Protecting the raw natural beauty of Santa Monica is a major reason why I run for City Council. Our environment underlies everything we do. We are an undeniable part of a greater ecology. Our municipal policies and practices must reflect that.
In Santa Monica our Sustainable City Plan - which I helped develop on the City Council - is meant to guide our planning and practices so we can enjoy healthy air, water and a liveable environment -- and to do our part to address regional and global issues like drought and climate change.
Three areas where we need vast improvement are expanding our local solar power generating capacity - both residential and commercial; increasing water efficiency, conservation, retention and storage; and protecting and expanding our urban forest.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, we need more energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy production. I've supported ground-breaking green building guidelines when on the City Council - that save money while promoting the environment - and led the City's practice of placing solar panels on new City facilities. When I was Mayor, we became the first city in the United States to power all of our municipal facilities with renewable energy. Now we need to aggressively expand that to distributed solar power generation across our city, in homes and businesses.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources, we need to promote greener fuels for City vehicles and the general public; positive alternatives to the automobile like increased use of bikes, bus and light rail; and also minimize the need to drive in the first place, by meeting local needs locally. This can come by promoting community-serving affordable retail, neighborhood-based local markets and community gardens; housing policies that enable people to live closer to where they work and to live along public transit and bike corridors; more parks and open space, and local hiring and living wage jobs - all in a city that is safe and friendly to walk. We also need to continue to convert our municipal vehicle fleet to cleaner energy fuels, something I enthusiastically supported in office.