Equitable Community Outreach and Communications Fellow

Host: Yolo County
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Environmental Justice
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Facilitation, Environmental Justice, Stakeholder Engagement,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – The Yolo Sustainability Team primarily works off-site remotely, with the option for occasional in-site work. Most often, the team will meet up at local coffee shops for team meetings and to co-work while a majority of work is done independently.

Fellows will be expected to attend monthly in-person Commission meetings, as well as outreach events such as tabling and workshops.

Service Needs & Plans

In September of 2020, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution (Resolution No. 20-114) that “declares climate change a crisis requiring urgent and immediate mobilization of public and private resources to develop and implement a climate and sustainability plan that identifies and integrates current and future actions needed to achieve a just economic recovery and transition to a countywide carbon negative footprint by 2030.” This new target requires the County to prepare a new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) which must incorporate the principles of equity and justice. With our 2030 CAAP projected to be adopted in late summer/early fall 2024, it is our hope that the new CivicSpark Fellow will build on the existing foundation former CivicSpark Fellows with the County created. This includes developing new communications streams, such as video projects, to engage with the public, messaging around CAAP implementation progress and milestones, and providing a new interface for engaging with the community around our consumption-based inventory and community-facing CAAP implementation opportunities.

With 180+ actions listed in the CAAP to achieve our net-negative by 2030 goal, there is a critical need for the development of tracking and monitoring systems, as well as a strategy for maintaining transparency on CAAP progress with the public. We need a Fellow to set up these systems so that we can achieve our emissions reductions goals during the service year and beyond. Climate communications work is vital to the success of the CAAP as it supports our primary GHG emissions sources and reduction potentials, such as Transportation, Building Electrification, and Natural and Working Lands. Communications and transparency support also aids with climate adaptation and community resilience challenges our frontline communities are facing.

Project Description

Goals of the various projects include:

  1. Communications Streams Management:
    • Continue implementation of the Communications Plan.
    • Develop strategies for increasing community participation in CAAP implementation, building community buy-in and accelerating adoption of critical CAAP priorities.
    • Develop innovative ways to engage with the Yolo County community online through widening our communications network by developing video projects that correlate with the County’s climate action and sustainability goals to widen the County’s CAAP online outreach through creative engagement.
    • Draft content and manage social media streams in coordination with staff.
    • Conduct research on CAAP implementation projects and work closely with staff, the Building and Electrification CivicSpark Fellow, the Yolo County Climate Action Commission, and consultants to share updates on ongoing projects.
  2. Support and management of in person outreach and engagement, with a focus on vulnerable communities.
  3. Research and develop equitable engagement best practices.
  4. Build upon the County’s Community Engagement and Equity Strategy by developing resources to build capacity for the Sustainability Division to expand our community reach and improve accessibility of online communications channels/platforms.
  5. Broader CAAP Support:
    • The Fellow will also have the opportunity to support the Office of Sustainability’s communications work and broader CAAP goals —supporting the County’s Sustainability Manager, working closely with the Equity and Engagement Working Group, developing staff reports and presentations, creating meeting minutes and summaries, supporting organization of CAAP workshops—as well as the work of the County’s Climate Action Commission, helping to create a strong, consistent messaging for the County’s Climate Action and Sustainability workstreams.

Role of the Fellow in the project:

  • Organizing in-person workshops, outreach events, and more for the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan implementation.
  • Managing and developing new content-types (ie. videos, interviews, etc.) for the Sustainability team’s social media channels, newsletter, and website.
  • Exploring and deploying creative new strategies for expanding community reach and communication impact.
  • Build new and strengthen existing partnerships to ensure CAAP implementation is community-driven. Project coordination in the form of meeting coordination, notes, follow-up emails, summaries, and staff report preparation for Commission meetings.
  • Implementation of equitable engagement strategies.
  • Support broader climate goals, Commission, staff, and consultants as needed.

Desired project outcomes in terms of resources developed include:

  • Building out and continued implementation of the Community Engagement and Equity Strategy.
  • Support in reaching our carbon-negative by 2030 goals by engaging with the community and supporting in person outreach events.
  • New and strengthened relationships with community-based organizations and other community partners.
  • Development of a video series related to CAAP implementation, social implications of Climate change, and the County’s Just Transition goals. Broader support of climate action goals, Yolo County Climate Action Commission support, working group support, and Implementation Fellow support.
  • Staff reports and presentations for Commission.

These resources will help increase the agency’s capacity by:

  • Consistent messaging to online platforms and improvement to social media streams.
  • Increased community engagement with the CAAP through an increased social media presence, as well as community involvement with potential interview video projects for the 2030 CAAP.
  • Support staff, working groups, Commission, and consultants by messaging about our 2030 CAAP.
  • Creative management of social media in a way that is sustainable and can be continued by the County for years to come.
Desired Skills Organization & Workplace Highlights

Yolo County is a place where collaboration is part of our culture. We are a county with limited resources and therefore we help each other out as much as we can. While we take our work seriously, we try not to take ourselves too seriously and have fun whenever we can. The Office of Sustainability’s work is guided by the principles of a Just Transition, and equitable engagement is the central focus of the County’s Climate Emergency Declaration, the Climate Action Commission, and our broader sustainability work.

The Fellow will be mentored by the County’s Sustainability Manager and will have the opportunity to interact with elected officials, community partners, and members of the public. As a former CivicSpark Senior Project Manager, the Sustainability Manager cares deeply about creating a Fellow experience that is dynamic, engaging, and tailored to the Fellow’s interests and professional goals. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend various County events and meetings that align with their interests and will have regular, structured career development conversations with the Sustainability Manager.

Yolo County prides itself in its policies that focus on protecting farmland and open space, leaving urban development to incorporated areas. This allows the County to have many recreational opportunities in different types of natural environments and farmland. At the same time, these policies leave the County with limited resources and therefore every project completed comes with a significant sense of professional pride and accomplishment. Yolo County is also centrally located to many incredible amenities – Sacramento is just next door, and the mountains and the Bay Area are both just a short trip away. Come see what an amazing place Yolo County is to live and work!

Community Highlights

Nestled in northern California, Yolo County offers a vibrant blend of urban and rural living experiences. An agricultural mecca and the home to the esteemed University of California, Davis, the county boasts a diverse community enriched by its agricultural heritage and academic excellence.

With cities like Davis, Woodland, West Sacramento, and Winters, as well as unincorporated areas such as Knights Landing, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan, Guinda and more, Yolo County provides a unique mix of cultural events, farmers’ markets, and outdoor recreational activities. Its fertile farmland yields a bounty of crops, reflecting a rich agricultural tradition that coexists harmoniously with its thriving arts scene and natural beauty.

Diversity is a priority in Yolo County, where residents enjoy a strong sense of community amid a backdrop of cultural richness and scenic landscapes. The county is committed to uplifting underserved populations, offering programs and services to support diverse communities. From farm-to-table dining to outdoor adventures, Yolo County offers an enticing lifestyle that appeals to a wide range of interests and backgrounds

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