Press Release Governor Newsom Proposes New Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications as part of California Blueprint

Published: 1/10/2022

For media inquiries, please contact:

Emily Breslin, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, (916) 601-3236

SACRAMENTO – As part of the California Blueprint released today, Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed $65 million in ongoing General Fund moneys to create the new Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications (OCPSC) to take on the critical role of managing priority public education and community engagement efforts and provide ongoing support to community-based organizations (CBOs).

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during the 2020 Census, our community partners on the ground have played a major role in reaching Californians – especially our most marginalized communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “These organizations are committed to creating more resilient, healthy, and safe communities, and the new Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications will formalize support for these partners and catalyze the social infrastructure necessary to build a California for All.”

Established within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the office will formalize and build on the work the state carried out as part of the 2020 Census and COVID-19 public awareness and community engagement campaigns. The new office’s first campaigns will include COVID-19 and climate justice.

“Addressing climate change and building thriving communities in California requires not only an all-of-government approach but depends on the critical contributions of California’s frontline communities and the organizations that activate and organize them, said Samuel Assefa, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. “As the state’s land use and planning agency, the Office of Planning and Research understands the unique value of public awareness and education and the singular role that community-based organizations play as trusted sources of information and in organizing local people power.”

The OCPSC will work directly with respective State departments to develop priority public awareness and community outreach initiatives, facilitate coordination and collaboration across State government to maximize impact in California’s communities, provide grant funding to CBOs and other partner organizations, and share community insights with relevant State and external stakeholders.

“Our partnerships with diverse, trusted community-based organizations strengthened the State’s ability to engage Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Census,” said Maricela Rodriguez, Director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships in Governor Newsom's Office. “We learned valuable lessons during these campaigns and the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications will build upon them for future community outreach and engagement efforts.”

OPR will host a stakeholder briefing webinar on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the proposed investment. Stakeholders and media can register below:

Webinar Registration

About the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research serves as the California’s Comprehensive Planning Agency. OPR studies future research and planning needs, fosters goal-driven collaboration, and delivers guidance to state partners and local communities, with a focus on land use and community development, climate risk and resilience, and high road economic development.