Six-county economic equity project taking off

A trailblazing project to stoke economic equity across six Central Coast counties is kicking off next week.


logo of the uplifit central coast coalition

It’s an expansive effort under a new state program, with REACH honored to serve as the project’s lead convener, working with our partners at the Economic Development Collaborative and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership.

Here’s a quick look at what it’s all about and how you can get involved.


Quick summary


  • California established the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to promote equitable and sustainable regional economies.
  • Uplift Central Coast — a wide-ranging coalition led by REACH, MBEP and EDC — was awarded $5 million under the program to fund a 2-year process to create an inclusive economic development plan for the six-county Central Coast region.
  • The objectives, as outlined by the state, are equity, sustainability, job quality, economic competitiveness and resilience, engaging a dozen constituencies spanning disinvested communities, climate collaboratives, tribes, labor, education, government, business, industry and beyond.

Learn more about how the Uplift Coalition has rallied around this mission.

Ready to jump right in? Sign up for the virtual kickoff, 10 a.m. March 10.

Organizing for impact


Collectively, REACH, MBEP and EDC have brought on two staff members to lead the effort so far, with more expected to join the team in coming weeks.

+ Quinn Brady will serve as project director. Quinn has extensive community organizing experience, including as co-chair of a successful $349 million school bond effort, founding board member of SLO County UndocuSupport, and work with the SLO Climate Coalition, RACE Matters and other community groups.

+ Lady Freire will serve as project manager. Lady has worked to advance opportunities for women throughout her career, starting in her native Chile and most recently for Visión y Compromiso, and is passionate about working with others toward a more just and equitable society.

With the greenlight from the state to begin, here’s Quinn on embarking on this significant project:

We are thrilled to be launching the CERF project planning phase with a growing team and widespread support across our six-county region.

The Uplift Coalition has come together around a shared mission: To uplift our residents as we uplift our regional economy, growing from within to create transformative opportunities with intentional priority for engagement and inclusion of historically disinvested communities – creating a region where all have the power to advance and thrive economically.

Central to the CERF vision is that all people belong and are included, and all ideas are valued in building the economic future for our region. Collaboratively building an inclusive planning table will take humility, trust, thoughtfulness and a continual commitment to rising together.

We welcome and encourage your input, participation and collaboration in the months to come.


Join the Uplift email list.


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