One of the first things I learned as a medical student was that in an emergency you must respond decisively. We can’t debate the climate emergency any longer. I will defend your right to a healthy future by fully funding and staffing our Climate Commission.
In early 2019, our City Council declared a Climate Emergency, and appointed a Climate Action Commission. Unfortunately, the Commission has a minimal budget and staff. Failure to provide sufficient resources undermines the effectiveness of the Commission. The Commission must be able to educate our community, seek community input and promote citizen engagement in the planning and decision-making process.
A crisis requires that we move forward with a sense of urgency and thoughtfulness. I will insist that every policy, development project, procurement action and zoning decision made by the Council reflects the crisis we face. All staff reports on Council agenda items should highlight the potential impact on the climate.
Our General Plan will be revised over the next few years. This is the document that will guide future development in Petaluma. Our current plan reflects development as the first priority. The new plan must reflect the fact that safeguarding our community and the environment will be the first consideration. Development should benefit the people of Petaluma, not developers.
Vehicle emissions are major contributors to warming our planet. I will be a tireless advocate for implementing alternatives such as improving public transportation and creating safe opportunities for us to ride bikes throughout our city making non-automobile transportation possible for everyone. In addition, I will work with my council colleagues to move towards 100% clean energy use, zero waste, and the wide-spread adoption of water-saving practices.