Watts Rising Collaborative Gathers for a Retreat as They Prepare to Launch Their Three Year Initiative

Watts Rising Collaborative Gathers for a Retreat as They Prepare to Launch Their Three Year Initiative


The Watts Rising Collaborative, which includes funded project partners, special leverage partners, residents and key community stakeholders gathered for an all-day retreat, hosted by the TreePeople at their campus located at Coldwater Canyon Park.

The goal of the retreat was to begin the challenging work of identifying how the Watts Rising Collaborative will work together to achieve and exceed the goals of the $35 million Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant and build a strong, purpose-driven collaborative with momentum to pursue actions and resources focused on improving environmental, public health and economic opportunities for all Watts residents. 

“Watts Rising started before we even named it. It is about the first positive intention that you had for your community. The first thought you had to make a better place for your children, for yourself and for your neighbors. That is what Watts Rising is about. What is exciting about this effort, is that we all work very hard in our organizations to fulfill our vision for a healthier and prosperous Watts,” said Jenny Scanlin, HACLA’s Chief Strategic Development Office, addressing the Collaborative.

“We are going to make a difference. Each of us will forever be remembered in the history of Los Angles because we went in and organized a community to transform Watts. There will be justice finally served for the community of Watts,” said Cindy Montañez, Chief Executive Officer of TreePeople in her remarks.

“I am extremely pleased with all our partnerships and collaborations. I feel positive that moving forward we are all going to be very successful on this project and together, we will make Watts thrive,” said Amada Valle, Resident Advisory Council President and resident of Jordan Downs.

The retreat began with a walkthrough of the TreePeople’s campus led by Andy Lipkis, Founder and President of the TreePeople, that set the context for why building more sustainable built environments is so critical for our communities. After the walkthrough, the Collaborative took part in the Leadership Exercise, where participants broke into groups to design their “ideal community”. The Collaborative identified the core values that will guide their collaborative and developed a draft mission statement.  The Collaborative discussed the work ahead, identifying potential obstacles or challenges to their success, and began to define all of the agreements, structures and resources the Collaborative will need to succeed together.

About the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program

The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program funds community-led development and infrastructure projects that achieve major environmental, health and economic benefits in California’s most disadvantaged communities. TCC empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies and projects to enact transformational change – all with data-driven milestones and measurable outcomes. This program is administered by the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) which coordinates the activities of State agencies and partners with stakeholders to promote sustainability, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians.

The TCC Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov

Read the Mayor’s Press Release here.

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