Watts Rising is the result of 10+ years of community advocacy, input and energy from Watts residents.
Our goal is to work with Watts residents and stakeholders to build and sustain a healthier Watts through ongoing engagement, advocacy, and collaboration to identify the most pressing needs of the Watts communities and work together to address those needs.
While our work began more than 10 years ago, Watts Rising as a collaborative was formed through the award of a Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant from the State of Claifornia’s Strategic Growth Council. This award provided more than $32 million in funding to address the decades of neglect the Watts community and its residents have faced.
Watts Rising is a collective of more than 40 community and governmental organizations with the mandate to improve the environment and economic Watts’ outlooks. The Watts Rising Collaborative aims to ensure Watts residents are at the center of every project and process. We have adopted guiding strategies and principles to help ensure our projects increase opportunities for residents of the Watts neighborhood.
Ongoing community participation throughout implementation via regular meetings and other outreach activities.
Providing direct benefits to Watts households such as solar panels, energy retrofits, trees, and mini-urban farms for residents’ yards.
Job training to improve career opportunities and prepare youth and adults for careers in the growing clean energy and green fields. Agreements to hire locally and engage small businesses whenever possible create opportunities for individuals, businesses, and organizations in Watts.
Anti-displacement services to ensure existing Watts families can continue to stay in their homes and preserve their businesses to benefit and prosper from the Watts Rising investments.
By implementing a robust and comprehensive community engagement plan through the TCC grant, the Watts Rising Collaborative will complete 24 projects by March 2024 that will result in:
of new bike lanes
Food waste diverted
of pedestrian improvements
New solar roofs
New energy efficient homes
New trees planted
Urban agriculture land added
New commercial space
New affordable rental units
Car sharing vanpool
& dash bus
New public parks
of new cultural trails
In addition to the TCC funding, Watts Rising continues to expand its portfolio through additional funding sources such as the Choice Neighborhood Implementation (CNI) Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and more! To read more about our funding sources, please visit our Funding Sources page. Watts Rising prides itself on its collaborative structure- meaning we work with residents, stakeholders, and community-based organizations to ensure voices at all levels are integrated into the work we do. To maintain the spirit of collaboration as a pillar in our values, Watts Rising has 3 working groups that meet monthly to address our collective goals.
The Data Working Group
The Displacement Avoidance Working Group
The Community Engagement Working Group
We have a dedicated team that works diligently to ensure effective project implementation, oversight, and meaningful community engagement.
We could not accomplish neighborhood transformation without essential financial support from our funders.
Watts Rising has a wide selection of projects to improve the public, environmental, and economic health. Learn more about them and sign-up to receive services!
Watts Rising is comprised of leaders in climate action, grassroots engagement, and equity-centered community service.