BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The City of Bakersfield, alongside the Southeast Strong stakeholders, hosted a community forum in southeast Bakersfield to debrief local residents on the progress of the Southeast Strong Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant application last week.

The city said this program is available from the Strategic Growth Council and only awards three grants, which are up to $29,500,000 each. The Bakersfield application was a community-led effort that calls itself Southeast Strong, they said.

The grant application, which could give up to $29,500,000 to the Southeast Strong Initiative, was submitted in August. Last week’s forum was presented in an open house-style format at the Bakersfield Senior Center, which provided a space for the public to interact with project partners, receive a better insight into the different components of the application and learn about the overall process of Southeast Strong’s TCC efforts and next steps, the city said.

Now, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) will determine in early December which applicants will be awarded $29.5 million in state grant funds, according to the city.

The city said that the Southeast Strong Initiative envisions a vibrant and interconnected community in southeast Bakersfield, built upon a foundation of inclusivity, collaboration and shared cultural pride.

“Southeast Bakersfield is one of California’s most disadvantaged communities, still grappling with historically being underserved and the lingering impacts of discrimination. This grassroots effort, shaped by robust and meaningful engagement with residents and stakeholders, will build upon this area’s heritage and enhance its dynamic identity,” the city said in the Aug. 4 edition of Bakersfield Notes.

The city said the application submittal included the following projects:

  • Bakersfield Senior Center Mixed-Use Project
  • Neighborhood Revitalization Project
  • 4th Street Active Transportation Corridor Project
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Complete Streets
  • Active Transportation Project
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park
  • Urban Greening – Safe Routes to School Project
  • Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program
  • MLK commUNITY Garden Initiative

If the application is approved, the Southeast Strong Initiative will leverage the local partners’ strengths to implement transformative projects that reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG), address historic underinvestment and provide new opportunities and connectivity to southeast residents, according to the city.