Community First: The Birth of the Clean Cities and Environmental Justice Initiative

The Clean Cities program is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnership created to advance clean transportation efforts nationwide. The program helped to establish more than 75 active Clean Cities Coalitions across the country, including the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) located within Centralina Regional Council. Rooted within their local communities, these coalitions serve as experts and ambassadors in their field, bringing collective knowledge, experience and practical know-how in order to boost their community and the country at large’s economic vitality, energy security and individual quality of life.

An important part of the Clean Cities Coalitions work includes collaboration with the Department of Energy and its national laboratories to work towards the goal established Justice40 Initiative, which aspires to put 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments towards disadvantaged communities. Disadvantaged communities are defined as those communities historically marginalized by pollution and underinvestment in housing, transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure and health care. In response to the new legislation, The Clean Cities Energy and Environmental Justice Initiative (CCEEJI) was created to provide Clean Cities Coalitions with training and resources on how to take a community-first approach to developing transportation projects that align with the goals of this initiative.

Through the CCEEJI program, CCFC has received federal funds to develop a two-year community needs transportation pilot program. Dailyn Sailor, Community Engagement Coordinator, will primarily lead CCEEJI implementation efforts for CCFC. In her role, she will partner with citizens and community-based organizations in the Historic West End neighborhood in Charlotte, a community that has been impacted by a long history of disinvestment, segregation and discriminatory and destructive infrastructure planning and decision-making. Dailyn and the CCFC team are building on existing partnerships with leaders and stakeholders in the Historic West End to provide a foundation for collaborative, community-led transportation planning, with the ultimate goal to develop a Community Transportation Action Plan that identifies pathways to leverage federal funding for local transportation projects. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this program and staying up to date on the programs progress, visit the CCFC website or reach out to Dailyn Sailor at with any questions.