Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Sonoma , solar , resources , politics , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , legislation , jobs , Ideas , government , environment , employment , economy , community , climate change , carbon , business , budget , author , alternative energy , activism
Almost eighty years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal helped America climb out of the Great Depression. Now some North Bay activists are promoting a Green New Deal to respond to our current economic crises.
They state their mission as follows:
The Green New Deal for the North Bay is a grassroots initiative to help transform Marin and Sonoma counties into a resilient community guided by environmental sustainability and economic equity.
During 2009 and early 2010, the Commission on a Green New Deal for the North Bay will seek answers to such questions as:
- How can we create a sustainable green future that includes economic equity and social justice?
- How can agendas for economic rights and environmental protection become more integrated and more successful?
To explore such questions, the commission held eight public forums in May and June 2009-in San Rafael, Mill Valley, Point Reyes Station, Novato, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Sea Ranch, and Petaluma.
Having completed this first series of community meetings (notes from some of them can be seen here), Green New Deal co-commissioner Norman Solomon says the comments could be seen to reflect at least a few ideas that were widely shared throughout the region.
During the summer, the commission will assess that community input and schedule public hearings in fall 2009. In those hearings, the commission will hear testimony from experts on such issues as food, housing, water, energy, health care, and social equity.
The difficulty in reconciling valid but competing interests may be the biggest challenge facing these Green New Deal commission, as those potential conflicts crop up in such a wide range of issues and circumstances. Solomon cites a recent public meeting in Petaluma at which the hotly disputed new Dutra asphalt plant proposal was being debated as just one example.
The commission will communicate its findings, first in draft form and then as a final report, to the public, media outlets, and government officials. To effect change through community participation and public policy, the report will also offer overall specific recommendations for North Bay residents, businesses, community groups, institutions, and government entities.
The 17 Green New Deal Commissioners who are working to carry out these tasks are:
Kiki La Porta
Sustainability Activist, Marketing Communications & Design
Executive Director of North Bay Labor Council
Water, Fisheries, Waste Management and Ecology Specialist
Author and Activist for Social Justice and Peace.