Concerns and ACTION from the Bay and Beyond
This spring has seen a lot of great work around climate justice. From our support of 350.org Bay Area's BayCAP resolution to the Climate Protection Committee of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), joining hundreds to rally on Earth Day to demand government agencies and the Obama Administration stop protecting polluters, to co-leading climate change survival asset mapping for West Oakland residents; it is clear that in order for change we need action.
Ironically, all this couldn't come at a more perfect time because May is asthma and allergy awareness month. This season has been particularly rough for those struggling with allergies and even more so those who also suffer from asthma (sometimes a life-threatening chronic disease). Due to the allergic trigger, symptoms become unbearable and the ability to just breathe a great challenge. Climate impacts, such as poor air quality, coupled with the rise and fall in temperatures exacerbate these asthma/allergy conditions especially in communities most vulnerable like the West Oakland flatlands in the midst of the 880 freeway and Port of Oakland emissions. Low-income communities of color suffer most, and yet have the least accessibility to resources to do something about it, which is why our work to establish equity in adaptation is crucial.
Bay Localize Launches Report on Equity in Climate Resilience Planning
Bay Localize proudly launched Mapping Our Future, a new report on equity in climate resilience planning. Most local governments are just beginning to think about how to do climate adaptation planning, while many community organizations are already deeply involved in building community resilience. Bay Localize surveyed members of 55 organizations around the region, especially those that will be most impacted by climate change, on how they want local government to collaborate with them.
Not surprisingly, community groups want to be at the table making decisions about how resources are spent, from the beginning of the planning process -- and want the impacts of rising prices of food, water, and energy on the agenda. We've been busy sharing these results with through presentations and workshops in Oakland, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, and even the inaugural National Adaptation Forum in Colorado.
Big thanks to our many colleague organizations that participated in this effort, and to the San Francisco Foundation for hosting the January regional convening on resilience and equity! This report was commissioned by the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee, and significantly shaped the region's thinking on climate resilience planning.
Next Steps: Training Youth to Map Community Resilience
Another finding from this consultation is that community groups want to map what already makes communities resilient, so we can invest in ramping up what's already working. Bay Localize is gearing up to launch the Map Your Future Project to train young job seekers (18-25) to partner with community leaders and planners to map local community resilience assets! The program is aimed at training youth with barriers to employment to speak up about what they want to see in their communities, and explore their own job opportunities in building local resilience. If you work with a youth group in the Bay Area and would like to collaborate on developing and testing this program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing Food and Community at 1st Saturday Green the Block Parties
It’s been five months since we launched our first Green the Block Party Garden Workday with People’s Grocery in West Oakland, and all the hard work continues to make a difference in the community!
Since January 5th, we’ve planned and co-hosted five garden workdays where 75 volunteers have planted 1000 seedlings, built eight sidewalk planter boxes, planted 1000 seedlings, and used five yards of compost. The post-gardening workshops have taught us about Bay Area permaculture, Oakland’s Black History, and how hip-hop and music can inspire us to fight for environmental justice. Lissa Vanderbeck of People’s Grocery says: “The monthly workdays represent a community-driven response to community issues, such as dumping [of trash in the alley], lack of green space, and lack of healthy food.” The workdays effectively address these issues by bringing together neighbors, volunteers, and community organizations.
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We look forward to seeing you at our June workday!
Link Divestment to Community Choice?
The last several months has witnessed an intensified opposition in the Bay Area to fossil fuel expansion: from the growing fight against Obama’s Keystone Pipeline, to the building of a statewide campaign to ban oil fracking in California, to the divestment of Big Oil stocks by public institutions in the Bay Area. These fights against the fossil fool industry has highlighted the alternative, specifically the development of local clean energy resources.
And since the alternative to fossil fuel-based electricity requires massive investment in new infrastructure, what better way to finance this investment than through the divestment of fossil fuel holdings? For example, a robust Community Choice program in San Francisco to build local renewable energy assets calls for about $1 billion of financing over the next ten years. The divestment of fossil fuel holdings by the San Francisco Employee Retirement System ($583 million) could provide half that amount. So efforts to establish Community Choice energy in San Francisco, Sonoma County, and in the East Bay—all of which have been moving forward this spring—have a natural ally in the divestment movement.
To keep informed about these developments, be sure to subscribe to Local Clean Energy News and Alerts.
Adventures in Tidepooling!
Special thanks to our donor circle
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This past Sunday June 19th, some members of our Donor Circle along with our amazing steering committee joined together for an amazing day at the tidepools and shared a delicious lunch. We deeply appreciate the support of all our Donors because it is their contributions that make it possible for us to stipend three amazing interns annually and plan for our 2013 Map Your Future vision. Huge thanks to everyone who made it out to join us.
Interested in joining our Donor Circle? Contact Corrine Van Hook - email@example.com or (510) 834-0420
Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference
This Fall 2013,the Clean Power, Healthy Communities conference, hosted by the Local Clean Energy Alliance, convenes advocates, stakeholders, public decision makers, community organizers, and business people who support clean energy and healthy communities in the Bay Area. It focuses on finding solutions to the political and financial challenges of developing community-based energy resources and building sustainable, equitable, resilient communities. Don't miss the Bay Area's premier event for promoting local clean energy as a powerful way to strengthen communities in the face of climate change.
Resilience Around the Bay
Amidst celebrations for Earth Day and the breaking news that we have reached 400ppm in greenhouse gas emissions – a level not reached since the time of dinosaurs – communities are making their mark in the movement for sustainable, local and green livelihood. Read on for updates around the Bay!
Regional: On April 22, a crowd of several hundred, representing 65 environmental justice and community organizations, rallied in front of the Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest headquarters in San Francisco to demand stronger governmental action on climate change and expose how legislation supports fossil fuel and toxic industries. On May 9, the local chapter of 350.org presented their resolution on reduction and better regulation of carbon to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's (BAAQMD) Climate Protection Committee Meeting.
North Bay: Windsor is the first city in the county to join the Sonoma Clean Power Authority, a consumer choice-driven alternative to PG&E.
East Bay: The Adaptation Committee of the Oakland Climate Action Coalition hosted “Are You a Climate Change Survivor?” – an interactive workshop in West Oakland that addressed environmental and public impacts of global warming.
South Bay/Silicon Valley: Joining the growing policy conversation around the country, the County of San Mateo will be hosting a climate change adaptation workshop on June 4.
San Francisco: The SF Department of the Environment awards local schools in recognition of excellent green and sustainability practices such as composting and recycling.
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