August 1, 2022

The Office of Sustainability and project partners the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) and Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) are excited to announce the award of competitive grant funding from The Funders Network to support the development of the Climate Justice Plan. The Funders Network’s Partners for Places (P4P) program seeks to advance deep collaboration among local governments, community based organizations, and local place based funders to address climate change and environmental justice.

This is the second round of Partners for Places that the County, CCC, and MMT have received to support local climate justice organizing. The first round of funding in 2020 supported Climate Justice by Design (CJxD), an organizing approach that created a “third space” for government and community partners to work together to co-create a shared vision and priorities around community-centered climate resilience. CJxD prioritized building trusting relationships between government and community, and setting the conditions for ongoing mutually beneficial partnerships. The organizing vision of CJxD was the idea of designing for justice: that if our current system was designed to extract from people and the planet, we can also design a system that is rooted in well-being and regeneration. CJxD built the conditions for the project partners to embark on a groundbreaking joint planning effort the partners are calling the Climate Justice Plan.

Some of the participants in the Climate Justice x Design process.

The recently announced second round of P4P funding will support the development of the Climate Justice Plan by investing in the capacity of community based organizations to fully participate in the year-long effort. The Climate Justice Plan will bring local governments, including Multnomah County, the City of Portland, and others, to the table with a number of community based organizations and individuals, including CCC and others to be determined, to:

  • Craft a shared 2030 vision of climate justice;
  • Assess how our communities experiences differ from that vision;
  • Create a set of shared priority actions for government and community to move together;
  • Develop an ongoing structure for accountability and for identifying future priority actions.

This approach that centers the priorities and perspectives of frontline community based organizations is innovative in the climate planning space and is why the P4P program is continuing to invest in the work. And why CCC and other partners are willing to invest their limited capacity in the effort:

“I’m interested in changing the perception of a plan from a dry, bureaucratic document that sits on a shelf to a living document that reflects the goals and aspirations of frontline communities and serves as an effective roadmap moving forward. In Multnomah County in the past few years there have been a multitude of projects and initiatives led by frontline communities and local governments to address the climate crisis, but these efforts often occur in silos. We need greater coordination and strategic planning to maximize our impact. This planning effort represents an opportunity to do just that, and to serve as a mutually beneficial guiding document for local government and community based organizations.” -Taren Evans, Environmental Justice Director, CCC

A draft Climate Justice Plan is anticipated in the summer of 2023.