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For Immediate Release
December 10, 2022

Media Contact:
Katie Vavao, Katie.vavao@californiavolunteers.ca.gov, 916-584-3620 

Community Climate Action Day Highlights 
Oakland’s Commitment to City of Service 

California Volunteers investing $12 million in Oakland service and civic engagement


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Photo: California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Officials, and California Climate Action Corps Fellows gather in front of electric powered bus at Liberation Park in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Today, California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday joined Mayor Libby Schaaf, California Climate Action Corps Fellows and volunteers for Community Climate Action Day in Oakland, a city-wide day of climate action.

As part of Community Climate Action Day, California Volunteers announced a partnership with the City of Oakland, Oakland Thrives and Service Year Alliance to provide young people with paid service opportunities in education, climate action, and healthcare, strengthening neighborhoods and developing real-world skills that will serve as a springboard to college and career. 

As a City of Service, Oakland will model what service looks like at scale, reinvigorating Oakland’s civic fabric.  California Volunteers is investing $12 million in the City of Oakland through service programs including #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, AmeriCorps California, California Climate Action Corps and #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps.

“The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats we face. I am so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who came out today to clean our green spaces, promote recycling and waste reduction and launch environmental projects that will benefit Oaklanders now and in the future,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Oakland is a City of Service – a community dedicated to serving others, building a renewed sense of purpose and leadership among our young people and reinvigorating our civic fabric through volunteerism. On behalf of Oakland, I thank Governor Gavin Newsom, Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday and the California Volunteers team, and our many community partners for committing to this vision of Oakland as a City of Service.”

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Photo: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, and a  community volunteer with his son plant trees in Oakland.

Community Climate Action Day – Oakland highlighted California Volunteers’ commitment to scale up to tens of thousands of service members in the coming years. The event also showed the efforts of California Climate Action Corps’ fight against climate change.

“Oakland is showing what is possible when we invest in service,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “We’re bringing the community together, taking climate action and Fellows are getting experience and gaining career skills.” 

During the event, numerous fellows and volunteers removed brush for wildfire resilience, planted trees and visited neighborhoods to share actions residents can take at home to reduce their carbon footprint.     

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. 

In Oakland, 19 California Climate Action Corps Fellows serve with three host partners. From November 2021 through September 2022, the Climate Action Corps: 

  • Engaged 115 people through climate-related outreach and education. 
  • Restored 16 sites.  
  • Built seven compost systems.  

Community Climate Action Day – Oakland partners included HandsOn Bay Area, City of Oakland, Mayor Schaaf, Assemblymember Bonta, Liberation Park, Verizon, Trees for Oakland, Higher Ground, East Bay Regional Park and Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation. 

Learn more at ClimateActionCorps.ca.gov or sign up to find a local volunteer opportunity at CaliforniansForAll.ca.gov.

Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCJ132FBsYY  

B-Roll: Community Climate Action Days 


What others are saying: 

“Today, volunteers and community members gathered to collectively do our part to address climate change on a local level,” said Assemblymember Bonta (D-Oakland). “Climate change is impacting our environment and our health. With record-breaking heat waves, devastating wildfires and longer periods of drought, climate change is becoming harder to ignore. I am overjoyed to see so many volunteers in Oakland, as part of a broader state action organized by the California Climate Action Corps, make a commitment to address climate change. Small steps we take today will have a long and positive impact.” 

“No matter how big the mounting threat of climate change might feel, it is imperative that we keep the momentum going in all efforts to fight it,” said Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland). “Today, that starts here at home, and I am filled with so much hope by the sheer number of volunteers turning out to kick-start climate service projects in our community. The collective action of these community members will create lasting impacts for the East Bay and set an example for cities across California to engage their communities in climate action.”  

“Climate change is just not something to worry about in the future, it’s happening now. Wide-ranging impacts are being felt throughout California and around the globe, from severe drought and devastating wildfires to deadly mega storms and catastrophic flooding,” said Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). “That’s why I’m heartened to see so many East Bay residents ‘thinking globally and acting locally’ by participating in the California Volunteers’ Oakland Community Climate Action Day, focusing on urban greening, wildfire resiliency, and organic waste and edible food recovery.”

“Every neighborhood in California is feeling the impacts of climate change today so on-the-ground efforts like these in Oakland are vital to building an equitable and sustainable California for all,” said California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection Yana Garcia. “I’m inspired by Oakland residents’ commitment to making a difference and I hope others are just as inspired to take climate action into your own hands in your own communities.”

“Oakland Thrives is thrilled to coordinate this dynamic new collaboration between our City, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Promise, our local colleges and universities, our nonprofit partners, and our local employers to saturate our city with service opportunities that are a springboard to career jobs in Oakland,” said Melanie Moore, Oakland Thrives CEO. “We know that service strengthens the social fabric of our communities.  In our City of Service, it will also grow the next generation of educators and social sector professionals — young people from Oakland serving and starting their careers right here at home.”

“Scaling service years has the power to transform lives, strengthen our communities, and fuel civic renewal in America,” said Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “Oakland is an inspiration for cities across the country that are looking to utilize national service to confront the climate crisis, bolster our public health system, and support students and teachers. Service Year Alliance is proud to support this city-wide collaboration and commitment to building a generation of young leaders. We look forward to bringing our expertise in place-based partnerships to help advance the work in Oakland, as well as connecting local leaders to our national network of Service Year Impact Communities — from Central Texas to Western New York — to learn from one another and share their successes with communities across America.”

 “As an agency, we strongly believe that in order to see positive changes within your neighborhoods it takes the entire community to step up and take action. During the climate day of action, we partnered with Brookfield Elementary and local residents to maintain the greenway that serves as a buffer for pollution for all Brookfield Elementary students,” said Khariyyah Shabazz, Higher Ground Neighborhood Development Corp. Deputy Executive Director. “We believe it is every person’s right to have clean air, green spaces and an opportunity to serve.” 

“WM is thrilled for the opportunity to work with California Volunteers to inform Oakland residents about the importance of composting,” said Sarah LaRock, public sector services manager for Waste Management. “Every Oakland resident can fight climate change from their kitchen by placing food scraps and food-soiled paper in their compost cart.”

“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, City of Oakland, California Climate Action Corps Fellows, and so many others to celebrate the Community Climate Action Day as we work forward together to protect our planet for future generations.” 


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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.