Action Alert:  Bay Area 2020 Program:  Local Clean Energy:  Use Your Roof! Project:  Special Features:
Bay Localize News - Issue #12 / Late Spring 2009:

Rethinking Economic Recovery
Less Growth, More Balance

Economic growth means progress, general well-being, and all things good, right? We all know that.

In the midst of what some are calling the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it's almost unthinkable to suggest that growth should not be our goal — especially when so many people are suffering from lost jobs, foreclosures, and soaring health care costs.

But what if the growth-based economy never returns? What if we're bumping up against the limits that our finite earth has been screaming at us to pay attention to? Despite mounting awareness of the dangers, our use of fossil fuels continues to rise — and as a result, our global climate is becoming increasingly unstable and potentially lethal.

A growing chorus of reputable energy analysts and geologists are now warning that our demand for oil — our Achilles' Heel of fossil fuels — will soon outstrip supply (if it hasn't already). As oil declines, we can expect the economy to contract as well.

Unfortunately, almost no one in high office is talking about adapting to a contracting economy — much less to one that's more locally self-reliant and less dependent on distant imports to supply our basic needs. But that's the kind of shift we must begin to prepare for if we ever hope to thrive within the post-petroleum economy that's coming.

In this issue, you'll find updates about what Bay Localize and our allies are doing to ensure that cities' climate action plans are as bold as possible, while helping to improve community health and create opportunities for all. We're also proud to announce an exciting new Community Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs project that will offer members of congregations in Marin and Richmond complete home energy audits and a suite of services to reduce their energy use. Our Use Your Roof! project (formerly the Rooftop Resources Project) recently garnered the attention of the New York Times, and continues to inspire area residents to enhance their water and food security through rainwater catchment systems and living roofs. And our Bay Area 2020 program just convened over 100 residents, community activists, entrepreneurs, and local officials for Climate of Change: Global to Local Solutions for a Resilient Bay Area!

Make no mistake about it — achieving a truly balanced, equitable economy will require us Bay Areans to transform the way we live, work, travel, and play. Although it will be difficult, moving away from fossil fuels will create millions of new opportunities to rebuild our energy grid, food system, transportation network, and regional infrastructure.

If we do this in ways that empower all Bay Area communities, we can dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone, and serve as a beacon of hope for other regions. Let's get to it!

Yours for a just, vibrant, and resilient Bay Area,

—Aaron, Claudia, Dave, Kirsten, Nile and the Bay Localize Team

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Urge Sen. Boxer, Speaker Pelosi to Strengthen Climate Bill

"Less than useless." Strong words coming from a prominent NASA climate scientist. At a talk at San Francisco's Herbst Theater on May 26th, that's what James Hansen called the U.S. Congress' current attempt at national climate change legislation.

At the same time, Al Gore supports the bill, known as Waxman-Markey after its congressional sponsors. This contributes to the confusing milieu of environmental voices ranging from "this is the best we've got, let's pass it now and tweak it later" to "less than useless."

Passing national climate change policy is certainly an exercise in political reality. But can we afford weak targets? According to a recent study by a think tank led by Kofi Annan, climate change is already killing 300,000 people a year. The world is looking to the Obama Administration for new leadership in global climate change talks in Copenhagen this coming December. Some analysts believe the United States showing up with weak climate legislation could be worse than none at all.

The Waxman-Markey bill's main strengths are that it exists, has brokered some political support, and does call for cuts in emissions. Its weaknesses include:

  • Establishes weak targets. Global climate scientists are calling for the developed world to cut emissions by 25% to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Waxman Markey might cut emissions between 0%-7% below 1990 levels by 2020.

  • Gives away carbon credits to polluters. Under its cap and trade system, Waxman Markey proposes to give around 60% of the carbon credits away to coal companies and other major polluters instead of making them pay. Critics call this a corporate giveaway. Environmental justice advocates advocate for a carbon tax system instead of cap and trade.

  • Allows too many offsets. Offsets "reduce" emissions by paying someone else to do it - such as by deforesting native forests and planting monoculture tree plantations in other countries. Many of these poorly regulated projects are highly controversial in terms of whether they actually reduce emissions, and can have many other negative local impacts. Besides, we need the investment and job creation at home!
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and California Senator Barbara Boxer will play key roles in the debate in the coming months. We urge you to contact them today and insist on strong and effective climate change policy that will get the job done!

For more information, see this analysis on

Bay Area 2020: Climate of Change Event Highlights Solutions

On April 23rd, over 100 residents, community activists, entrepreneurs, and local officials convened at Oakland's First Unitarian for Climate of Change: Global to Local Solutions for a Resilient Bay Area!

With changing leadership from the federal to the state level, a rapidly changing economy, and an increasingly changing climate, Bay Localize brought the community together to shape that change toward positive solutions. Participants gathered for an evening of music, insight, and conversation around building stronger communities in the face of the converging climate, energy, and economic crises.

Check out our photo gallery of the many performers, local leaders, and concerned residents who came out to build a stronger, more socially just region!

Here are some of the words from Bay Localize's presenters:

» Click here for reportbacks and action ideas from the Breakout Sessions!

Many thanks to our allies who either cosponsored or participated at the event, including:, Art in Action, City Slicker Farms, Communities for a Better Environment, Cycles of Change, East Bay Cohousing, Ecology Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Friends of Alemany Farm, GAIA, Global Exchange, HOPE Collaborative, ICLEI, International Rivers, Pacific Environment, Transition East Bay, TransForm, Urban Habitat, the Verde Group, and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. Special thanks to our donors, including: Arizmendi Bakery, Cheeseboard Collective, Farm Fresh To You, Livermore Farmers Market, and Nomad Cafe. And our deepest appreciations go out to all our interns and volunteers who made this event happen, including Christopher Maeda-Pease, Claudia Abbott-Barish, James Nachbaur, Jan Cox Golovich, and Maya Donelson (and anyone else we missed!).

Revamped Community Resilience Toolkit to Launch this Summer!

Wondering what concrete actions you can take to localize your community? Stay tuned for the release of Bay Localize's Community Resilience Toolkit this summer! The toolkit guides community groups through the process of discussing climate change, peak oil, and economic instability. It then offers a menu of concrete actions specific to the Bay Area that groups can take to increase local resilience in their communities. It's designed to be a useful tool for audiences ranging from cities working on climate action plans to neighborhood groups such as Transition Town initiatives or Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils.

We appreciate the many requests we've had for this tool already, and are working hard on rolling it out for your use! Special thanks to the San Francisco Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund for their support of this initiative.

Localization News from Around the Bay

Citizen organizing, local clean energy, good transit systems, local business network, local food: localization is going strong in the Bay Area. We encourage you to get involved with an effort near you! Here are some regional highlights:

East Bay
East Bay transit advocates continue to fight for money to keep buses running despite serious budget deficits faced by AC Transit. Urban Habitat's Transportation Justice Working Group and TransForm lead the charge to divert funds from an expensive BART extension to Oakland Airport to transit operations that actually help more people get out of their cars. Sea level rise projections predict Oakland airport will be underwater anyway ... making this extension "The BART to Nowhere"!

North Bay
Sonoma County's Climate Protection Campaign released its report on the county's progress toward the nation's strongest greenhouse gas reduction goals: 25% cuts below 1990 levels by 2015. Unfortunately, emissions have actually increased in the county last year, leading the campaign to call for quicker action. Meanwhile, citizens in Marin and Sonoma Counties have organized a commission to design a Green New Deal for the North Bay harnessing sustainability to drive economic development and quality green jobs.

San Francisco
The City of San Francisco recently signed a contract for an ambitious five-megawatt photovoltaic installation on the roof of the Sunset Reservoir. Thanks to the hard work of Brightline Defense Project and environmental justice and community development activists, the solar project's workforce will be made up of at least 30% economically disadvantaged residents of the City's most underserved communities, including Bayview-Hunters Point, the Mission, Chinatown, and the Western Addition.

South Bay and Peninsula
South Bay faith communities are organizing to make their congregations more energy efficient through the state-wide coalition Interfaith Power and Light. Also, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition has launched a campaign calling for more sustainable manufacturing processes in the solar industry. Palo Alto-based Acterra's Green@Home program is training volunteers to do basic energy efficiency audits in the homes of friends and family.

Bay Area Region
The Bay Area Council, Gavin Newsom, and others are calling for a State Constitutional Convention to re-write California's constitution to try to prevent future budget fiascos. This could provide a key opportunity to reform our state finance system to ensure critical local services are fully funded in a time of economic transition — but only if we are at the table. Speaking of transition, Transition Town initiatives are springing up throughout the Bay to organize citizens to prepare energy descent action plans.

Local Clean Energy Alliance Now Boasts Over 40 Members
Makes Headway on Climate Action, Energy Efficiency Financing in the East Bay

The Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA) is proud to announce that it now has over 40 members. Our three newest members are East Bay Green Tours, 1BOG (One Block Off the Grid), and Sungevity. East Bay Green Tours combine a educational seminar with an exciting field trip around the East Bay. 1BOG organizes big groups of people together who want to get solar energy, and gets them a huge discount. Sungevity specializes in installing home solar electric systems throughout the Bay Area, and with over 150 sales last year, Sungevity was the leading installer in San Francisco in 2008.

Local Clean Energy Alliance Meeting: Meet the Oakland Climate Action Coalition!

Speaker: Emily Kirsch, Bay Area Organizer, Ella Baker Center's Green-Collar Jobs Campaign

The LCEA has open meetings on the second Thursday of every month, featuring informative speakers on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related efforts.

The next meeting of Alliance is June 11th at 6 pm and will feature a special presentation from the Ella Baker Center's Emily Kirsch. As the coordinator for the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, Emily will speak about the campaign to help make Oakland's emerging Energy and Climate Action Plan more equitable and beneficial for low-income communities of color. Also, the newest member of the LCEA, 1BOG, will speak briefly about their current Bay Area campaign.

   WHEN: June 11, 6-8 pm

   WHERE: Central Historic Building, 436 14th St.
   2nd Floor Conference Room, Oakland
   (Just up the stairs from the 12th St. BART station)

To be sure we have enough food, please RSVP to Dave at

Oakland Energy and Climate Action Plan / Climate Action Coalition Update

The LCEA has been actively engaged with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) to make sure that the city's Energy and Climate Action Plan addresses climate justice and the needs of vulnerable communities. The OCAC has more than twenty-five organizations, including the Ella Baker Center, Communities for a Better Environment, Asian-Pacific Environmental Network, Rising Sun Energy Center, and Sustainable Peralta.

The OCAC has adopted our call for Oakland to shoot for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels by 2020, which is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent recommendations for industrialized countries. This translates to 47% reduction from 2005 levels and just over 6% annually. At the most recent Energy and Climate Action Plan public workshops, Bay Localize's Aaron Lehmer and Kirsten Schwind participated in an action with the OCAC to boldly present the Coalition's goals, while Dave Room helped out as a facilitator.

The LCEA's priority policies of a Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Retrofit & Solar Program and a Labor & Community-Driven Energy Purchasing Plan have both been adopted by the OCAC.

Berkeley Climate Action Plan and Community Choice Energy Update

On June 2nd, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved the Berkeley Climate Action Plan. The plan outlines how the city will reduce its greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050. In May, the city council also decided to schedule a workshop on Community Choice Energy this fall. These outcomes represent significant victories for our efforts and would not have happened without strong turnout from the community and our allies. Thank you!

Energy Efficiency and Solar Financing Programs Advance around the Bay, Statewide

Energy efficiency retrofit and solar programs will generate thousands of new long-term jobs while maximizing energy, water, and carbon reductions.

Yet many families can't afford the up-front cost of a home energy efficiency retrofit. Financing districts are the centerpiece of such programs, because they provide low-interest long-term loans to building owners via annual property tax payments that transfer with the building when sold. Comprehensive energy efficiency programs leverage multiple funding sources to encourage high participation while building the necessary workforce capacity and quality assurance to ensure success. Minimal local governmental staffing is required for program implementation.

The principal goal is to engage the maximum number of residential and commercial buildings to reduce energy use, water use, and carbon emissions in support of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and local Climate Action Plans. The programs can be implemented at an individual city level, but it is better to aggregate cities voluntarily at the county or regional (Council of Government) level to promote consistency and drive down program costs.

While we applaud Berkeley for their work on sustainable energy financing districts, financing alone will not get the East Bay anywhere close to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) 2020 target of a 40% energy reduction on average for all homes. We have been recommending that East Bay cities set aside a small portion (e.g., 10%) of their federal stimulus funds to develop a comprehensive Alameda county-wide program that coordinates workforce development, outreach, and quality assurance while enabling cities to address their own specific needs. Benefits include increased sales tax revenue, new long term jobs, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Based on preliminary indications, it appears that almost all cities in Alameda County will be contributing towards the development of's "Green Packages" program. This is a county-wide program for improving existing buildings and landscapes that maximizes the long-term benefits from federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funding, and increases Alameda County's competitiveness for additional funding. The packages will include comprehensive green building measures and specifications for energy efficiency, water and resource conservation and indoor air quality/health. StopWaste will promote these packages as part of a regional and statewide standard.


Oakland is developing a preliminary target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions by 2020 that will be used in the analysis of potential actions. The targets are going before Oakland's Public Works Committee at a public meeting on June 23rd and potentially to full council as early as July 7th.

Speak Out on Strong Climate Protection Targets on June 23rd!

Please join us on June 23rd at Oakland City Hall for the Public Works meeting. The meeting time yet to be announced. To stay tuned, please e-mail to be sure you are on our announcement list.

Talking Points:

  • Oakland's Climate Action Plan needs to have a comprehensive plan for measuring, monitoring, and reporting back progress towards goals
  • The GHG emission reduction goals need to updated annually based on the latest science
  • Most importantly, Oakland needs an annual minimum GHG emission reduction target, preferably of at least 6% per year
For information on how to contact members of Oakland City Council, go to:

Bay Localize Launches Community Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs Project

Residential energy efficiency audits and upgrades are a cost-effective strategy to reduce energy use, save money for households, help municipalities reach climate action goals, and promote community development by providing local jobs. Bay Localize is pleased to announce the launch of the Community Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs Project, which will pilot new ways to make quality energy efficiency services accessible to households of all income levels.

By partnering with Rising Sun Energy Center's California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program, Richmond BUILD's green jobs training program, and faith communities in Marin and Richmond, we will be testing a program to encourage households to make their homes more comfortable while reducing utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions. One unique aspect of the program gives recent graduates of Rising Sun and Richmond BUILD's Green Energy Training Services (GETS) program the opportunity to gain hands-on job experience while offering free services to moderate-income families, who often can't afford these services on the market. The City of Berkeley is already planning to adopt this idea at the city-wide level in coming years. Thanks goes to the Frank Levinson Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for sponsoring this program.

Use Your Roof! Project Continues to Make Waves
Bay Localize Organizes SF Rooftop Garden Tour for the New York Times!

Bay Localize recently organized a tour of San Francisco rooftop vegetable gardens for Marian Burros, a food reporter for the New York Times. Burros has been covering a nationwide increase in interest in growing food — consumer demand for seeds has dramatically increased this year, she says — and wanted to know how urban dwellers are faring in growing vegetables on rooftops.

The San Francisco tour focused on the Tenderloin and SOMA areas, visiting two private residences (see our Use Your Roof! web photo gallery for views of Lee Utterbach's spread) as well as the low-income housing development Curran House and Maya Donelson's Graze the Roof garden on Glide Memorial Church (see photo at right). The Times later sent a photographer back to Glide for some shots. Stay tuned for major NYT coverage on the nationwide rooftop veggie garden trend in coming weeks!

Need Advice on Your Rooftop Project? Connect with our System Advisors!

Bay Localize frequently receives inquiries from homeowners, building owners, and business people — all of whom are hungry for advice on how to get started with their own living roof, rainwater catchment system, or solar PV installation. We've heeded your call!

For expert advice on these rooftop systems, we've assembled a Systems Advisory Group of specialists offering years of experience and technical savvy. Please feel free to contact them with specific questions you may have about your own rooftop project!

Now Available at Select Bookstores: Use Your Roof Guidebook!

Rooftop revolutionaries rejoice! Check out Bay Localize's long-awaited new publication, Use Your Roof Guidebook: Resources and Considerations for Rainwater Catchment, Living Roofs and Solar Power. The booklet draws from the groundbreaking research of Tapping the Potential of Urban Rooftops, as well as other research findings from the field, and offers guidelines for selecting an appropriate rooftop system and embarking on the design and implementation process.

Use Your Roof is now available at select bookstores in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Richmond — help us keep the sales going! Purchase your own copy for as little as $7.00! It's vital that we continue demonstrating the rising interest and help the local economy and the movement grow — so let people in your network know or buy a few copies for friends and family! Our current and growing list of stores includes:

East Bay

  • Black Oak Books, 1491 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709
  • Builders Book Source, 1817 4th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
  • Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley, CA 94702
  • Mrs. Dalloway's, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
  • Urban Farmer Store, 2121 San Joaquin Street, Richmond, CA 94804
San Francisco
  • Pins and Needles, 3253 16th St. (bet. Guerrero and Dolores), San Francisco, CA 94103
  • Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Dog Eared Books, 900 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Independent Online Reseller

The Fire in the Belly
Localization as Caring

"The Fire in the Belly" is a regular feature in our newsletter on what personally motivates people to work on localization. This issue's feature is written by Claudia Abbott-Barish, Bay Localize's Bay Area 2020 project intern, and an urban farmer with MyFarm San Francisco.

These essays are personal statements exploring the diverse viewpoints that lead to localization as an organizing framework, and as such do not necessarily reflect the positions of Bay Localize.

Like most people I would imagine, I have always yearned to find a place where I am stimulated, challenged, welcome, loved and depended upon. It's not a question of having a low affinity for self-sufficiency, because I am an avid learner and a keen delver into research, information and experience. But my sense of self-sufficiency has taken me further from the concept of complete self-reliance than any other idea I have so far encountered. My sense of self-sufficiency is people, interaction, sharing.

The most significant father-figure in my life has been and will continue to be a major source of inspiration to me. Keith Turnbull: physicist, chemist, traveller, teacher, environmental activist, homestead guru and music lover, was a lonely and isolated man. While psychologically engaged with the traumas of the world, Keith experienced a great lack of connection to a tightly woven community of people. More specifically, the majority of Keith's companions were ONLY those who thought like him and despaired as passionately as he did. He never really involved anyone from a different mould or explored the origins of other opinions. He never attempted to practice compassion with those very different from him for lack of adequate exposure. His social fabric was monotonic and I fear this ate away at his humanity. One cannot take on the world's ills single-handedly. Real solutions require strong personal foundations.

You could trace much of our exploitation of the natural world to how far removed we are from the impact of our actions. A global community accelerates these effects, as wealthier countries and corporations outsource their impact through the labour they employ. Without being aware of the path that our products and services move along, we are ignorant of the effect of each path taken. Transition Town culture resonated with me because it identifies the interaction between processes as the key to a functional society. More ancient cultures perfected (and still do!) the art of minimizing waste. Not because they were unaware of the potential or the extent to which our natural resources could be stretched, but because it was criminal to take more than necessary to live.

The town where my family lives in England originally had a slaughter house, a butcher, a cheese maker, a tannery, a candle- and soap-maker all on the same street. Livestock were slaughtered for their meat, their rennet used for cheese, their hides for making bags and clothing, their tallow for soap and candles. Through over-specialisation we have lost our sense of the whole: ingredients are bought from a specialised retailer, rather than garnered from the refuse of another project. Food is bought from store owners who don't necessarily know what kind of soil a tomato plant likes. With all the growth in knowledge there seems to be fewer people who understand full cycles. We don't ask where things are coming from or where they're going — we just accept them as part of a system we don't need to understand. Too few question whether or not it's a system that works, or more importantly, if it works well. The things we depend on in life should not be so alien that we are lost when they break down. It is dangerous to depend on something or someone that cannot depend upon us in return.

Localization forces us to face these things, but while it can be daunting and requires us to accept some pretty demoralizing truths, it also offers us very manageable solutions: practices, which historically, we very recently abandoned in lieu of a more throw-away mentality. Beyond the effects of localization as an environmental movement, I see it as a necessity for knowing yourself and knowing your peers, friends and lovers. Our society heaps so many material conveniences upon us while depriving us of essential emotional and substantive necessities. Were we to strip away the fluff of a globalized market, an economy that thrives on converting luxury into necessity, we would know each other at a more basic level than we currently do.

The provision of fresh and healthy food, being a basic and undisputed right, has always been close to my heart. At one and the same time it distinguishes us from most of the animal kingdom, being able to cultivate rather than hunt, while also binding us to our living environment. For this reason, Urban Agriculture has become my newest passion. Not only does it connect us directly to the natural world upon which we entirely depend, but providing locally grown produce to an urban population greatly reduces our dependence on prevailing and destructive industrial agricultural practices.

If urbanites are already vulnerable, those who are poorly resourced will always be the first to lose when resources are even more limited in supply. Environmental movements, while often working against the social grain, can also marginalise the underserved by failing to focus on their immediate needs or excluding their voices. When I moved to the Bay Area, I was particularly interested in projects that brought food security and increased self-sufficiency to underprivileged populations.

I was able to fulfil this desire wholeheartedly by landing myself an internship with City Slicker Farms in West Oakland, which makes affordable, organically and locally grown food available to the West Oakland community, while also helping community members to become more food self-sufficient by growing for themselves. In addition to this I work for a business in San Francisco called MyFarm, which is made up of over a hundred decentralized backyard fruit and vegetable "farms" throughout the city. MyFarmers install backyard food gardens for Owner Members. Depending on the size of the farm, we are able to harvest enough produce for an additional 1-4 of their neighbours as part of a community CSA. Beyond reducing transportation, packaging and production costs, the effect of seeing your food grown breaks down multiple assumptions that we make about urban life and further illuminates our dependence on the many unsustainable systems that maintain it.

Both these projects provide me with a great sense of practical action: doing the work that physically makes change. But I am also driven by greater political engagement and involved activism. I chose to intern with Bay Localize because it offered me different challenges to my other work: the need to be articulate on issues of climate change — from global to local policy; to understand the intricacies of a broken system and determine how to work it into something that serves its community; to move people to become change makers themselves. The balance I've achieved in my working life I find very stimulating and wholesome.

Localization to me implies most basically the implementation of caring, as an ideology, as a tenet to live by. Of sharing when you've got enough and knowing you'll be shared with if you find yourself without. Whether emotional or economic, localization reduces our negative impacts and maximizes our positive ones.

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Events Roundup: Upcoming and Recent Activities


  • Harmony Festival
    June 12-14
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa

    The Harmony Festival merges a music festival with an exposition of cutting-edge lifestyle options in order to create a doorway for mainstream America to join a movement that supports the positive planetary shift in creating a new world. Bay Localize will be tabling onsite.
  • Film Screening: "Cost of Oil: Voices from the Arctic"
    June 25, 7:30-9 pm
    Embarcadero Center Cinema, One Embarcadero Center, San Francisco

    Join Pacific Environment and Bay Localize for a special screening of Cost of Oil: Voices from the Arctic, a movie produced independently by Stone Soup Productions. The film outlines the effects of offshore oil production on Alaska Native communities. Stick around for conversation with leaders in the movement to stop environmentally destructive oil operations and promote clean, safe energy at home and abroad.
  • Rainwater Catchment Workshop
    June 27, 9:30 am 5 pm
    El Sobrante

    Former Rooftop Resources Project leader Ingrid Severson and DIG Cooperative will co-lead a full day rainwater harvesting workshop at a homestead and collective residence in El Sobrante. The class will start with a rainwater catchment system lecture and overview, and follow with a hands-on installation. Participants will gain practical understanding of system design and sizing, tank types, pricing, sourcing, installation practices and more. For more details and to register, please contact
  • Post Peak Living Film Screening: "The Power of Community"
    July 2, 6:30 pm
    Parisoma, 1436 Howard Street, San Francisco

    See how Cubans rallied after they lost half their oil imports when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. Come see how a country has already — successfully — adapted to peak oil. After the screening, Bay Localize's Kirsten Schwind will discuss some of the great work going on in the Bay Area to support urban food production and localization.
  • Heartbeat of Oakland Parade
    July 25, 11 am
    Parade Start: 40th and Market, Oakland
    Celebration: Mosswood Park, Broadway and MacArthur Blvd., Oakland

    This event will be a summer celebration of music, dance, and North Oakland's most valuable renewable resource — its residents! Join in the fun starting at 11am, when we'll parade down 40th St. from Market to Webster and end with a celebration and picnic at Mosswood Park. If you'd like to take part in planning or would like more info, please contact Brennan Taylor at or 510-735-6714.
  • Power to the Peaceful Festival
    September 12, All Day
    Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

    The festival brings people together through music and art, highlighting the similarities and celebrating the diversity of all of the world's inhabitants through cultural co-existence, non-violence, and environmental sustainability. Features Michael Franti and a wide range of musicians, artists, and advocates for a peaceful, more sustainable world.
  • Bioneers
    October 16-18, 2009
    Marin Center, San Rafael

    The Bioneers Conference is an acclaimed leading-edge forum where you can see tomorrow today: a future environment of hope. Social and scientific innovators focus on breakthrough solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity.

Look for announcements of other upcoming gatherings on our event calendar.


In early March, Bay Localize paid special tribute to long-time Rooftop Resources Project leader Ingrid Severson (left), who recently moved on from her staff position to pursue a career in rainwater catchment system design and installation. Ingrid remains affiliated with Bay Localize as a rooftop systems advisor. We also acknowledged Allyse Heartwell, former Communications and Outreach Consultant, who recently became the coordinator of the Buy Fresh, Buy Local program at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers.

On April 24, Bay Localize attended the 3rd Annual Peralta Conference on Urban Sustainability at Merritt College. Local experts and over 200 participants discussed sustainability including green jobs, local food, clean energy, water shortages, environmental justice and community health. Bay Localize Steering Committee Member Nile Malloy spoke on the "Green Jobs" panel highlighting that greening our economy is a solution to environmental injustice throughout the Bay Area.

The following day, Bay Localize took part in Communities for a Better Environment's First Annual "Love Yo Mama" Environmental Justice Earth Day event in East Oakland. Over 500 people attended this all day event at Tassafaronga Recreation Center and Acorn Woodland Elementary School. The event featured a colorful parade in the neighborhood, hip hop performances, a HoodGames skateboarding competition, speakers, local food vendors, and advocates for affordable housing and green jobs.

In late May, Bay Localize played a key role in an event series organized by the Green New Deal for the North Bay Commission, offering two keynote presentations on localization. This citizen's initiative is exploring ways to transform Marin and Sonoma Counties into a more resilient region, guided by principles of environmental sustainability, economic equity and social justice. Bay Localize's Local Clean Energy Alliance Coordinator Dave Room spoke at the Mill Valley forum on May 19, and Program Director Kirsten Schwind spoke at the Santa Rosa forum on May 30. For full details, please visit the Green New Deal website.

Support Bay Localize Today!

Volunteer with Bay Localize!

Are you interested in donating your time to your community and the environment in a meaningful way? Bay Localize needs steady, dedicated volunteers to help with office work and other projects. Come join us in our lively, friendly office in downtown Oakland right next to BART, to make the world a better place for future generations. We welcome seniors! Afternoon hours preferred. Please send your letter of interest and resume to with "Volunteer Application" in the subject line, or call us at (510) 834-0420.

Have a Computer to Donate?

Reuse is even better than recycling, and we can offer your old computer a good home! Pentium 4 processors and newer, receipts for tax write-offs available. Contact or call (510) 834-0420. We are interested in laser printers, LCD monitors, fax machines, and photocopiers as well. Thank you for your generosity!

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We would be honored to count you among our growing range of supporters. Your contribution will help us to forward localization projects and initiatives in the Bay Area. Each donor of $35 or more receives a one-year subscription to the award-winning quarterly publication, the Earth Island Journal.

To make a tax-deductible contribution, please click on the online donation link below, or write a check or money order made payable to Earth Island Institute (our fiscal sponsor) with "Bay Localize" in the memo and mail it to:

   Bay Localize
   436 14th Street, Suite 1127
   Oakland, CA 94612

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About Bay Localize News
Bay Localize News features regular news and updates from Bay Localize, a growing network of nonprofits, businesses, and municipal leaders working to build a more self-reliant, sustainable, and socially just Bay Area.

EDITORS: Aaron Lehmer, Kirsten Schwind

CONTRIBUTORS: Aaron Lehmer, Claudia Abbott-Barish, David Room, Kirsten Schwind, and Nile Malloy

For more about Bay Localize, please visit our website at

Contact Us:

   Bay Localize
   436 14th Street, Suite 1127
   Oakland, CA 94612 USA
   (510) 834-0420