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Comments on the Proposed City Work Plan, and Spark Green in 2018 with personal Climate Actions!

From: domainremoved <Diane>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 18:28:04 +0000

Dear Mayor Ohtaki and City Council Members,

As you meet to discuss the goals and projects for the coming year, this is a good time to reflect on the progress of the past year. The City of Menlo Park accomplished a lot last year on transportation, housing, and other vital issues. On sustainability we applaud you for showing leadership by committing to be a 100% Clean Energy City by 2030, helping low-income homeowners receive free solar panels, advancing safe routes to school, installing more bus shelters, adopting a Zero Waste Plan, and supporting the Paris Global Climate Accord, among many other actions.

Menlo Park has been an enlightened city with some of the most ambitious Climate Action Plan goals. The city is on track to meet its 2020 goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27 percent compared to 2005 levels. This laudable climate progress is a result of Menlo Park supporting Peninsula Clean Energy<https://www.peninsulacleanenergy.com/> and the clean, soon-to-be carbon free electricity that it provides county-wide. Smart green building requirements for new developments have also contributed, as well as an engaged community with one of the highest rates in the world of new car purchases that are clean, electric models.

The City should be proud of all of this progress to become more sustainable, but we cannot be complacent. The extreme weather and wildfires of 2017 were a sign that were already feeling severe impacts of climate change. Governor Brown reminded us last week in his State of the State<http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-jerry-brown-state-of-state-speech-transcript-20180125-story.html> address, that the national academies of science of every major country in the world have all concluded that human caused GHGs are trapping heat in the oceans and in the atmosphere, and that action must be taken to avert catastrophic changes to our climate.

Although the proposed Work Plan for 2018 does not contain discrete climate projects that directly cut carbon, we support the environmental goals, and appreciate the funding dedicated to supporting climate action in the budget. These resources will help the city move faster and farther in accomplishing its climate goals. Further, we recommend that climate become a standard issue to be considered in all decision-making, as economic factors are currently considered.

We look forward to partnering with the city on the proposed Climate Resilience Plan as it develops. This is an area where innovative clean energy projects, such as integrated battery energy storage coupled with solar systems at schools and other community gathering places, can serve as key emergency shelters providing critical services in times of need. Planting more trees and building solar carports over parking lots can also help provide vital shading as we face more heat waves, while at the same time improving neighborhoods.

Finally we note that as the City focuses on transportation and development projects in 2018, these are some of the most important areas where smart planning can greatly improve sustainability. Menlo Spark supports the Citys goals to improve mobility in every neighborhood, provide more housing including affordable housing, and create a thriving downtown.

Today we are launching a new contest through the Menlo Green Challenge<www.menlogreenchallenge.org>, Spark Green in 2018! Everyone in Menlo Park is invited to take their own personal climate actions and be empowered to reduce their carbon footprint. Last year, almost 400 families signed on to the Green Challenge (www.menlogreenchallenge.org) and took actions to reduce 120 tons of carbon emissions! Way to go Menlo! We hope to double that in 2018. You are warmly invited to participate. Prizes and contest details are described at www.menlogreenchallenge.org (see the community page).

Warm regards,
Diane Bailey

Diane Bailey | Executive Director
Visit us: www.MenloSpark.org<http://www.menlospark.org/>
Find us on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/menlospark2025?ref=aymt_homepage_panel>
Follow us on Twitter<https://twitter.com/MenloSpark2025>
Climate Neutral for a Healthy, Prosperous Menlo Park

The Challenge is on! Have you signed up for the Menlo Green Challenge? See www.menlogreenchallenge.org
Take climate actions to lower your carbon footprint and get recognized for it!
Prizes and perks for everyone who rises to the Challenge.

(image/png attachment: C421302D-8C87-4C6E-9C4A-456168B4C399_5_.png)

Received on Mon Jan 29 2018 - 10:31:18 PST

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