A Letter from the Director: Looking ahead to 2018

As this year comes to a close, there are many things that I am thankful for. ClimatePlan is a diverse network that I'm proud to be part of. Over the past three months, I've been listening to you as we've worked together. Here's what I've heard and what I think we can do together in 2018.

In September 2017, I became the Director of ClimatePlan. I am grateful to the members of the ClimatePlan Steering Committee -- as well as the entire network -- for your confidence in my leadership. 

For the past three months, I’ve worked closely with all of you to hear about your priorities and the goals you want to see ClimatePlan achieve. And last week, ClimatePlan partners from across the state came together at our annual retreat near Fresno to identify our goals for the coming year. 

From our conversations -- and our retreat -- I’ve heard that we all want to make sure our state’s policies and funding create a healthier, more vital California -- one that supports healthy, sustainable, equitable communities, preserves iconic landscapes, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That's ambitious, I know. We all know it. But together, I believe we can achieve it. 

To achieve our vision, here's what I believe we at ClimatePlan need to do:  

    1.    Advance ambitious state and regional policy to realize a more sustainable, equitable California.

    2.    Build a sustainable network, where all ClimatePlan partners share leadership and work collaboratively to achieve our goals.

    3.    Expand the ClimatePlan network to reflect the diversity of our state and build strong partnerships across issues.

OK, let's break that down a little more:

1. Advance ambitious state and regional policy that helps us to realize a more sustainable, equitable California.

I know how important it is for ClimatePlan to continue our core work, to ensure strong implementation of transformational land use and transportation planning policy such as SB 375 and SB 743, and making sure state and regional transportation funds actually help meet the state’s climate and equity goals.

But I’m also excited to spur innovation by identifying new issues and areas for our network to work collaboratively to achieve our vision. With the diversity of issue areas and perspectives in the network, we are in a unique position to address a number of emerging topics around land use, transportation, and climate -- topics that are important here in California and well beyond. I am excited to partner with all of you to build on our strong foundation to expand to new areas.

2. Build a network where all ClimatePlan partners share leadership and work collaboratively to achieve our goals.

From our inception, ClimatePlan was built on the idea that no one can do it alone. We can do so much on climate change -- and so many other issues -- from the land use and transportation sector. There is still so much work to do on this, and so much potential. But to achieve anything on this, we must work together.

I am excited to continue this legacy of partnership and leverage to achieve our goals. Our network is far bigger than ClimatePlan's small staff, and our network must drive the work. From identifying the policies that we work on, to achieving the change we seek, as the Director, I want to build up the ClimatePlan network to share leadership to bring our shared vision to life.

3. Expand the ClimatePlan network to reflect the diversity of our state and build strong partnerships across issues.

One of the things that drew me to ClimatePlan (all the way back in 2009!) was its diversity. From public health to conservation to social equity, the ClimatePlan network spanned a broad array of issues in a way I hadn’t seen before.

Now, as Director, I am committed to ensuring that our network reflects California's own diversity. One of my top goals is to expand our reach to include partners from underrepresented communities and issue areas. I want to make sure that our policies, platforms, and workgroups reflect -- and elevate -- the diversity of our state.

These goals are ambitious, but together, we can achieve them. If we can realize them, we all benefit. In the coming year, we will refine these goals with our partners and get very clear on the actions we'll take to achieve them. 

If you’re not yet involved, or you know others who should be, please consider becoming a partner, or inviting others to become partners of ClimatePlan, to advance this work together.

Being a ClimatePlan partner gives you the opportunities to:
• Strengthen your voice with new allies.
• Connect with leading experts at ClimatePlan meetings and events.
• Know the latest on California transportation, land use, and climate policy.
• Have a voice in ClimatePlan priorities and strategy.
• Get more visibility through ClimatePlan’s website, publications, and comment letters.

And if you're already a partner, thank you. These are challenging times, and we have some very big goals. Together, though, we can reach them. I'm counting on you -- and you can count on me.


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