Portland, ORE. — Shortly after the close of its inaugural grant application process in November, the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) team hired three new members to help implement the groundbreaking program, which is housed at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS).
The team is now expanding to meet the needs of this growing program and is thrilled to announce the following new hires:
Lokyee Au will be the new communications manager for PCEF. Lokyee brings a wealth of experience in both strategic communications and environmental justice. She most recently served as a communications strategist for City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Prior to that role, Lokyee worked on communications with various Portland nonprofits, striving to shift narratives and build power with communities of color.
Angela Previdelli joins the PCEF team as the new grants management analyst. Angela is passionate about equity-centered grantmaking. Before joining the City, she worked for East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, focusing on grants and community education. Angela is Brazilian-American and serves on the board of Pueblo Unido.
David Grandfield joins the PCEF team as the new green infrastructure and regenerative agriculture project manager. David is joining us from the land stewardship division of Portland Parks and Recreation, where he managed community partnerships and friends’ groups in the Willamette River watershed. He has more than 10 years of experience working in urban forestry, landscape design and construction, riparian area restoration, environmental education, and workforce development programming. David is passionate about increasing capacity and providing resources for Black, Indigenous, and communities of color to be leaders in land care and environmental justice.
“The program is moving into a critical implementation phase for its first round of grant awards, and I’m incredibly excited to welcome such a talented crew of folks that will help the City deliver on PCEF’s vision to support frontline communities in their climate action efforts,” said Sam Baraso, PCEF Program Manager.
Grantees for the inaugural $8.6 million in grants will be announced in the next couple of months. More than 100 nonprofit, community-based organizations submitted 140 grant applications for amounts ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000. The money will support a range of projects related to clean energy, regenerative agriculture, and workforce development.
About the Portland Clean Energy Fund
The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits initiative was passed by 65% of Portland voters in November 2018. It will provide a consistent, long-term funding source and oversight structure to ensure that the City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan is implemented in a manner that supports social, economic and environmental benefits for all Portlanders, particularly communities of color and low-income residents. The initiative was supported by a broad coalition of groups and individuals and represents the first environmental initiative in Oregon led by communities of color.
PCEF is anticipated to bring $40–60 million annually in new revenue for living wage jobs, sustainable agriculture, green infrastructure, and residential/commercial renewable and efficiency projects in Portland, including the development of a diverse and well-trained workforce and contractor pool in the field of clean energy. A diverse grant committee is tasked with making funding recommendations and overseeing the development of the PCEF program. The first call for grant proposals for $8.6 million in available funding closed in November 2020.