March, 2015 – Issue #12
Message from Cyane Dandridge
Interest is growing in establishing economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable communities, and community capital is a vital component to this endeavor.
Building this capital requires an investment in education at all levels within the community, and a commitment to empowering change makers. Educational training programs can provide the emerging workforce, businesses and local government agencies the skills, ability and network to serve their communities. For example, fellows with SEI’s Climate Corps Bay Area Program
work to regionalize and implement climate mitigation strategies at the benefit of their organization, while also receiving professional development and workforce training that advances their own needs. Learning and acting together, these groups build bridges between their organizations, fostering dialogue and exchange of ideas.
As a result, these actors garner their resources to collaborate and find creative solutions to barriers and problems within their community. This could mean implementing a sustainability policy, securing funding for social service projects, or improving local school programs.
Sustainable communities are empowered, educated communities where everyone has a role to play, and a belief in their own social capital to promote healthy communities and take action. SEI is committed to this vision of a sustainable future and engages with local governments, community groups, schools and more to identify unique projects, partners, and programs that will employ local talent to achieve set objectives and meet a diverse set of needs.
Ultimately, we want to build communities that are strong enough to help themselves, and leverage the capacity of residents, organizations and institutions to find solutions to our growing climate crisis.
SF Unified School District Policy
SEI and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)
have been working to design, adopt and implement sustainability policies that incentivize sustainable behavior change through the district. With SEI's support, SFUSD just passed a comprehensive utility reduction Resolution that will support student health, cost savings, and environmental sustainability through resource conservation. The Resolution sets ambitious, achievable energy and water reduction targets:
- 10% reduction in water consumption by 2015
- 20% reduction in water consumption by 2020
- 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020
- 30% reduction in energy consumption by 2030
The Resolution also established a Utility Reduction Committee comprised of the Sustainability Office, Buildings and Grounds, Custodial Services, public school administrators, teachers, students, and city organizations. The newly formed committee will coordinate to identify utility reduction projects, and develop a master plan and policies to support the Resolution’s energy and water reduction targets. Looking ahead, SEI is also working with West Contra Costa USD, Pittsburg USD, and Oakland USD on the adoption of similar district policies.
MarinSEL Students Turn Vision Into Action
The Marin School of Environmental Leadership, a unique “school within a school” at Terra Linda HS, is experiencing the impact of, and the growing desire for, project-based education with a focus on 21st
century skills. As our inaugural class has begun to receive college acceptance and scholarship letters, students are receiving acknowledgment and praise for the experience and values gained in MarinSEL.
The program’s success has also drawn increased interest from middle school students. Over the weekend of February 7th
, sixty applicants from throughout the North Bay participated in MarinSEL’s Exploration Days, allowing students to demonstrate their interest in the program in an inspiring environment of current students and volunteers. We look forward to welcoming the newest class of thirty students to the MarinSEL community this spring!
The Vision Into Action (VIA) Award is an annual student-voted award presented to an outstanding community member who enacts change to improve and promote sustainable ventures in the region.
This year’s VIA Award goes to Cory Bytof, Volunteer & Sustainability Program Coordinator with the City of San Rafael. Cory has helped the City of San Rafael become a model for local government sustainability through collaboratively working to develop and implement San Rafael’s Climate Change Action Plan.
The award was presented to Cory at the annual MarinSEL Business Leaders Breakfast held on Wednesday, March 11th
. This breakfast will also featured keynote speakers from the forefront of sustainable business: John Stayton, ED, Graduate & Executive Programs, School of Business & Economics, SSU, Gordon Feller, Director at Cisco Systems, and Nick Papadopoulos, Food Systems Entrepreneur/Bloomfield Organics Farm.
The newest project being introduced to the MarinSEL 9th
grade curriculum is a student-tailored version of Resilient Neighborhoods. Resilient Neighborhoods is a community-based program that helps households reduce their impact through a “low-carbon diet.” Resilient Neighborhoods has led to 2,355,477 lbs of CO2 emissions reduced and groups have earned 845,060 Community Resilience Points for households throughout Marin.
Meet Our Community
San Mateo County
Our 2014-2015 Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows (CCBA)
recently passed the halfway mark for their 10-month fellowships working on climate resiliency and adaptation in the Bay Area. This year’s Fellow cohort have addressed a variety of climate-related topics in their work, ranging from engagement, outreach and education, to energy auditing, to solar racking systems research.
San Mateo County is hosting three fellows this year. Eddie Ashley, Jacki Falconio and Emi Hashizume contribute to the County’s Energy Watch Partnership and RecycleWorks programs. Their two supervisors in the Department of Public Works, Susan Wright, Resource Conservation Specialist and Kim Springer, Resource Conservation Program Manager, provide a supportive learning environment for the Fellows and have been fantastic partners to the CCBA program.
Eddie is leading efforts to reach out to and recruit businesses to take advantage of no-cost Energy Assessments offered by the County’s Energy Watch Program. In her work with schools, Jacki leads preliminary lighting audits and assists with documentation for schools to access their Prop 39 dollars for energy efficiency work. Jacki is also leading the planning for a Zero Net Energy workshop and toolkit that will be offered later this spring. By providing support to businesses seeking the County’s Green Business Certification, Emi has helped businesses adopt sustainability practices and improve resource efficiency. It is a pleasure partnering with San Mateo County to support Fellows on their journey to effect positive change for the environment.
Climate Corps Is Recruiting
We're recruiting Community Partners! If your organization could use help with climate change initiatives, check out the details on the community partner section of the CCBA website
. We will be launching our recruit of CCBA Fellows early next month. If you or someone you know wants an amazing professional development experience, think about becoming a CCBA Fellow. Check out the details on the fellows section of the CCBA website
SEI Is Hiring!
SEI is seeking Non-Profit Leadership Fellows, as well as several volunteers to support our Eco-Smart Education focus area. For more information and to apply, click here