Sonoma County Climate Action

Educate, Organize, Act!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SONOMA COUNTY!

350 Sonoma, an all-volunteer non-profit, is working to slow climate change and promote climate justice in the county. We're part of 350 Bay Area and inspired by 350.org, the international climate action organization founded by Bill McKibbon. We meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. Join us!

Support 350 Sonoma Actions:

Another Way to Support Equitable, Local Climate Action in Sonoma County!

A growing coalition of community groups and individuals are banding together to push for Climate Emergency Resolutions at the County level and in all the cities – Petaluma has already passed a CER, and Santa Rosa is in the process of considering it. Sign the online petition to support the effort to pass the Climate Emergency Resolutions and immediate actions in our county to reduce climate emissions.

Actions for After the Climate Strike!

Take Action!

1. Register to vote.  In California citizens can pre-register to vote starting when they are 16 (and can vote in elections when 18 or older).   

2. Ask CA Senator Diane Feinstein to support the Green New Deal Resolution in U.S. Congress.  Call her office: (415) 393-0707 or Send email to California Senator Diane Feinstein

Script: “Hello, My name is ____, and I am a student from _____(city),  zip code is 95472. I am calling today to urge Senator Feinstein to sign onto the Green New Deal. This is extremely important to me because I need a livable climate for my future (and/or add your own reasons!).  Thank you

3. Sign online petition asking the California teacher retirement fund (CalSTRS) to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Participate!

Come to Climate Action Night, April 24th, 4:30-7:15, Santa Rosa Junior College.  Learn from student presenters and take action on climate legislation.

Volunteer at Sebastopol’s Apple Blossom Festival on April 13th or 14th for a 2-hour shift to help with compost and recycling.  Free admission when you volunteer! Sign up here

Volunteer at Santa Rosa Earth Day  on April 27th to help with compost and recycling: Click this link to sign up to be a volunteer at Santa Rosa Earth Day April 27th.  If you want to be on the compost/ recycling stations, write “Put me on the Green Team” in the “Additional Comments” section.

Learn!

Learn about the Green New Deal from the youth activist Sunrise Movement website

Learn why divestment from fossil fuel companies is a powerful tool to combat climate change: Watch video

  • After you sign the online petition asking the California teacher retirement fund (CalSTRS) to divest from fossil fuel companies, ask your teachers to sign the petition by giving them this flier
    • Currently over $6 billion of the teacher retirement fund is invested in fossil fuel companies, an industry that pumps CO2 into the atmosphere, the main source of climate change
    • This letter explains the campaign.

Climate Action Gets Priority Designation in Santa Rosa

by Mike Turgeon & Kevin Conway

On Thursday, February 21st, the Santa Rosa City Council made the wise and bold decision to elevate their Climate Action Plan (CAP) to a Tier 1 priority level. Other priorities at this top level are Financial Stability, Housing, Recovery and Resilience, and Homelessness.  In addition to Tier 1 status, expected climate actions by the council this year now include passing the electric-ready ordinance on new construction, forming a Council sub-committee on climate to project manage CAP implementation, and obtaining a cost analysis for the city to go Evergreen, Sonoma Clean Power’s 100% renewable energy program.  These are key decisions regarding climate and now climate activists must hold the Council to their statements. At one time, Santa Rosa was a state leader and advocate for Climate Action. In fact, President Obama designated Sonoma County as a ‘climate champion,’ one of only 17 such designations in the entire country.

In 2012, Santa Rosa developed and approved a Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) and a Municipal Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in 2013.  Unfortunately, the CCAP has languished for a number of years, largely due to the fact that no city department assumed responsibility for it’s implementation and when an implementation team was finally formed, it met infrequently.  While there has been good progress in addressing the Municipal CAP, very little has been done to effectively address the Community CAP.  Also, while the CCAP was a comprehensive document for 2012, a time when the climate crisis was not as recognizable to the majority of the population, we are obviously in a different place now and the CAP will require an update as funds allow.

Since the 2017 Santa Rosa fires, the Friends of the Climate Action Plan (FoCAP) have met regularly with council members asking them to take bold action regarding the climate.  In October of last year (FoCAP) succeeded in attaining a public study session reporting on the status of both the Municipal and Community CAPs.  That report revealed how far behind the city is toward reaching their GHG reduction goals.  Fortunately, at that meeting, a motion was made and seconded to consider an all-electric ready ordinance and amended to also include a cost analysis for the city to go Evergreen.  As it turned out, this motion was relegated as a ‘report item’ and was never agendized for a council discussion, public debate and vote. To the climate community these moves seem woefully incremental in the face of our impending crisis; however, this current Council is to be commended for paying attention to the public’s concern.

Mike Turgeon & Kevin Conway are guest bloggers and founding members of Friends of the Climate Action Plan, a group that 350 Sonoma works closely with as we advocate for local climate solutions

Ask Sen. Feinstein to Champion the Green New Deal

Before February 25, Call Senator Feinstein and tell her to stand with the majority of Californians and champion the Green New Deal. SF Office: (415) 393-0707 

SCRIPT:

Hi, my name is [FULL NAME ON VOTING REGISTRATION], I’m [AGE] years old and I live in [ZIP CODE], and I’m calling to ask that Senator Feinstein support a plan to stop the climate crisis that’s actually in line with what the world’s top scientists with the United Nations say is necessary. That starts with her cosponsoring Senator Markey’s resolution for a Green New Deal.

I am scared to lose [what are you scared to lose?] to climate change, and I’m asking Senator Feinstein to support the resolution. Thank you.

Take Action to Support Public Banking

Public banks keep money in our communities, and provide local investment. Fossil fuel Infrastructure is made possible by big banks. Let’s divest our public funds from Wall Street and bring our money home!

The Friends of Public Banking group in Santa Rosa is asking us to take action. They are collecting signatures of support for the California Public Banking Alliance (CPBA) legislative proposal.  This will make it easier to establish public banks at the local level, so we can rebuild our local economy. Consider adding your name to the petition here. You can also write a letter directly to your Congressional Representative showing your support for public banking and our legislative proposal.  Send a letter of support.

Here’s a video explaining what public banking is and how it works.

Ask Sebastopol to Ban Polystyrene Foam

Ask Sebastopol to Ban Polystyrene Foam

Come to Sebastopol City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 5th to support the city’s adoption of the ordinance written by Sonoma County Waste Management Agency: Ordinance to Prohibit Use and Sale of Disposable Food Service Ware and Other Products Containing Polystyrene Foam” which would ban polystyrene foam and other disposable food ware that is non-compostable and not recyclable. Tuesday, March 5th,  starting  at 6pm at the Sebastopol Youth Annex, Teen Center, 425 Morris Street. Check here after Feb 28 for the agenda to estimate time item will be considered.

You can send an email to council members now to let them know you support adoption of this ordinance: Sample script:

Dear council members-

Please vote to adopt the Ordinance to Prohibit Use and Sale of Disposable Food Service Ware and Other Products Containing Polystyrene Foam. Polystyrene foam products are not recyclable or biodegradable and are a threat to wildlife in our waterways, public spaces, and beaches. (your name and address)

Email to: Sebastopol City Council email list: Slayter, Patrick <ps.sebcc@gmail.com>, Sarah Gurney <sarahgurney.seb@gmail.com>, una.glass.seb@sonic.net, neysacouncil@gmail.com, Michael Carnacchi <mcarnacchi@cityofsebastopol.org>, mgourley@cityofsebastopol.org

Support the Green New Deal!

350 Sonoma has just joined over 600 environmental organization demanding our government officials support and activate the Green New Deal as a response to catastrophic climate changes. The Green New Deal proposes 1) Halting all fossil fuel leasing, extraction, and dirty energy subsidies, 2) Transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035 or earlier, 3) Expand public transportation and phase out fossil fuel vehicles, 4) Harness the full power of the Clean Air Act, 5) Ensure a just transition led by impacted communities and workers 5) Uphold indigenous rights as outlined in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. The letter also opposes rolling back environmental, health protections, corporate scheme that place profit over community health, including market based technological fixes. We ask that energy companies be held responsible for damages rather than shifting these costs to taxpaers.

We thank our new Representatives, led by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for promoting this response to our real existential emergency. We urge you to sign on to support the Green New Deal and to spread the word among your families, friends and social media contacts.

https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/support-a-green-new-deal/petition/add-your-name-support-a-green-new-deal

Meeting with Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

A group of us met in the Napa office of California Assemblymember  on July 31st to urge the Assemblymember to support SB 100 – the bill that would mandate 100% clean electricity for California by 2045. Two representatives of the American Lung Association of California gave powerful evidence of the harmful health effects of burning fossil fuels.  We also urged Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry to support SB 100 for the health of the planet!  Pictured (from left):   Jenny Bard of the American Lung Association; Darcy Sweeney, 350 Sonoma;  constituents Jessie Alberts and baby Nora;  Christine Hoex, 350 Sonoma; Laura Neish, 350 Bay Area Exec. Dir.; Laura Beltran, staff person for Aguiar-Curry; and Kate Benscoter also of the American Lung Association.  (Not pictured: Diane of Napa Climate Now.)

Why Renewable Sonoma?

Ask the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency board to accept their staff’s recommendation that Renewable Sonoma be awarded the commercial compost operation contract for the proposed Llano Road site (by the waste-water treatment facility).   Send emails to the SCWMA board via executive director Patrick Carter by August 14th (patrick.carter@sonoma-county.org)

Talking point ideas for your email:

  • Renewable Sonoma is owned by Sonoma Compost, the company operating our former, excellent local compost facility at the central landfill site.
  • They have a long history of supporting composting education, school garden programs, community waste-diversion/ Zero Waste efforts, and local farmers and gardeners
  • Their proposal includes an anaerobic digester that will generate electricity from green waste via natural gas generation
  • They are excellent environmental stewards
  • They have a long history of working with local farmers and have extensive knowledge of the local composting market
  • Their business emphasis is on creating high-quality soil-amendment products for customers (as opposed to merely diverting green waste from landfill)

Local composting means:

  • We do not have to truck our greenwaste out of the county (thereby reducing greenhouse gas production)
  • Farmers, schools, and gardens can purchase high-quality compost produced locally (at lower prices because of reduced delivery fees)

Find a form for a petition to the SCWMA Board Members here: RenewableSonoma_petition

SB 100 passed out of the California Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee

On July 3rd, SB 100 (Senator De Leon’s bill that will mandate 100% electricity from renewable sources by 2045) passed out of the California Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee. Yay!  Four members of 350 Sonoma’s steering committee attended the hearing, joining more than 120 activists from across California to testify in favor of the bill.  SB 100 should reach the Assembly floor sometime this summer.  (It may have to go to the Appropriations Committee first.) We’ll all need to do our part to be sure it passes! (The Assembly will be its last hurdle — It passed the Senate last summer.)