Local governments are seeking to reduce the climate impact of transportation in San Joaquin County by expanding public transit and increasing electric vehicle and bikeshare programs. These initiatives are critical in historically marginalized communities, where many workers don’t own cars and need transportation to work. The FUSE Executive Fellow would develop a strategic plan for sustainable transportation initiatives to create a more sustainable and equitable future for San Joaquin County residents.
Fellowship Dates: October 23, 2023 – October 21, 2024
Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
California’s San Joaquin County is home to tens of thousands of Silicon Valley workers, a burgeoning warehousing and logistics sector, and a significant agricultural industry. However, the county also faces immediate and long-term challenges. It does not have adequate housing for lower income workers, including many who work in the critical agriculture sector. And the specter of future disruptive weather patterns, including periods of dangerously high precipitation and heat, put individuals and agriculture at risk.
Some areas of the county are at especially high risk because their infrastructure is in poor condition. The most vulnerable areas include communities that were subject to discriminatory activities in the past, such as “redlining.” That systemic bias and discrimination mean some parts of the community – including areas with disproportionately high numbers of people of color and lower-income individuals — are at an even higher risk. Many years of inadequate public and private investment have created crumbling roads and other infrastructure issues.
Planners expect that by the end of this year, there will be a shortage of some 20,000 housing units in the county — a number that could grow more than 250% in the next 8 years. Seventy-three percent of housing stock is single family construction, compared to a state average of 58%. In the last few years, rents and home prices have risen, while the number of unhoused individuals has also increased.
To address the core housing challenges, the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) has created a high-level plan to leverage state funds to plan and implement infrastructure improvements to address equitable and affordable housing and transportation. The State of California has made some $600 million available to local governments to accelerate infill housing development, support fair and affordable housing, and reduce vehicle miles traveled.
SJCOG will partner with FUSE to develop one or more strategic plans for specific transportation issues. The FUSE Executive Fellow will develop strategic plans to implement key transportation initiatives by working with stakeholders in local government and the community. The work will help protect the important and vulnerable residents, as well as the agricultural industry in San Joaquin County, from climate and economic disruptions.
Previous studies and ongoing implementation efforts will assist the FUSE Executive Fellow in these strategic planning efforts. Completed studies and planning documents include:
- Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Study
- Regional Resiliency Implementation Plan
- Priority Neighborhoods Active Transportation Plan
- Community Diversity and Displacement Study
- 2022 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy
On-going studies and projects currently in implementation:
- Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP) Stockton Mobility Collective ($7.4 million for EV car-share, electrical pedal assist bike-share, mobility incentives, VAMOS mobility app)
- Regional Climate Collaborative
- Alternative Fuels Vision Plan
- Regional Early Action Plan (REAP) Regional Housing Activities
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
The FUSE Executive Fellow will begin their work by collecting information and building relationships on a listening tour involving key stakeholders in San Joaquin County, including representatives of county and city governments, other state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and community groups. The overall goal of the fellowship is to plan for the expansion of clean transportation infrastructure, regional housing, and workforce development initiatives.
The Executive Fellow will also be involved in discussions and activities related to SJCOG’s ongoing climate adaptation and resiliency efforts. They will also develop an understanding of the interconnected housing, climate and transportation initiatives already under way, such as rail expansion and plans for transit hubs, as well as the funding opportunities available to support them and related programs.
These initiatives could include:
- Planning for expanded bikeshare and electrical vehicle-share programs, including supporting workers who don’t own cars. An important component of these programs is ensuring they’re accessible in historically underserved communities and that the car-share program is available to rural areas.
- Managing the scoping and implementation of SJCOG’s regional clean mobility hubs for priority housing areas. This is likely to include aiding with the selection of a consultant, kickoff meetings for the project and developing a plan to move forward with implementation. These initiatives have funding support from the state.
Identifying sustainable funding sources for these programs, including potential federal funds, is also an important outcome.
Equity is an important component of this work. The people most at risk for negative climate impacts and housing displacement are from the same communities that have historically suffered under redlining and other discriminatory practices. At the same time, the Executive Fellow must be able to skillfully navigate competing views in the community about the best way to ensure all residents thrive in the future.
- Executive Sponsor – Diane Nguyen, Executive Director; San Joaquin Council of Governments
- Project Supervisor – Kim Anderson, Deputy Director, Planning; San Joaquin Council of Governments
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in transportation and housing is strongly preferred for this project.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes.
- Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing, and excels in both active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
- Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.