California Volunteers, City of San José Engage Hundreds
in Climate Action During Community Event
California Climate Action Corps Fellows and volunteers fight climate change through city-wide action during Climate Action Week
SAN JOSÉ, Calif. – Tackling climate change head on today during Climate Action Week, California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday joined City of San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, California Climate Action Corps Fellows and volunteers for Community Climate Action Day San José, a city-wide day of climate action.
Event partners included HandsOn Bay Area, Veggielution, Verizon, Our City Forest, San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, and City of San José Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.
“Volunteers, fellows, businesses, and local and state leaders joined together today to take action against our greatest existential threat — climate change. It is a testament to the power of service to unite us and create real, lasting change,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “California will continue to organize, lead, and engage our communities in climate action because we need everyone involved.”
During the event, hundreds of volunteers supported climate action projects throughout the city focused on urban greening, wildfire resiliency, and organic waste and edible food recovery. At eight locations, 350 volunteers collectively put in 1,400 hours planting trees, watering plants, preparing compost, and visiting downtown neighborhoods to share actions residents can take at home to reduce their carbon footprint.
“We remain focused on bold steps to accelerate our climate work in San José – alongside the residents of our city who are on the frontline – taking small actions to ensure our goals to create a livable planet for future generations, and I’m proud to volunteer with these San Joseans today,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo.
“Under the growing threat of climate change, we must all do our part with local urban greening, wildfire resiliency, and organic waste and edible food recovery efforts,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra, California’s 27th District. “I am heartened to have hundreds of volunteers here to kick start climate service projects in San José as part of broader state action by the Climate Action Corps – the nation’s first state-level service corps dedicated to safeguarding communities from impacts of climate change.”
Governor Gavin Newsom launched California Climate Action Corps as the nation’s first state-level climate service corps with the mission of empowering Californians to take meaningful action to protect their homes, health, and communities against the harshest impacts of climate change. The program is led by California Volunteers, Office the Governor.
“Community matters and with the California Climate Action Day we are excited to provide the much-needed support in combating climate change and creating lasting impacts in the city of San José,” said Winston Vicente HandsOn Bay Area Marketing and Creative Manager. “With the help of the California Climate Action Corps, the office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, Veggielution, and the amazing fellows and volunteers we are going to demonstrate how service unites all of us in achieving one major goal.”
In the upcoming year, the City of San José, Santa Clara County, Our City Forest, and San José Conservation Corps + Charter School will host seven California Climate Action Corps Fellows to serve the community.
In San José, California Climate Action Corps Fellows, from January 2021 to July 2022:
- Planted, maintained, or gave away 282 trees.
- Diverted 95,537 pounds of food or organic waste from landfills.
- Treated 26 homes/structures for wildfire risk.
- Engaged 2,070 volunteers for 7,497 hours of climate action.
- Engaged 5,222 people through climate-related outreach and education.
Learn more at ClimateActionCorps.ca.gov.
What others are saying:
“At Verizon, we’ve instilled environmentally focused values into our culture with the continued support of our Green Team so employees can volunteer to make a difference in the communities of their choice,” said Rudy Reyes, Verizon West Region Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. “Today, our employees are proud to join forces with California Volunteers, the City of San José, California Climate Action Corps Fellows, and so many others to celebrate Community Climate Action Day as we work forward together to protect our planet for future generations.”
“As an organization centered around service and climate justice, we’re proud to be involved in Climate Action Day in San José,” said Monica Rosquillas, Zero Waste Director. “As more and more people get personally involved with hands-on efforts like this one, we get closer to building a community where people and the environment can thrive.”
“We are honored to have worked with California Climate Action Corps over the last two years. The impact they have made on our organization continues today as we look to become a more climate resilient organization,” said Emily Schwing, Veggielution Public Affairs Director. “We look forward to working with more future climate change leaders in San José.”
“We are proud to bring the California Climate Action Corps, a statewide coalition of environmental stewards and next generation leaders, to San José! Through climate service projects, participants can directly impact climate action for the greater good as well as engage in climate education initiatives,” said Senator Dave Cortese.
“Through regionwide actions to identify commonalities, strengths, resource gaps, and community needs, the threats that climate change, development, and resource instability pose to regional urban forests can be mitigated, and cooperative efforts in conservation, management, advocacy, policy, and education can be maximized,” said Chris Curry, County of Santa Clara Office of Sustainability Sr. Management Analyst.
“We appreciate the hundreds of volunteers, alongside City staff, gathering all across San José to maintain, improve, and expand our outdoor programs and services. Parks are critical infrastructure that reduce the effects of climate change and this work makes a difference,” said Jon Cicirelli, City of San José Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Director.
“The Climate Smart San José Team is excited to increase community participation in Climate Action Day and help residents take urgent environmental action to slow climate change. We will canvass in downtown San José, bringing awareness to sustainability programs including composting, recycling, energy efficiency, and electrification incentives. Our urban gardening event will further drive our commitment to the Santee neighborhood and our partnership with the Guadalupe-Coyote Resource Conservation District, as part of our Zero Emissions Neighborhood pilot,” said Julie Benabente, Climate Smart Deputy Director.
“The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is thrilled to partake in Community Climate Action Day, and we look forward to bringing members of the community together for service in the Historic Orchard. Climate action through community service is a great way to connect with fellow community members and give a little love to the planet, and we look forward to seeing the impacts that this day of service will have across Santa Clara County,” said Gillian Naegele, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s Volunteer and Project Coordinator.
“Increasing and protecting the trees in the urban forest is one of the greatest actions we can take to mitigate the effects of climate change. Our City Forest is proud to continue to partner with the California Climate Action Corps to make environmental action a priority,” said Rhonda Berry, Our City Forest President and CEO. “Together we continue to help make Santa Clara County a greener and healthier place.”
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.