Here in the South San Francisco Bay, we are mobilizing a powerful grassroots network of mothers and others to push for policies advancing renewable energy, climate justice, climate mitigation, and climate adaptation.
For our first campaign, we focused on bringing people power and urgency to an ongoing effort to get the San Jose City Council to create a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program. Although establishing a CCE program is the single most effective thing any city can do to dramatically lower its greenhouse gas emissions, the City had been studying CCE for six long years without taking action.
In just three months, our enthusiastic new team of mothers and kids mobilized widespread support for CCE by meeting with Councilmembers, giving passionate public comments during Council meetings, publishing three letters to the editor in the Mercury News, and delivering over 300 hand-signed postcards in favor of CCE to each Councilmember and Mayor Liccardo. On May 16, 2017, one week after our final postcard delivery, the City Council voted—unanimously—to form San Jose Clean Energy, becoming the largest city in the nation with a CCE program.
After winning our first city campaign, the team pivoted to a statewide campaign, urging our local Assembly Members and Governor Brown to support Senate Bill 100, for 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045. After months of advocacy--in district and in Sacramento--including delivering over 800 hand-signed postcards, we were thrilled when all of the members of the Bay Area delegation voted for, and Governor Brown signed into law, this landmark legislation in September, 2018.
During the summer of 2018, our membership grew substantially as we mobilized people to attend the Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice march in San Francisco. On September 8, we filled two large charter buses, bringing over 100 people to march in the largest climate march in West Coast history! We also participated in the Brown's Last Chance campaign, urging Governor Brown to address the horrific health impacts of fossil-fuel production in neighborhoods by, at the very least, creating a 2500-foot buffer zone between toxic drilling and sensitive sites like homes and schools. While Brown did not take action, we were able to raise awareness of the need for supply-side, not just demand-side, solutions to the climate and public health emergency.
In the fall of 2018, we embarked on a new project: engaging San Jose District 9 residents in the city's ambitious Climate Smart San Jose plan. We tabled, did one-on-ones, hosted house parties (including one entirely in Spanish), screened climate-solutions documentaries, utitlized social media, and hosted a "Are YOU Climate Smart?" workshop to inform and engage residents in collective efforts to reduce the city's carbon footprint while promoting climate justice.
Now the team is focusing on a new campaign: to protect Coyote Valley from industrial development. This 7400-acre piece of natural and agricultural land at the southern edge of the city has long been threatened by development, yet awareness is growing of the crucial role it plays in reducing flooding and drawing down carbon. We are urging the San Jose City Council, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and the state Assembly to do all they can to preserve this vital green infrastructure in perpetuity.
We enthusiastically welcome new volunteers to help us in our efforts to provide a healthy environment today and a livable climate tomorrow for al children!