Dear ClimatePlan partners and allies –
Over the past month, I’ve had a few offline conversations with different partner organizations that are still processing our decision to oppose SB 50. For these partner organizations, it’s been challenging to understand why ClimatePlan—which has advocated for infill near transit and job centers for years—would oppose a bill that does exactly that. Especially in light of the failure of SB 375 to achieve its climate targets or significantly change regional growth patterns, our opposition to SB 50 stung some partners more than we expected.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter explaining our decision to oppose SB 50. Now, I want to take a step back. One of the most important things that SB 50 showed me is that it’s not enough for us to share our new Strategic Direction. We at ClimatePlan need to be transparent with our network—and the broader community—on the policy actions that ClimatePlan is focusing on, and how we are moving forward in 2020.
ClimatePlan’s Approach: Building and maintaining a strong movement
In our Strategic Direction, we’ve committed to three Strategic Priorities:
- Drive Transformative Policy Change
- Amplify Community Voices
- Build Bridges Across Issues and Geographies
I’ll discuss Driving Transformative Policy Change further down in this blog post, but the last two priorities—Amplify Community Voices and Build Bridges across Issues and Geographies—have radically reshaped our approach. ClimatePlan has always been a convener that brought together different groups to work towards a common goal, but we fell into a common trap—inviting people into spaces that felt comfortable for us and our partners instead of meeting advocates and communities where they are at.
This year, we’re working to change that. Instead of hosting an annual retreat for ClimatePlan partner organizations, we’re in the midst of hosting regional listening sessions. At these listening sessions, we’re spending a little time sharing the emerging policy actions we're taking to implement our Strategic Direction, but we’re spending most of the time listening. We want to know: what are your priorities? What are the issues that are most pressing for your community? How can ClimatePlan show up at the state level to support and elevate those issues? We’re casting a wide net through our invitation list—and in our work—because we want to make sure that we’re focusing on the right policy levers to create a big impact. The challenges we’re facing in California are immense; the only way we’re going to solve these huge issues is by building a movement based on coordinated action at multiple levels, from the local to the state.
Based on what we hear from local and regional advocates over the coming weeks, we’ll work with our Steering Committee in March 2020 to revise our work to closely coordinate and align with the work happening locally and regionally.
We know that it’s not enough for ClimatePlan to improve state policy and agency support anymore. It’s time for ClimatePlan to build and maintain a strong and effective movement based on advancing transformative policies at both the regional and state level. And this type of work happens when we listen to you, our network partners, that are advancing powerful solutions at local, regional, and at the state levels.
ClimatePlan’s Emerging Policy Actions in 2020
One of the reasons why I’m so proud of our Strategic Direction is that we’re not interested in playing small anymore. We all recognize the challenges facing California are immense, complex, and time is not on our side. ClimatePlan is focusing on big, transformative policy changes that will address—and radically improve—our current reality.
Below, I’m sharing our Emerging Policy Actions for 2020:
As I mentioned before, we are hosting listening sessions this month to get feedback and further refine these policy actions to better align and support the efforts of our network. We know that these are big policy actions that will require the support of our network and effective partnership with other organizations. We’d love your support and partnership.
- If you’d like to provide feedback on our emerging policy actions, I invite you to attend a listening session in your region. You can reach out to Nailah (Nailah AT climateplan DOT org) for more information.
- If you’d like to be a partner of ClimatePlan and help us achieve these emerging policy actions, you can become a ClimatePlan partner here or reach out to Christopher (Christopher AT climateplan DOT org) for more information.
Most importantly, reach out to me! One of the most valuable things about leading ClimatePlan is getting to work alongside the most passionate, brilliant, and effective advocates in the state. Each of you has taught me so much—so I encourage you to reach out to me directly if you think we’re off course or if you think we’re doing great.
I know we all want to achieve ClimatePlan’s vision: a healthier and more vital California that supports sustainable and equitable communities, preserves iconic landscapes, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. One of the best ways to make this vision a reality is by building a movement where we can talk with one another to invest in strategies and policies that make sure we all win.