local governments are using effective strategies to create a more resilient community through planning and community involvement.

OPR’s Annual Planning Survey is distributed to all cities and counties across California and provides the latest information on local planning activities, the status of city and county general plans, and other issues of statewide concern. Responses to the survey allow us to gain perspective on policies and planning at the local level and evaluate trends over time to ensure a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive California for all. Our Fellow will serve as a Project Manager in administering the survey, analyzing survey results, and writing a report on survey results. This project will allow our Fellow to examine how local governments are addressing issues such as Climate Adaptation and Resilience; Community Engagement, Equity, and Accessibility; Health and Environmental Justice, and Air Quality and Emission Reduction.

OPR is required by Government Code Section 65040.2 to adopt and periodically revise the State General Plan Guidelines for the preparation and content of general plans for all cities and counties in California. These guidelines serve as the “how to” resource for drafting a general plan and assists local governments in preparing general plans and the public in participating in that process. The Fellow will assist OPR Staff with the State General Plan Guidelines update. Tasks will include stakeholder outreach, policy research, and technical writing. Updating the Guidelines will help OPR provide updated guidance on building resilient and equitable communities though actions such as climate action planning, efficient land use, and creating a multimodal transportation network for all users.

Other position duties will include providing technical assistance to local governments on issues related to housing, land use, environmental justice, climate, and transportation along with providing assistance in webinars on topics such as climate change. Project goals are to assist OPR in completing projects and give the Fellow firsthand experience how resilience and equity are implemented into statewide policies and plans.

Desired Skills

Basic understanding of state goals and policies.

Organization & Workplace Highlights

OPR provides a team-oriented workplace culture focused on collaboration between subject matter experts. The Fellow will have the opportunity to learn different areas of planning in a professional setting while gaining professional development skills in policy analysis, research, writing, and stakeholder engagement. This position will allow for networking both in OPR and with our intergovernmental partners. Through their assigned work, the Fellow will see how justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are ingrained in OPR’s culture and in state plans and policy.

Community Highlights

OPR is based in the state capitol of Sacramento. Sacramento is a the fastest growing city in California offering big city amenities while being close to nature with the Sierra foothills nearby. The city is easy to explore with many bike paths and light rail allowing easy access to the many museums, restaurants, and entertainment options.

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