Planning for sustainable communities continues to pick up momentum in the San Joaquin Valley, with the Valley’s Fall Policy Conference this week October 10th-12th, followed by a meeting of the Regional Policy Council.
The Fall Policy Conference is an annual event where representatives from the region’s 8 counties come together to share information on current important topics. This year the agenda is full of items related to SB 375 and the creation of Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSes). ClimatePlan and our partners in the Valley are excited to see the great energy and attention being given to this opportunity.
To contribute to this week’s dialogue, a diverse alliance of over 30 groups submitted a letter to the Regional Policy Council. ClimatePlan has been working with a network of organizations in the Valley that are deeply invested in improving their communities. The letter outlines practical steps for meeting the goals of SB 375 that will also promote public health, save families money, and bolster the economy.
The San Joaquin Valley faces a unique set of opportunities and challenges that will require careful attention. We see the development of Sustainable Communities Strategies as a chance for Valley decision-makers to build upon the work of the Blueprint and work together to advance common interests such as improving air quality, building safer and healthier neighborhoods, improving the affordability of both housing and transportation, bolstering economically disadvantaged areas, and revitalizing the economy.
One panel at the Conference includes individuals who have worked on Sustainable Communities Strategies in other parts of the state. Another panel of experts will talk about the important differences between planning for urban, suburban, and rural areas. The day will wrap up with a panel and discussion about ways in which our local and regional agencies can work together to maximize effectiveness.
Then on Friday afternoon at the Regional Policy Council meeting, elected officials from every county’s Council of Government will continue the discussion about whether they will work together to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets set for the region under SB 375, or whether they will pursue a strategy where each county works individually.