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Sebastappeal by Sarah Glade Gurney — March — 2020

On January 7, 2020 the City Council approved the creation of a Climate Action Sub-Committee. The new Climate Action Sub-Committee will include a cross-section of community members representing all sectors, working together to make recommendations to the Council on specific future actions to address the climate crisis. This initial group will write a work plan for a later, more formal “standing” Sub-Committee.

The Community Outreach Coordinator has developed a special brochure for interested parties. There’s also a new application form that includes specific questions regarding expertise, knowledge and commitment to climate actions. Both are available on the City’s website at Planning Staffer Alan Montes, at 707.823.6167 , can answer any questions.

The deadline to apply is March 20, 2020. Interviews before the Council will follow. Appointments to this volunteer group will be made by a majority vote of the Council and it is anticipated to begin work by May.

The Climate Action Sub-Committee will consist of eleven to thirteen members including one City Council Member, one Planning Commissioner, and the Planning Director or her designee. There will be a seat for Youth (ages 17-23), a local business owner, and a representative from a local climate activist group. Also included will be someone with a background in environmental justice/equity, “rights of nature,” and climate. Residents both within the city limits and, if outside but within the 95472-zip code, can apply. Those outside the city limits should be able to show strong affiliations with the local community.

The group is expected to meet regularly at a time conducive to the members and at least once per month. It is anticipated that this sub-committee will appoint a person to act as its chair and work with Staff on agendas and minutes from the meetings.

The duties of the Climate Action Sub-Committee are to:

• Prioritize the actions listed in the Climate Emergency Resolution dated December 3, 2019

• Formulate a Work Plan

• Research the composition and duties of other cities’ similar sub-committees

• Update the City’s current Climate Action Plan Document

• Create a Climate Action Calendar of events, and

• Consider ideas for climate events, including volunteer appreciation

It is likely that the work of the new Climate Action Sub-Committee may involve areas of concern or responsibility of other boards and commissions. In these situations, Staff may be asked to bring those items to those other bodies and report back to the new sub-committee.

Sebastopol’s 2019 Climate Action Highlights

• Empaneled the Zero Waste Sub-Committee

• Adopted an ordinance banning polystyrene and single use plastic

• Switched City utility accounts to 100% local, renewable energy through Sonoma Clean Power’s Evergreen Program

• Subsidized the ridership fare on the local shuttle to make this bus service free

• Sponsored two one-month-long periods of the Bus Buddy Program to boost transit ridership

• Partnered with the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition to hold SebastoPedal Green, a guided bike ride using the green bike lanes on Highway 116

• Sponsored the Sebastopol Walks Program to encourage pedestrians

• Established a policy to purchase carbon credits to offset City travel

(partial list)

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