The Sonoma County climate and environmental community got together on October 30 and agreed to support 350 Sonoma’s plan to rebuild our neighborhoods to be sustainable and resilient. 45 attendees representing about 25 regional organizations discussed 350 Sonoma’s action plan to develop a specific vision including all electric infrastructure supported by solar and storage with the goal of net zero energy, sustainable building practices, rainwater management, and drought resistant regenerative landscaping, among other ideas. Sunny Galbraith from 350 Sonoma summarized the call to action saying, “This is an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild using methods that reflect best practices in sustainable design, materials and systems to achieve both reduced emissions and greater resilience to future climate impacts.”

 

Climate and environmental activists in the region are organizing around creating a strong case for electrification including cost analyses, digging deep to uncover potential sources of funds, and coordinating with other community groups and government entities to gather information about other similar efforts, educate and ask our city and county officials to take strong action towards rebuilding with 21st century methods.

 

Because our first commitment is to our community, these efforts are guided by three principles: solutions will not add to the cost of the rebuild, they will be incentive-based, and they can opt out if they choose. 350 Sonoma, with the support of other groups, has hit the ground running and is in the process of determining where action is already taking place and figuring out how to support existing efforts that fit the overall vision for an innovative rebuilding process. Early indications are that there is a general, community wide call for electrification and that the local community choice energy group, Sonoma Clean Power, is putting its weight and know-how behind that effort.

 

As Laura Neish, Executive Director of 350 Bay Area (and a Santa Rosa resident) summarized: “We aren’t just asking Santa Rosa and Sonoma County to model sustainable and resilient rebuilding at a neighborhood scale, we are supporting our community to model how we can all work together to recover after a major climate-related disaster.”