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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

How To Take Action

Why CEC’s Community Ambassador Program Matters

When CEC hired Community Ambassadors Ana Rico and Alhan Diaz-Correa in early March 2020, they found themselves in the middle of a global pandemic their first week on the job. Suddenly, they were more than just ambassadors – they became lifelines to the community.

Most, if not all, of the people Ana and Alhan spoke with were essential workers in diverse jobs – unlike the 29% of Americans who could work from home. They still had to contend with getting to work, taking care of children, and staying healthy. They listened and documented how the pandemic exacerbated access to transportation, food, medical assistance and critical services. They connected people to organizations that provide essential services, assisted with stimulus check questions, explained tenants rights, and shared Public Health Department news and updates.

Our efforts to develop rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis hinge on our ability to engage our full Central Coast community – CEC’s Community Ambassadors are helping us actively address language and climate justice across all of our programs.

What CEC Is Doing

Community Ambassadors focus on one-on-one and small group outreach to Spanish-speaking community members to share resources and critical information that help build community and climate resilience. Examples include:

  • Leading outreach and engagement efforts with a goal of ensuring that the voices of more vulnerable and underrepresented communities throughout the county were included in developing Connected 2050, a Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) project to develop a community vision for transportation and housing that balances social, economic, and environmental goals.
  • Piloting the Community Ambassador Resilience and Equity Response (CARER) project to foster community resilience and support climate justice efforts by responding to immediate needs of frontline communities during the pandemic.
  • Promoting CEC’s Affordable Electric Vehicle Clinic and other programs that offer affordable access to climate-based solutions.
  • Expanding CEC’s Spanish-language offerings and information.

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