Dear ClimatePlan partners, allies, and friends:
I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season! I can’t believe we’re at the end of 2018 already. Before we’re officially in 2019, I want to hit the pause button to show you how much we’ve done together.
We set 5 ambitious goals for our network this year:
- Goal #1: Help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and meet the needs of all Californians by advancing healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities.
- Goal #2: Address the affordable housing crisis through the intersections of race, equity, land use, water, and transportation. Build support for – and power of – ClimatePlan partners to advocate effectively for fair housing and intersecting issues.
- Goal #3: Reform state transportation decision-making bodies to increase funding for healthy, sustainable communities and more equitable access for all Californians.
- Goal #4: Hold state decision-makers accountable for meeting California’s climate goals by implementing strategies that reduce driving.
- Goal #5: Ensure that regional agencies adopt – and implement – strong Sustainable Communities Strategies.
How did we measure up, you ask?
Setting goals isn't that effective if we don't have a way to measure our progress, right? Unlike my 2018 New Year Resolutions, which didn't really happen, here's what we've achieved in 2018:
- Goal #1: In March, we worked together to make sure that the California Air Resources Board adopted strong climate targets for California regions. Due to our collective advocacy, the updated SB 375 regional targets represent a statewide greenhouse gas reduction of 19% below 2005 levels by 2035. This is a huge step forward, and a call to action: now, we need to focus on creating real shifts in transportation investments and development patterns to achieve these targets.
- Goal #2: Since April, we’ve convened a subset of ClimatePlan partners to dig deeper into the affordable housing crisis that California is currently facing. Through in-person dialogues, a broad set of ClimatePlan partners, representing a variety of issue areas and geographies, came together around a central goal: ensure investment in communities occur without displacement. This goal is just a start, we are still working with -- and convening -- our partners to develop policies and approaches to achieve this goal.
- Goal #3: In June and December of this year, we showed up and testified at the joint meetings of the California Air Resources Board and the California Transportation Commission. 2018 was the first year that these two entities met (due to our advocacy around AB 179). Given the lack of alignment between our climate goals and transportation investment, it was vital that we mobilized together to speak up at these meetings. We also worked with Climate Resolve and nearly 50 other organizations to develop a comprehensive transportation platform to assist Governor-Elect Newsom and his administration.
- Goal #4: June was a busy month for us because we also worked with Climate Resolve and the ClimatePlan network to release a report, More Choices, Less Traffic: Achieving Greater Efficiency and Equity from California’s Transportation Investments. We presented the case studies and evidence from this report at the first joint California Air Resources Board and the California Transportation Commission meeting to show that it is possible to fund and a build a more sustainable transportation system for California. And, in November, the California Air Resources Board released its first progress report on SB 375 (due to our advocacy on SB 150): unfortunately it wasn’t good news. California regions aren’t achieving the climate goals, and pollution from driving is increasing. But we know what needs to be done to get us on the right track!
- Goal #5: Since the spring, we’ve worked closely with partners in the Northern San Joaquin Valley to build upon the 2014 Regional Transportation Plans / Sustainable Communities Strategies in Stanislaus and San Joaquin County. While the 2018 plan wasn’t as ambitious as the 2014 plan in San Joaquin, the document still provides a strong framework to reduce emissions -- and improve communities -- in the region. We’re committed to working with our partners to ensure strong implementation, and even stronger policies that reflect the priorities of the community.
We achieved so much in 2018. What's the secret to our our success? You. Your participation, your leadership, your advocacy: this is what makes ClimatePlan thrive. ClimatePlan was founded around the idea that no single organization can unlock the interconnected challenges of housing, land use, and transportation. And it’s true! We can’t do this work alone. We rely on your collective knowledge and power to create change: so thank you for your continued partnership with ClimatePlan.
The year ahead: What comes next?
I hope you know that we don’t plan on slowing down in 2019. Our Strategic Plan ends this year, and we’ve been working with our network partners to debut our 2019 Strategic Direction. Stay tuned for its release in March 2019.
Also, as many of you know, I’ll be out on leave until May 2019! I’m excited to announce that Ella Wise and Christopher Escarcega will be acting as co-directors of ClimatePlan while I'm out. They will be working closely with our Steering Committee and partners to lead the network. I’ve gotten a sneak peak of some of things that they’re planning to do next year, and I’ll just say: there’s no stopping us now, we are on a roll.
In closing: Happy Holidays ClimatePlanners, thanks for making this year so special,