Press ReleaseState to Invest $70 Million in Community-Based Organizations

Published: 1/31/2024

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Agustín Arreola, External Affairs Manager, (279) 386-2183

Yurina Melara, Multiethnic Press Secretary, (916) 524-7065

SACRAMENTO, CA (January 25, 2024) — Today, the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications (OCPSC), housed within The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR), announced $70 million in funding available to support the Trusted Messenger program to ensure under-resourced communities have access to high priority information.

Since the Office's launch in 2023, millions have been granted to a trusted messenger network of more than 120 community-based organizations and nonprofits. The funds help deliver critical information to more than 22 million Californians on the State's highest priority community engagement and public awareness efforts, such as COVID-19, extreme heat, water conservation and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

“These grants are the core of our equity-centered work and critical to how we are innovating the way the government reaches communities. The way we reach people continues to change with emerging technologies, but one thing that doesn’t, is the deep trust that so many of our community-based organizations have already built with their communities. These funds offer a way for state government to partner with these trusted messengers to deliver vital information to Californians,” said Yumi Sera, Executive Director of OCPSC.

Successful grantees of the Trusted Messenger Network program will conduct direct educational activities (door-to-door canvassing, outreach at events, phone banking, trainings, workshops) and awareness activities (social media campaigns, ethnic media engagement) to deliver culturally resonate, in-language information.

With funds from the Trusted Messenger Network program, The California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) held a Health and Wellness Event series that provided thousands of African American and Latinx families with critical information on Extreme Heat, COVID-19 harm reduction, Save Our Water and ITIN.

"As a trusted messenger, our community relies on us to provide accurate and reliable information. Thanks to the grant we received, we've been able to connect with thousands of individuals in our community including farm workers and their families, ensuring crucial updates on COVID-19 vaccines, extreme heat, or water conservation are effectively communicated. Their lives are better because of it.” said Adriana Mata, Chief of Operations of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, a community-based organization supporting children, youth and their families in Santa Cruz and North Monterey Counties.

Eligible applicants include community based organizations with an active and approved tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status with a history of providing community outreach and education services to communities facing social and health inequities within the past four years.

Applicants must submit their response through the online application tool on or before February 14, 2024, at 5:00 PM. Interested organizations can learn more and apply for the grant here.

About the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications

The Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications (OCPSC) manages the State’s highest priority community engagement and public awareness efforts including COVID-19 vaccines, water conservation, extreme heat, and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. The Office works with the respective agencies and departments to help inform campaign efforts and supports greater coordination and collaboration within state government.

The Office recognizes the vital role community partners play in helping to address the State’s most critical issues. In partnership with an ecosystem of trusted messengers, the Office directly engages Californians, including those experiencing the greatest health and social inequities, with culturally competent and actionable information, and meeting people where they are.

The Office builds upon successful community engagement and public awareness models developed through the California Census 2020 and COVID-19 vaccine campaigns.