Public Outreach and Engagement Grant Program
What is the Public Outreach and Engagement Grant Program?
SACOG introduced the Public Outreach and Engagement Grant Program to partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) within the six-county region to facilitate outreach and engagement initiatives for the 2025 Blueprint. The program solicited applications from interested community partners to conduct outreach efforts during the 2025 Blueprint Survey period, with the goal of encouraging diverse survey participation and providing tailored engagement methods to communities that are historically underrepresented in past outreach. The program offered grant awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the level of effort proposed by the applicant. Just over $50,000 was allocated to support outreach and engagement initiatives, awarded to 12 CBOs selected from throughout the region.
Why was the program implemented?
SACOG is tasked with creating a long-term plan, known as the 2025 Blueprint, that envisions the growth and transformation of the Sacramento region over a 25-year period. The Blueprint is crafted by evaluating development projects from cities and counties, conducting forecasts of population and transportation changes, and gathering input from community members on their vision for the future of the region. To engage with communities throughout the region, partnerships were sought with organizations and entities that:
Are trusted messengers in their communities;
Have a deep understanding of community issues for residents living in the six-county Sacramento region;
Can gather and communicate the effects of transportation, land use planning, and investments (such as roads, sidewalks, public transit, housing development, etc.) on the health and quality of life of existing communities; and
Can meaningfully connect with disinvested and marginalized communities.
The grant program is also one component of implementing SACOG’s Racial Equity Plan. A primary goal in the plan is to increase engagement with Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and communities of color, along with low-income rural, urban, and other underrepresented communities to help shape SACOG’s projects and programs. SACOG is committed to fostering greater community involvement and ownership in the 2025 Blueprint and the program was designed for awardees to tailor specific outreach activities to be most effective for the communities they serve.
In December of 2022, SACOG opened the application process for the Public Outreach and Engagement Grant Program and in late January of 2023, grants were awarded to 12 local community-based organizations. Awardees conducted their outreach and engagement efforts from February through June 2023.
Who received the grants?
The grant recipients and communities and jurisdictions they work in are listed below.
Arab Community Center for Integration: Since 2020, the Arab Community Center for Integration (ACCIS) has been dedicated to helping newly arriving immigrants and refugees by offering referral services, women and youth empowerment programs, and cultural integration activities. Their outreach efforts included participation in events, tabling at local educational institutions and community gatherings, as well as the use of digital platforms like newsletters and a WhatsApp group chat. Efforts included engaging with Arabic-speaking community members as well.
Breathe California Sacramento Region: Founded in 1917, Breathe California Sacramento Region has been advocating for clean air and healthy lungs through education, community involvement, and creative solutions to impact policy. Their outreach efforts focused on serving communities in West Sacramento, Old North Sacramento, Oak Park, and South Sacramento by integrating with existing programs, such as a community carshare program and clean air educational campaigns.
Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association: Located in South Natomas, the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association (GNNA) serves as a neighborhood advocate for local students, sports teams, and community organizations. GNNA conducted outreach at community events in Del Paso Heights, Northgate, and Gardenland communities, and engaged with Spanish-speaking community members.
Harris Mathews Consulting/St. Paul Church of Sacramento: Harris Mathews Consulting (HMC) is a result-driven consulting firm resolute in closing the opportunity gap and providing economic possibilities for all underserved populations with a specific focus on Black and African American communities in Sacramento. HMC partnered with the St. Paul Church of Sacramento, located in the Oak Park neighborhood, to conduct outreach. Their grant project primarily served Midtown Sacramento, Oak Park, and Citrus Heights, using social media platforms, tabling at community events, and hosting information sessions.
Health Education Council: The Health Education Council (HEC) works towards enhancing the health of residents in historically underserved neighborhoods in Sacramento, recognizing that these rights are crucial to a community’s overall health strategy. HEC staff conducted outreach across all target counties which included Yolo, Placer, Sutter, Yuba, and El Dorado counties. Efforts included outreach at community events, food distributions, farmer’s markets, walking groups, local churches, health fairs, Covid-19 vaccine clinics, and community workshops.
Placer People of Faith Together: Placer People of Faith Together (PPOFT) aims to unite people of faith, crossing class, race, and religious boundaries to build a strong community. They collaborate with civic leaders to address urgent community needs. PPFOT engaged with communities in Placer County, particularly focusing on Roseville and Auburn, and Spanish-speaking-community members. Outreach efforts built on existing community organizing work and included presentations at schools and congregations, tabling, canvassing, and 1-1 conversations.
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) & Bicycle Advocates of Rancho Cordova (BARC): SABA is a non-profit organization committed to creating a safer, healthier, and more welcoming environment for biking in Sacramento. They strive to make biking accessible to everyone, whether for commuting, recreation, or exercise. SABA partnered with BARC on this project to focus outreach and education efforts at tabling events and bike repair clinics in the Rancho Cordova area.
Sacramento LGBT Community Center: The Sacramento LGBT Community Center is dedicated to promoting the well-being of the most marginalized, advocating for equality and justice, and fostering a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. They employed social media outreach to their extensive network and in-person activation at the Sacramento Pride festival.
Sanctuary of Sacred Crowns: The Sanctuary of Sacred Crowns is a holistic hair salon in Downtown Sacramento, offering natural hair services to communities of color for over 35 years. Their mission is to create a safe space through conversations, global music, and visual art. They engaged community members from Elk Grove, Downtown Sacramento, Green Haven, South Sacramento, North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights, using focus groups and radical imagination activities.
University Enterprises, Inc./Sacramento State: University Enterprises is a Sacramento State organization dedicated to fulfilling the ever-changing needs of the campus community. For this grant program, the Sacramento State Department of Geography focused outreach among Sacramento State students, faculty and staff, as well as faculty/students at local community colleges. Faculty integrated the Blueprint survey into classroom curricula, and student interns conducted outreach on campus to students.
Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Heritage Society: The Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Heritage Society is a tribal non-profit organization active in El Dorado County that organizes public events to preserve and educate about Native American culture, dance, and art. They integrated survey outreach with existing projects to expand pollinator habitat, providing native plants as survey incentives. They hosted pop-up booths at community events in El Dorado and reached out through social media networks to engage community members.
Women of Color on the Move: Founded in 2014, Women of Color on the Move is a nonprofit corporation that empowers women through education on health, education, politics, and socio-economic issues in the Sacramento area. They utilized door-to-door outreach, community meetings, and web-based engagement across the region focusing on community leaders and members from Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and communities of color.
What are the next steps?
Following the 2025 Blueprint Survey’s closure, SACOG staff is now analyzing the data to extract insights and trends to integrate into the plan. The survey findings will also be presented to the SACOG board in Fall 2023 to support their decision-making processes on regional policy.