June 26, 2017
Dear Santa Monica City Councilmembers
I am writing in support of City funding of the Climate Action Santa Monica Climate Corps, as part of the City's FY2017-2019 biannual budget.
Twenty years ago I was part of Santa Monica's first Green Team - a ten week program designed to give local residents a chance to learn how to develop sustainable practices in their personal lives. The City of Santa Monica supported that program because we knew that for our community to be truly sustainable, we had to go beyond the practices of the city government to involve every member of our community. That Green Team program eventually spun off into the creation of Sustainable Works at Santa Monica College, which continues to this day.
The Green Team project touched upon issues related to climate change, including energy, water, transportation and others. as part of the City's overall effort to address climate change through its Sustainable City Plan. As you well know, today the impacts of climate change are far worse then twenty years ago, and are widely evident across our planet.
In response, the Climate Action Santa Monica Climate Corps greatly expands upon the work the original Green Team did regarding addressing climate change, by helping large numbers of residents understand and be a part of Santa Monica’s Climate Action & Adaptation Plan. As part of that effort, this summer the Climate Corps will focus on transportation, energy, water, food and zero-waste.
By engaging residents in “climate conversations,” the Climate Corps seeks to converse with diverse members of our community, particularly those who may be under-served feel disconnected from sustainability or climate initiatives. This work is critical to complement the sustainable practices of our city government, helping to involve all of Santa Monica in the path towards greater sustainability and a carbon-neutral city.
Investing in the environment and a healthy climate is one of the most cost-effective use of public dollars that we can commit to, and we are very fortunate that grassroots members of our community have answered the call of climate change to form and organize the Climate Corp. I hope that you will enthusiastically support their work in the City's FY2017-2019 biannual budget.
Santa Monica City Councimember, 1996-2004