Senator Leyva Applauds Ontario $35 Million Grant Award

Local Community Collaboration Led to Successful Funding Outcome

Monday, January 29, 2018

SACRAMENTO – In keeping with its commitment to “achieve equitable and resilient communities and landscapes for all Californians”, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) today awarded the City of Ontario / Ontario Connects with a $35 million competitive grant award as part of their Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program.

“After over a year of working closely with community stakeholders, residents and local leaders, I am very proud of Ontario, San Bernardino County and the entire Inland Empire region for coming together for a common cause and now reaching the finish line,” Senator Leyva said.  “With this significant state investment, there is no doubt that Ontario and its downtown area will benefit greatly and help to improve our region’s air quality.  What I most enjoyed about this entire process was seeing the tremendous community engagement that helped drive the momentum behind this successful effort.  I look forward to continue working with stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead as we begin to implement these transformative projects that will further empower our region and help to reduce local air pollution.  This is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we all come together toward a common goal.”

From the start of the process, Senator Leyva has advocated to the Governor’s Office and state leaders the importance of this grant award to come to the Inland Empire and, specifically, the 20th State Senate District.  Specifically, the Senator hosted community stakeholder meetings and tours / site visits for Strategic Growth Council members, as well as enthusiastically promoted Ontario’s strengths and needs to decision makers.  San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire region will benefit greatly from these critical on-the-ground investments.

The County of San Bernardino has been a critical partner throughout the TCC application process.

“This was truly a regional, cooperative effort that I was proud to be a part of.  We recognize that benefits to one partner will have positive effects throughout the County, and will improve the health, quality of life, and economic and social vitality for all of our residents. We appreciate Senator Leyva’s leadership and support in helping Ontario secure the (TCC) funding.  Her advocacy, along with her colleagues’ efforts, was invaluable,” stated San Bernardino County Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman.

Local community-based and statewide organizations have also offered important input and support to help inform and advance the process.

“I am thrilled because the $35 million Transformative Climate Communities Grant is the first competitive Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program of its kind to be earned in San Bernardino County! This grant will spark much needed change not only for the residents in Ontario, but also for communities across the Inland Empire to reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality, prioritize public health, and simultaneously create good jobs and grow the economy. Senator Leyva, a champion for both the environment and good jobs, has been the leading advocate in Sacramento and worked tirelessly to deliver the grant to Ontario,” noted Matt Abularach-Macias, Organizer at the California League of Conservation Voters.

Funded with Cap-and-Trade Program auction proceeds, these funds will help revitalize Ontario’s downtown area and improve public transportation and pedestrian / bicycle facilities, increase affordable housing, offer enhanced energy efficiency opportunities and boost food security and green space in the community.  SGC staff noted in its recommendation to the Strategic Growth Council that, during its visit to Ontario, ‘members of the Review Panel were impressed by strong turnout of community residents, who dominated much of the question and answer period sharing articulate testimonies highlighting how each of the proposed projects will improve quality of life for Ontario residents who live, work and send their children to school in the project area. In addition to health elements, the Full Application demonstrates a strong effort to use the proposed projects improve access to job training and workforce development and a focus on supporting small business development.’