2020 Grants Challenge

Bringing LA's Green New Deal to Our Neighborhoods

With COVID-19, growing awareness of the role that the environment plays in pandemics, and more appreciation for the role of government and the importance of community, we have an opportunity to leverage this moment and help LA work toward sustainability. We will conduct outreach throughout the neighborhood council (NC) system, educating people about the parallels between this crisis and the climate crisis, and provide NCs with the tools to identify and implement the changes we can and must make in order to be more resilient and sustainable.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

What is the need you’re responding to?

I have been thrown by COVID-19. Having trouble focusing. Off my game. Realizing that most of my messages a couple weeks ago (about renewable energy, EVs, stormwater capture, the urban tree canopy, air pollution, etc.) sound tone deaf in the face of such an immediate crisis. And yet…there are so many parallels. The NCSA has always focused on public health, disadvantaged communities, and resilience. And we have always recognized the value of both government and communities in problem-solving and have strengthened that relationship, including with our work to help NCs support and implement LA’s GND (the original focus of this proposal). And the more I learn about how we got to this crisis, the more I learn that it is the practices of human beings, the forces of industrialization, and the encroachment into nature that contribute to pandemics. I am, once again, reminded that we live in an ecosystem, and that when we disrupt it, we do so at our peril. We do not want to miss this opportunity.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Bringing NCs, communities, nonprofits, and other government together to advance sustainability and resilience is what we do. Although the City has not permitted NCs to convene during this period, they are stepping up to serve their communities. As an alliance of 57 NCs from across the city, the NCSA is well positioned to leverage our network to conduct community outreach and help educate people about the interdependence and vulnerability of our ecosystems and the added risks that disadvantaged communities face in this crisis. As an organization that helps connect government to people, we have been cultivating a sense of working together, with government, toward one goal (LA’s GND), and helping people feel that they are a part of the solution and contributing to something bigger than themselves. As we are all in the COVID-19 crisis together, we are also all in the climate crisis together.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 300

Indirect Impact: 4,000,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

We work directly with about 300 people in the NC system across the city; a much larger number of people engage with us more passively or less frequently (through events, our email newsletter, social media, neighborhood council presentations, and the emails sent by DONE (to approximately 20,000 people). The population of the city of LA is roughly 4 million residents; because we engaged NCs throughout the city and we focus on City policy, we think that is the appropriate number to identify. The City of LA is in many respects a leader in the fight to address the climate crisis, so we hope our impact is broader.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

• The NCSA will partner with the City and/or SCAQMD to encourage sustained telecommuting to keep our air cleaner (in the form of either messaging, incentives, legislation, etc.)

* 10 NCs will support the telecommuting effort (via, e.g., community impact statements)

* The City will open up select streets to pedestrians and cyclists during the shelter-in-place order

* NCs, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) will share a clear understanding of the role of NCs in a crisis

* 5 NCs will support home or community gardening (with either outreach/education, funds for community gardens, events, etc.)

* 10 NCs will communicate to their constituents about the connection between the coronavirus and our ecosystem, and parallels to the climate crisis

* The NCSA will partner with the Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization on messaging about the coronavirus

* The NCSA will disseminate monthly messaging about the elevated risks to communities with poor air quality associated with some viruses

* Content that will help people make the connections between the coronavirus and the climate crisis will be integrated into LA’s GND NC Toolkit (currently in development by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and DONE, with the assistance of the NCSA network)

* 5 NCs will join the NCSA

* 5 NCs will establish sustainability committees

The above will be determined through communication with NCs and our City partners, typically verified via the internet.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your submission impact?​

Access to healthy food

Air quality

Resilient communities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation