Climate change poses one of the great challenges of our time. Although it is a global problem, it demands many local solutions – including actions we can take here, even as a small city. I am committed to advancing local climate action that is economically efficient and socially just.
I am uniquely prepared to take on this local challenge. My endorsements reflect this – both the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the local Sierra Club chapter support the campaign, as well as ten current and former members of the City of Eugene Sustainability Commission and pro-environment elected officials such as Alan Zelenka and Kitty Piercy.
National and state policies are crucial to reaching our state and local climate goals, but many of the necessary changes and investments are inherently local, from improvements in home energy use to investments in low carbon transportation systems. Through passage of the Climate Recovery Ordinance in 2014, Eugene has established itself as a leader on climate policy – but meeting those aggressive targets will require steadfast commitment, community resolve, and a willingness to continually ask the climate question in all city council decision making.
My Climate Action Priorities
We have a strong foundation to build on, but there is much to be done if we are to meet our necessary and ambitious climate goals. Below are four key strategies I will use as city councilor to ensure a successful, effective, and just implementation of our climate programs.
- Follow through on our current work: We have a Climate Recovery Ordinance (CRO) and a Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP). We need those actions to front and center in council work and deliberations.
- Integration: Our Council-adopted climate action goals must be integrated into everything we do. I will work to integrate climate change action into the City’s many relevant guiding documents, plans, and budgets. The Transportation System Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, the Capital Improvement Plan, the Annual Budget and Multi-Year Financial Plan should all reflect our climate goals and the reality of an uncertain energy future.
- Partner Engagement: We can’t meet our community climate goals without a long-term strategy to coordinate actions with other critical entities in Eugene. Our climate action efforts must include strong partnerships with Lane Transit District, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon Department of Energy, 4J School District, The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, and others. We need to understand what is possible from actions shared between the City of Eugene and each partner and identify staff responsible for managing relationships and implementation of shared strategies.
- Regular Updates and Clear Tracking of Progress: It is easy to lose track of progress and next steps in the absence of regularly updated information. Annual progress reports are necessary to allow Council, staff, business owners and residents to understand what has been accomplished and what work remains. I will seek timely and substantive updates to our climate action plans.
- Clear Communication of Multiple Benefits: Taking action to address climate change has many overlapping community benefits, and it is the job of elected leaders to communicate these benefits in order to build community support for these actions. Many actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may not appear cost effective if viewed narrowly as just an emission reduction strategy, but most climate actions create financial savings, enhance community equity, and benefit individual and collective health. As city councilor, I will routinely make this broader case so residents understand the benefits of our community's leadership on climate, and support that leadership.