Amy Hartman

  • Strengthening SB 375: An Interview with Leadership Counsel's Julia Jordan

    Back in 2007, ClimatePlan was founded by 11 different nonprofits for the sole purpose of ensuring AB32 / SB375 was passed and implemented in California. 14 years later, we’re still working to strengthen SB375 implementation throughout our state as we believe it’s a critical piece of the puzzle in creating healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. In this current legislative session, there are several pieces of legislation to strengthen SB375. We recently sat down with Julia Jordan, Policy Coordinator at Leadership Counsel, to hear more about SB375 and what is being done to improve implementation of SB375 in the legislature. 

    What is SB 375 and what does it mandate in California? 

    SB 375 has been around since 2008. It essentially added a component to California’s regional transportation planning process to better address greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the transportation sector and specifically, GHGs from passenger vehicles (cars). Regional transportation plans have been around for even longer than that and require the creation of a 20-year vision for transportation investments and priorities. 

    SB 375 requires each Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in California to include a “Sustainable Communities Strategy” (SCS) in their regional transportation plan. This plan demonstrates how each region will meet their GHG reduction targets, which are set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Different regions of the state have been putting together SCS plans to meet climate goals for the last 13 years and the process involves a lot of different agencies - CARB, the California Transportation Commission (CTC), local governments, transit agencies, and MPOs who are responsible for making those plans. The analysis in SCSs also includes information on that region’s transportation network, housing availability, affordability, land use and population data in the region and how that region is expecting to grow. The projects that are put in the SCS become eligible for local, state and federal funding, so it is critical that the public is able to equitably engage and inform the plans. 

    More information on details of SB 375 can be found here in this resource from the Institute for Local Government. 

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  • Thinking Big and Bold: A Recap on 2021 Listening Sessions

    “You can’t drive transformative change without talking about race.” - Tamika Butler, Keynote Address at Listening Sessions 2021

    In late January 2021, we held our annual Listening Sessions in a half-day virtual summit over Zoom. 65+ ClimatePlan network partners, including the ClimatePlan Advisory Board and representatives from CalTrans, CalSta, and CARB, all joined and provided their thoughts and input on what we’re working towards in 2021. 

    Background and Goals

    Long-time ClimatePlanners know that in the past we have held an annual retreat where the ClimatePlan Advisory Board and Staff come together to set the agenda and work plan for the coming year. Last year, however, in addition to hearing from our Advisory Board, the ClimatePlan team decided we wanted to get a more local and regional perspective across the state from our network partners. We travelled to seven different regions of the state and held day-long meetings and happy hours with our local and regional partners. But this year - due to COVID - we moved everything online and we’re so grateful to all of our partners that attended and provided such invaluable feedback. 

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  • Dear White Folks, Part 2 - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

    “There is something dying in our society, in our culture, and there’s something dying in us individually. And what is dying, I think, is the willingness to be in denial. And that is extraordinary. It’s always been happening, and when it happens in enough of us, in a short enough period of time at the same time, then you have a tipping point, and the culture begins to shift. And then, what I feel like people are at now is, no, no, bring it on. I have to face it — we have to face it.” - Rev. angel Kyodo williams 


    Dear white folks, 

    Back in late May of this year, as so much was unfolding around the news of George Floyd, I published a blog called “Dear White Folks, we need to talk about racism.”  Now, at the end of 2020, I thought we could take the time to reflect on the changes we’ve witnessed over the past year and honestly assess where we’re at in terms of our own progress - as white folks - in dismantling white supremacy. 

    It all feels like a mixed bag, to say the least. 

    I’m seeing symbolic “wins” in addressing systemic racism, personally and collectively, but I’m also seeing how far we still have to go.  I’m noticing a wide spectrum of reaction from white folks, ranging from some suddenly being mortified at what they’re seeing and claiming “we had no idea this was still happening” to long-time racial justice organizers committing even more deeply to becoming abolitionists and then everything in between. It does feel like we are going through an unveiling of deep injustices while also seeing the ignorance, hatred, and greed that has always existed come closer and closer to the surface. 

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  • A Note from the ClimatePlan Team during Native American Heritage Month

    Back in June, we published a blog entitled “A Deeper Interrogation: Addressing Climate and Racial Justice in the ClimatePlan Network” where we recommitted to an even deeper personal, organizational, and network-wide interrogation of how we’re centering equity in all that we do and how we’re amplifying the community voices we most need to hear. 

    While we’re all aware of Thanksgiving this week and thinking through how to move through this holiday in a different, safer way this year, here at ClimatePlan, we’re also thinking about November as Native American Heritage Month and Friday, November 27th as Native American Heritage Day. This commitment to centering equity is certainly coming up for us this month as we begin to dive deeper into understanding the Native experience in our state and what equity in land use, housing, and transportation means to the Native community. 

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  • published Expanding Resilience in a Tumultuous Time in Blog 2020-10-27 15:19:34 -0700

    Expanding Resilience in a Tumultuous Time

    As we navigate through a global pandemic, massive wildfires and hazardous air quality, a racial reckoning, and an upcoming election, self care and finding ways to stay resilient are of utmost importance. At ClimatePlan, we’re constantly thinking about how to stay resilient as a network, as a team, and as individual staff members. It has been a challenging year to say the least, but we’re finding ways to stay afloat during these tough times and use these difficult times to innovate and create if we have the mental and emotional bandwidth to do so. It’s become increasingly clear that we’re undergoing major transformations from the personal to the collective level and we’re navigating through it - as bravely as we can - together. 

    It’s not at all lost on us within the ClimatePlan network that we’re truly doing some of the most challenging work right now in ultimately trying to address and reverse climate change and it’s multitude of impacts. To do this work while the climate crisis is right at our front doors is sobering. Below are some of the ways that we’re navigating through this as a network and as a team. 

    Individual Self Care

    For our individual self care, on our own time, we’re following the lead of theorist Audre Lorde when she said “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” We know that taking care of ourselves allows us to show up with more presence, spaciousness, and bandwidth when we need to. 

    We’re taking care of ourselves in the following ways: 

    1. Taking long walks and hot epsom salt baths (pro tip: try Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath), 
    2. Journaling and diffusing essential oils throughout the day, 
    3. Eating nutritious foods as best we can and breaking up long days with 10-minute dance parties and good music, 
    4. Stretching and doing yoga at the beginning and end of each day.

    Spring Opara at CompassPoint NonProfit Services also shares an incredible list of 5 weeks of self care that we’ve been following. 

    But we’re also taking self care a step further - in a place that self care really matters. We’re putting our shared agreements into practice in very tangible ways. 

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  • ICYMI: Here’s why we need to implement SB 743 in the middle of a global pandemic

    Recently we at ClimatePlan came across a webpage from the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) entitled, “Housing Killers & Creators.” Imagine our surprise when we saw SB 743—also known as “New transportation analysis will add to the cost of building a home”—on CBIA’s webpage. According to CBIA, “effective July 1, 2020, cities and counties will be required to analyze the amount of driving, known as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), residents do every day. Then, those local agencies will then tax new homes to punish people who drive. The primary target is lower- and middle-income people who are often communities of color. These communities often have the longest commutes. Applying this new metric is an arbitrary and unproven strategy that runs the significant risk of litigation, delay, cost-overruns and constraints on housing production.

    After perusing their webpage, we’d like to encourage you, the reader, to do two things:

    1. Read the facts of what SB 743 will (and will not) do here and here. As you will see, SB 743 doesn’t require local agencies to “tax new homes” nor does it target low-income communities of color.
    2. Read Amy’s blog below on why we need to implement SB 743, especially in the midst of COVID-19.
    Read more


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