I knew taking an oppose unless amended position on SB 50 would be challenging, especially for those partner organizations and allies who have worked with us for years to advance more sustainable, and equitable growth in California.
I've found that it is tempting to react when someone doesn't understand what I'm trying to do. My staff has alerted me to some of the comments on Twitter about our position on SB 50. Some people have applauded our decision to center equity while others have questioned our commitment to our mission.
I'm not interested in Twitter debates and creating more division. Our country has experienced so much political division and separation. We are a stronger movement when we don't tear each other down. So ClimatePlan won't debate the merits of SB 50 on Twitter. I said that ClimatePlan is committed to living out values, agreements, and guiding principles. One of those guiding principles is:
- Find Common Ground: Focusing on shared priorities and areas of common ground is the best way to achieve our goals. We are committed to bringing together diverse stakeholders around policy solutions that will help all our partners advance their goals.
So ClimatePlan will continue to center equity and trust that communities are the real experts. And by centering equity, ClimatePlan means:
- Ensuring that policies not only have equitable outcomes, but also have an equitable process.
- Communities are co-creating solutions to their problems.
- Trusting community voices and their expertise.
- When invited, working alongside community organizations to achieve their community-led priorities.
And most importantly, ClimatePlan will continue to be a space where we:
- Have challenging conversations among our partner organizations.
- Build trust by respectfully sharing our differences and identifying common ground.
- Co-create policy solutions with partner organizations that advance both equity and the environment.
Finally, as one of my mentors told me, whether SB 50 passes or not, I think the biggest impact of SB 50 is how it has catalyzed a reckoning. Cities are being forced to look at their obstructionism. Political alliances are being tested. It's forcing a deeper conversation. And community voices are shaping policy. And I have to agree with my mentor that these are good results in themselves.
I know this letter may create even more controversy. But my hope is that we can start listening to one another to create real change versus reacting to one another.
ClimatePlan Executive Director
January 28, 2020