Launch of the California Resilience Partnership

Farallon Strategies is proud to be part of the California Resilience Partnership (CRP), launched by Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) on February 22, 2021. CRP is a multimillion-dollar public-philanthropic effort in coordination with a diverse set of organizations and stakeholders, along with participation by representatives of California State Agencies, to support collaboration on statewide priorities. California’s regions are tackling unprecedented, urgent, and compounding resilience challenges, linked by common drivers including climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, and economic forces. This new, multi-sector model, expanding statewide from pilot work in Los Angeles and San Diego, will develop new partnerships to advance high-impact projects that tackle California’s complex resilience challenges across several regions in the state. 

This new model is designed to attract philanthropic and other funders for high-impact resilience projects. CRP aims to secure at least $30 million from public, private, and philanthropic sources over the next five years to help scale to regions across the state. To date, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has committed nearly $3 million in grant support for the CRP and complementary projects, along with additional support from Alumbra Innovations FoundationThe San Diego Foundation, and Builders Initiative. In addition, a project emerging from CRP pilot work recently secured funding from the California Ocean Protection Council. New and existing grant funding for CRP includes:

  • Hilton Foundation: $1.85 million in total support to RCC to date, including a new gift of $1 million that builds upon prior support.
  • The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC): up to $600,000 grant award secured through Proposition 68 funding, enabling RCC, working with the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (SDRCC) and the Local Government Commission, to lead a regional coastal resilience strategic planning process. 
  • Alumbra Innovations Foundation and The San Diego Foundation: $180,000 in grants for SDRCC and RCC for the San Diego Region Coastal Exchange, held in the lead-up to the launch of the CRP. The Exchange virtually convened global experts along with key leaders in the region representing diverse community stakeholders. A key output of this collaboration, and example of the kind of resilience project CRP is designed to develop, is the San Diego Future Fund, which aims to address financing obstacles to critical resilience infrastructure. 
  • Builders Initiative: $100,000 planning grant to RCC to support ongoing research, stakeholder engagement, and design for the San Diego Future Fund, as it moves to launch a new innovative financing model for the region while bringing on new financial supporters. 

The Hilton Foundation also made a $500,000 award to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) for efforts that will complement the CRP program. Specifically, this funding will support OPR’s coordinated effort with other State agencies and offices to work with communities recovering from last year’s wildfires while fostering long-term preparedness for future risks, especially for communities most vulnerable to climate impacts. 

An additional complementary $350,000 grant from the Hilton Foundation to The Nature Conservancy will support pilot development for a Resilience Park prototype to protect communities from future wildfires by acting as a buffer while promoting conservation and increasing access to open space. 

In addition to these philanthropic partners, other CRP programmatic and advisory partners include Climate Resolve, the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation, the Institute for Local Government, the Local Government Commission, the Greenlining Institute, and the Nonprofit Institute.

“After the Woolsey Fire devastated our local community in 2018, we engaged with local resilience-building efforts; the challenges of this past year serve as a stark reminder of how urgent this work continues to be,” shared Marc Holley, Vice President of Strategy and Programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “The California Resilience Partnership is the next step forward in advancing a bold effort to establish the state as a leader in the resilience movement, and making continued progress so we are better prepared to serve our communities in uncertain times will require increased collaboration and intentional effort across a range of stakeholders.”

“Efforts like the California Resilience Partnership model public-private-philanthropic partnerships, which are essential to moving communities in California towards a more resilient and equitable future,” said Nuin-Tara Key, Deputy Director for Climate Resilience and Chair of the Technical Advisory Council for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
The CRP is geared toward generating the most relevant and highest impact initiatives and projects and will be advised by an Advisory Board representing leading climate, community, and resilience experts from across the state, including:

  • Rachel Couch, Chair, Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA)
  • Dr. Zachary Green, Professor of Practice and Director of Leadership Development, The Nonprofit Institute; Director, RISE Urban Leadership Fellows
  • Erica L. Manuel, CEO and Executive Director, Institute for Local Government
  • Kate Meis Wright, Executive Director, Local Government Commission
  • Sona Mohnot, Senior Program Manager & Policy Analyst, Environmental Equity, The Greenlining Institute
  • Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve
  • Dr. Emily Young, Executive Director, The Nonprofit Institute, University of San Diego

Ex officio member:

  • Robert Miyashiro, Program Officer, International Programs, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

State liaison:

  • Nuin-Tara Key, Deputy Director for Climate Resilience and Chair of the Technical Advisory Council for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research 

In the coming years, CRP will expand to new regions to support local NGO and government partners in project development and advancing equity, offering technical assistance, crowding in global best practices, and fostering collaborative knowledge exchange among resilience practitioners across California and the globe. Through RCC’s leadership, CRP will: 

  • Create a pipeline of shovel-ready resilience projects to tackle the multi-faceted threats facing California regions, including COVID-19, climate change, and racial injustice. 
  • Build stronger partnerships across government, philanthropy, and local communities, to better engage communities in decision making, particularly historically marginalized communities. 
  • Establish new and strengthen existing capacity for regional planning across the state, with work already underway in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties, with a goal of scaling statewide in the years to come.
CRP partners

“We are excited to launch the CRP today, a flagship initiative at RCC that builds on our past work at 100 Resilient Cities and the Rebuild by Design process in New York City,” said Sam Carter, Founding Principal at Resilient Cities Catalyst. “Rooted in our experience working alongside Los Angeles and San Diego communities on climate resilience projects, we see the potential to scale our city and regional experiences in California and elsewhere to a statewide approach.”

​The CRP builds on pilot projects in the Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego regions from 2019 and 2020. Collaboration among RCC, Climate Resolve, Farallon Strategies, and SDRCC, among other local partners, yielded new approaches and projects to build resilience in the face of stresses like housing affordability, racism, and economic inequity, as well as mounting risks, posed to Californians, such as wildfire and coastal erosion. 

“The California Resilience Partnership will help Los Angeles-area communities prepare for climate change by providing time-tested tools and ideas garnered from lessons learned across the globe,” said Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Climate Resolve. “Our relationship has already borne fruit. Our research effort, Lessons from the Woolsey Fire, supported by Resilient Cities Catalyst and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, suggests exciting new policy ideas and initiatives for California.”

“Local communities across the state are already experiencing adverse impacts of a changing climate, including more frequent coastal flooding, extreme heat, and wildfires,” said Dr. Emily Young, Executive Director of The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego and Founding Advisor to SDRCC. “We are excited to participate in the California Resilience Partnership, to mobilize new funding and catalyze innovative projects that work with nature to reduce our region’s vulnerability to the most harmful impacts of climate change.”

Ultimately, CRP aims to amplify and further connect the diverse ecosystem of actors across sectors in California to increase investments in a pipeline of high-impact resilience projects that address multiple complex risks. This unprecedented and complex time requires a comprehensive approach and collaboration across multiple sectors and at different scales. Nonetheless, disruptive moments can create unique and generational

opportunities for positive change. Together, these entities will build a more resilient California, and build scalable lessons for communities across the U.S. and around the world.
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About Resilient Cities Catalyst
Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) is a nonprofit comprised of urban practitioners and resilience experts with deep experience working in cities and regions around the world. RCC joins with cities and regions worldwide to help them better leverage the experience, resources, and energies of their leaders, managers, communities, companies, and urbanists to realize their collective visions. Founded by executives from 100 Resilient Cities, RCC’s work is anchored in the knowledge gained in the development of the resilience movement. For more info, please visit: www.rcc.city.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes, support older youth as they transition from foster care, ensure opportunity youth can access career pathways, prevent homelessness, identify solutions to safe-water access, help integrate refugees into society and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with assets recently growing to approximately $7.5 billion. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org for more information.

About Farallon Strategies
Farallon Strategies (FS) supports the transformative change needed in organizations, communities, and regions to address the impacts of climate change, and to take the proactive actions required to reduce these impacts. From community resilience to carbon neutrality – big goals require strong actions to ensure success. FS supports the entire process – from vision to implementation – to help communities and organizations achieve their goals. FS clients and partners are public agencies, consulting firms, collaboratives, and non-profit organizations working towards the common goal of a better tomorrow. FS works with people across a broad range of organizations to ensure the best team for each initiative. Please visit www.farallonstrategies.com for more information.

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