Getting a First Hand Look at North Bay Fire Recovery

The deadly and devastating fires were long ago extinguished, but the difficult work of recovering and rebuilding continues in the North Bay. To understand the impacts of the fires and the challenges of rebuilding, the staff of the Bay Area Council traveled to Santa Rosa to tour some of the heaviest hit areas and meet with elected, government and business leaders to learn about the recovery efforts and how we can help move it along. The Council was instrumental in raising more than $3 million immediately following the fires to help with relief and rebuilding work. And the Council’s Economic Institute, with the support of a generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation, is working with local officials to provide critical data analysis and policy engineering about what the broader impact of the fires were, how to rebuild in a way that is resilient to climate change and moves the needle on equity and inclusion.

Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore and Danielle Cagan from Council member CSAA served as tour guides as we visited several neighborhoods that are in different stages of rebuilding and learned about the many challenges, from insurance issues to finding enough construction workers, communities are facing. The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce later hosted the Council for an afternoon of discussions with government, business and local nonprofit groups, including Rebuild Northbay Foundation, that are all working to speed up the rebuilding efforts. The Council will remain engaged with the North Bay on this important work. To learn more about our efforts in the North Bay, please contact Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg.

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