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MAYOR PEDUTO LAUNCHES RESILIENCE AMERICORPS WITH CITIES OF SERVICE, CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE, AND THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION

Pittsburgh among 10 Cities across the nation to receive funding and human capital to support local resilience efforts; Public-private partnership to extend expertise and reinforce program results

PITTSBURGH, NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mayor William Peduto joins Cities of Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers AmeriCorps, and the Rockefeller Foundation in announcing today the 10 cities which together form the first Resilience AmeriCorps cities in the United States. The cities of Anchorage, Ala., Boulder, Colo.,  Chicago, Ill., El Paso, Texas, Minot, N.D., New Orleans, La., Norfolk, Va., Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Ariz., and Tulsa, Okla. were selected for local vulnerability to climate-related risk, demonstrated commitment or efforts to improve environmental resilience, and city government capacity to host and implement Resilience AmeriCorps in their cities.

“Pittsburgh is pleased to be part of the country’s first Resilience AmeriCorps, which will build on existing efforts within the city to fortify our communities against environmental threat and other challenges,” said Mayor Peduto. “We are excited to have these new resources to contend with increasingly global issues.”

“Cities of Service and its partners are working to ensure that impact volunteering programs help communities at greatest risk of climate-change, and that they ready themselves before crises strike,” said Myung J. Lee, Executive Director of Cities of Service. “Resilience AmeriCorps builds on Cities of Services’ approach to helping mayors engage citizens to solve big challenges.”

Resiliency efforts study the threats that cities face — including climate changes and economic challenges — and seek ways to develop strategies to enable cities to survive, adapt and grow. Pittsburgh joined the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Network in December, and in June the city’s sustainability manager Grant Ervin was named the city’s Chief Resilience Officer.

“We are really excited to be selected by the Resilience AmeriCorps program. Selection helps the city build on its efforts with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Program to create a stronger, more resilient city,” Ervin said. “The fellows program will help to supply staff capacity and support resilience education and outreach by connecting city services with neighborhood volunteer led efforts. The program will help build resilience from the ground up. The program also offers a great opportunity to bring young people into public service and make a positive contribution to the city and our neighborhoods.”

The Obama Administration announced the Resilience AmeriCorps initiative on July 9in response to recommendations from the White House’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Each Resilience AmeriCorps city will receive $25,000 and dedicated AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members with which to implement programs that engage residents, community and nonprofit leaders in impact volunteering and other efforts to improve climate-related risk awareness, planning and resilience in low-income communities. The first-year pilot leverages Rockefeller Foundation support, Cities of Service’s expertise and VISTA members from the Corporation for National and Community Service to build and lead impact volunteering initiatives in concert with each city’s mayor’s office, spearheading citizen engagement efforts that include education, facilitation and program implementation and using service as a strategy to achieve greater civic resilience.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will extend subject-matter expertise and specialized support to the Resilience AmeriCorps initiative, including strengthening local program leaders’ understanding of climate-related risks and helping them to create a comprehensive suite of responses to address them.

“This is another clear signal from the federal government that now is the time to get serious about building resilience,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Through the Resilience AmeriCorps program, VISTA members will gain real-life skills through their work in building resilience, and deepen their knowledge of the importance of these efforts. We will in turn create a generation of experts ready to address the challenges facing communities across the country in the 21st Century.”

Selected Cities

Resilience AmeriCorps cities were selected by committee comprised of senior staff and experts from Cities of Service and the Rockefeller Foundation, in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service and its federal partners. The cities are:

Anchorage, Alaska

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

Population 301,010

Boulder, Colorado

Mayor Matthew Appelbaum

City Manager Jane S. Brautigam

Chief Resilience Officer Greg Guibert

Population 103,166

Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Population 2,718,782

El Paso, Texas

Mayor Oscar Leeser

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez

Chief Resilience Officer Nicole Ferrini

Population 674,433

Minot, North Dakota

Mayor Chuck Barney

City Manager Lee Staab

Chief Resilience Officer Donna Bye

Population 46,321

New Orleans

Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Chief Resilience Officer Jeff Hebert

Population 378,715

Norfolk, Virginia

Mayor Paul D. Fraim

City Manager Marcus D. Jones

Chief Resilience Officer Christine Morris

Population 245,428

Phoenix

Mayor Greg Stanton

Population 1,513,367

Pittsburgh

Mayor William Peduto

Chief Resilience Officer Grant Ervin

Population 305,841

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr.

Population 398,121

The initiative builds on an existing partnership between Cities of Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Earlier this year, Cities of Service launched neighborhood revitalization initiatives with AmeriCorps VISTA members in seven cities across the country. Resilience AmeriCorps applies the same model of embedding VISTA members in City Halls, where city chief executives benefit from increased capacity and support with which to design and deliver sustained community programs that meaningfully address specific local challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars in building resilience around the world over the past decade, from early involvement providing support to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to its 100 Resilient Cities global effort, to its continuing partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to innovate in how federal disaster recovery dollars are spent – first with Rebuild By Design, a competition to drive resilient recovery in Hurricane Sandy-affected communities in the Northeast, and currently through the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Resilience AmeriCorps opens a new chapter in the Foundation’s commitment to building resilience across the United States, one that reflects its long history of supporting the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Cities of Service is a national nonprofit that supports a nonpartisan coalition of mayors and city executives to design and implement high-impact volunteering initiatives addressing multiple issues from supporting youth and education, to disaster preparedness and neighborhood revitalization. It provides technical assistance, programmatic support, planning resources, and funding opportunities. Founded by Michael R. Bloomberg in 2009, Cities of Service is comprised of more than 200 cities in the U.S. and UK whose mayors are committed to engaging citizen volunteers to solve local pressing challenges. Cities of Service helps coalition cities share solutions, best practices, and lessons learned, as well as spreads awareness about meaningful work happening in cities. Learn more at citiesofservice.org, and @citiesofservice on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas – advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities – to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. To learn more, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.