Senator Ochoa Bogh Successfully Champions $6 Million to Further Civic Engagement in the Inland Empire

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) has announced that the budget request she spearheaded for $6,000,000 to aid the Inland Congregation United for Change’s (ICUC) efforts to support civic engagement in the Inland Empire has been awarded in this year’s state budget.

“I am thrilled that this year’s state budget will include direct funding to help support civic engagement throughout our region,” said Senator Ochoa Bogh, member of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on civic engagement in the Inland Region at a time when community voices and engagement are more needed than ever. This investment in community engagement will ensure that efforts to mitigate the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19 in the region are addressed equitably and informed by those closest to the issues.”

Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. For the past 30 years, ICUC has developed grassroots leaders in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Currently, 80 congregations, representing more than 90,000 families and 22 schools across San Bernardino and Riverside counties participate in ICUC’s work. These youth and parent leaders represent communities most impacted by the issues of poverty in the region. ICUC’s leadership, over the years, has greatly increased civic engagement and has built partnerships with local government and schools that have successfully addressed issues that impact the most underserved communities in the Inland Empire.

The 2021-22 state budget has allocated the $6 million to be used over a three-year period. In particular, this appropriation will support teams of youth and parent outreach workers to educate and organize hundreds of ICUC youth and adult volunteers as trusted messengers who will work to address short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic and its repercussions in the most highly impacted communities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The following statement was made in support of this budget victory:

“We are grateful to Senator Ochoa Bogh and the legislature for providing state funding for the advancement of civic engagement in the Inland Empire.

Our region is undergoing transformative change and with these budget investments, our youth, parents, and clergy will continue to address poverty by engaging with community leaders at all levels of government.” -Rocio Ruiz, ICUC Lead Youth Organizer