Climate change is a crisis that we must address in a committed and serious way.
As your Councilmember, I supported the adoption of a groundbreaking Climate Emergency Response Framework that outlined key actions for the City to take to address climate change in a bold and effective way, and I ensured the inclusion of robust transportation initiatives in the Climate Emergency Response Framework. In response to your concerns and feedback, I also led the creation and adoption of the city’s first-ever Tree Canopy Goals and the revision of the Tree Ordinance to make it more streamlined and racially equitable.
Next steps in the City’s important climate response should include:
- Move forward proactively and boldly to address climate change and find ways to offset expenses for residents
- Collaborate through community conversations to develop the details of next action steps on the Climate Emergency Response Framework
- Develop partnerships and pilot programs that might allow for cost-savings for the City and residents through pioneering new technologies and innovations
- Robustly link climate change and racial equity initiatives and emphasize environmental justice in climate action plans
- Emphasize and prioritize sustainability improvements to housing that would also reduce everyday costs for residents and improve air quality
- Develop comprehensive proactive plans to address stormwater issues that are worsening due to climate change
- Develop detailed transportation plans. I fought to ensure that there was a robust transportation section in the Climate Emergency Response Framework, but next steps include more research and community outreach on developing these plans. COVID means more people walking and biking, but it has also created several financial hardships for transit and put our valued transit systems at great risk. We need to ensure safe and effective transit continues and grows in our city, and we need to be innovative and creative in our efforts:
- Look for partnerships with electric vehicle producers to “test” new vehicles for the City fleet at reduced costs, seek collaboration and grant opportunities that might provide transportation service to/from residents’ homes and critical services, and look for opportunities to partner with the County on new initiatives such as on-demand mini-buses to enable easy accessibility for all throughout the city
- Improve the City’s traffic calming request and new sidewalk request policies to make them more racially equitable, and take a holistic approach to infrastructure development to prioritize top-used pedestrian routes and those locations with more safety concerns
- Collaborate and advocate at the regional level for transportation policy and infrastructure changes that result in reduced single-occupancy vehicle use, build regional networks, grow use of alternative modes of transportation, and promote regional awareness of the connections between transportation and climate change
- Look for opportunities for collaboration. Many residents have expertise in climate change and environmental science fields, as well as passion and experience for making changes. We need to look for opportunities to partner with local groups and organizations to make the most of our local capacity.