City’s bid for ‘transformational’ grant to help its deepest pockets of poverty needs suggestions from public by Friday

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Today is the deadline for individuals and community groups to submit ideas that may be incorporated into Bakersfield’s application for a multi-million dollar state grant.

The Transformative Climate Communities grant could bring in $60 million dollars when paired by matching grant money.

A large section of Bakersfield from downtown to the city’s southeast quadrant is eligible for the grant, which focuses on housing, transportation and jobs.

Community activist Arleana Waller is encouraging local organizations that benefit southeast Bakersfield in particular to participate.

She notes that the communities south of California Avenue are at the absolute highest levels of poverty and pollution. And there are four times as many residents in that area as there are in downtown or Old Town Kern.

Ward 2 City Councilman Andrae Gonzales is also calling for ideas for the grant opportunity.

“We really are looking for innovative ideas that meet the goal of the Transformative Climate Communities grant application,” he said. “.… Really, what they’re looking for is ways in which we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions while investing in disadvantaged neighborhood.”

The section of Bakersfield roughly between 38th Street and Brundage Lane ranks in the top 5 percent of disadvantaged communities in the state — and that qualifies the area for grants that aim to improve public health and promote economic development with housing projects, alternative modes of transportation and jobs.

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