Dear ClimatePlan Network Partners and Allies,
First things first: We’re delighted to share that the newest ClimatePlanner arrived a few short weeks ago! Chanell Fletcher, our Executive Director, delivered a strong, healthy baby boy. Mom and baby are doing well and are supported by loving family and friends.
While Chanell takes time with her growing family, ClimatePlan continues the work ahead.
During her leave, we’re honored to provide leadership for the network as Acting Co-Directors. This is an amazing opportunity for ClimatePlan to showcase our team value of shared leadership to the network and our partners and allies. We’re grateful for the confidence of the Steering Committee and our network members, and we’re beyond excited to put the ideas that came out of our November Partner Retreat into action in the coming months.
Looking back, the network made major progress on five ambitious goals for 2018. See Chanell’s reflections on how we measured up here. So what do we see ahead for 2019?
Where We’re Going
In Fall 2018, we convened partners in Lake Tahoe—where ClimatePlan began ten years ago. This time, the Network had ten more years of experience and expertise in transportation, land use, housing, equity, environmental justice, conservation, and...working together! We looked hard at where we are, who we are, and where we want to be. Our 2019 priorities build upon and sharpen the ideas and vision we shared together in Tahoe, based on our collective experiences and expertise in our neighborhoods and communities to the halls of the state capital and all points between. Based on what was shared, we’re ready to move forward on three fronts:
Drive Transformative Policy Change
We’re heading into 2019 fueled by a robust Transportation Platform signed by almost 50 organizations providing a bold vision and smart, cross-sector policy actions such as conditioning transportation funding on project performance, requiring anti-displacement protections for state investments, and using big data to protect our natural and agricultural lands. We look forward to working with the Legislature and regulators to implement the Platform to break free of the dependence on outdated, unhealthy technology—cars, freeways, and dirty freight—that is hurting our communities and climate.
We’ll also continue to focus on successful implementation of SB 375, fueled by strong, clear findings from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) that “significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are planned, funded, and built” are necessary if California is to meet its climate goals. In particular, we look forward to continuing to work with the ARB and the California Transportation Commission to align the state’s transportation funding with the state’s climate and equity goals.
In addition, we’ll support our partners to ensure that California’s natural and agricultural lands are planned for, protected, and managed, providing healthy carbon sinks and strengthening the resilience of California’s communities.
Support the Builders of State and Regional Power and Capacity
In 2019, we’re focusing on providing support to regional partners working to expand their power and ability to engage with local transportation and land use authorities. In years past, ClimatePlan primarily focused on SB 375 implementation - advocating for ambitious and achievable Regional Transportation Plans and Sustainable Communities Strategies (RTP/SCSs). At the end of 2018, we surveyed dozens of practitioners to learn, ten years on, what impact SB 375 was having on California’s regions. We learned that although plans are often ambitious, implementation is falling short, and other land use and transportation planning is often out of sync with the RTP/SCSs.
Based on that feedback, we’re working to expand support for RTP/SCS implementation as well as planning, starting with our regional partners in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. We’ll also be supporting their efforts to foster connections between regional and local land use and transportation plans and communications between local agencies, officials, and staff. We’re excited to continue our work in the Northern San Joaquin, and support their efforts to build power and engagement in their regional advocacy coalitions. We’re also supporting regional coalition work in the SF Bay Area, Sacramento, Southern California, San Diego and the Central and the Southern San Joaquin Valley, connecting advocates to the larger network and its expertise and experience.
Build Bridges between Issues and Geographies
ClimatePlan has always focused on bringing together state and regional allies and partners, providing a venue for advocates to share and learn. In 2019, we’ll continue to build on that past work—hosting dialogues, educational skillshares, policy updates, and strategic discussions—both in person and through technology. We’re working to find new ways to facilitate connections, both vertically (region-state) and laterally (region-to-region and state-to-state), so partners and allies can share what’s working (and what’s not) on the ground as well as in the legislature.
ClimatePlan is known for its ability to convene and facilitate challenging conversations that cut across the sectors in which our partners work. Specifically, we’ll continue to convene our Investment without Displacement dialogue to ensure that the policy solutions to our housing and climate crisis include protections against displacement. We’ve identified our shared goal and established a shared understanding of what we mean by “displacement”—see here. Stay tuned for the policy platform.
ClimatePlan exists because advocates recognized that no organization can go it alone when it comes to building a better California for all. As Chanell wrote in her first communication as Director: “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.”
As we take the reins for the next few months, we want to thank each of you for your support, expertise, and efforts to make real the vision of a more equitable and sustainable California where people of all backgrounds, races, and income levels can enjoy opportunity, community, and good health. Let’s make it happen together.