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Funding Community Economic Resilience

THRIVE has joined stakeholders from throughout Orange County to guide the California Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), a state-funded initiative that will support the development of regional economic roadmaps for a carbon-neutral future, with high-quality jobs, and a more equitable economy that works for all.  CERF-OC is convened by statewide partner California Forward and regional convener Orange County Business Council

Together with several sister organizations and local residents, THRIVE seeks to make sure that the perspective of disinvested communities is centered in the CERF initiative, from the initial planning process, into the definition of strategies and selection of projects.  We invite Santa Ana and Orange County residents to make sure these public resources support economic strategies that are rooted in community participation, ownership, and decision-making.  THRIVE believes a grassroots participative approach is essential for public resources to be invested responsibly, where they are most needed. 

Here are ways to participate: 

  • Take a Survey to share your ideas and perspectives, to inform our regional plan for economic development -- > Click here!

  • Join CERF Stakeholder meetings

  • Contact us directly with questions or suggestions. 

Participant Action Research & Community Forums

On June 22nd, THRIVE Santa Ana and Cooperación Santa Ana, with the support of community partners including Latino Health Access, Cambodian Families, CIELO, and Orange County Environmental Justice, invited community members who are most impacted by economic inequality to share their ideas and perspectives on how to build a more equitable and sustainable economy in our region.  

Over 100 residents participated.  The two-hour community forum was held at Latino Health Access, in Spanish, English, and Khmer.  Read a brief report on results from the forum here, by community-based researchers Erualdo Gonzalez and Carolina Sarmiento.

This forum kicked-off a collaborative research strategy, known as Participative Action Research (PAR), wherein residents are invited to inform the priorities, design of a research process.  In the context of CERF, PAR was proposed as an approach to center the participation of residents from disinvested communities, from the initial planning phase.  The report from this preliminary forum will be included along with other data in the CERF Regional Plan, to inform decisions in the initiative.  Most importantly, residents of disinvested communities are being invited and supported to provide guidance and leadership for the CERF process moving forward.  Additional forums are proposed for August 2023 and March 2024, to assure ongoing input and vetting of CERF recommendations with residents. 

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