09.20 Retreat Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

SPECIAL MEETING RETREAT

APPROVED MINUTES

Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

111 Sutter Street, 20th Floor

 

 

Commission Members:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr., (President), Johanna Wald, (Vice-President), Ruth Gravanis, Angelo King, and Alan Mok

 

Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

Public comment will be taken before the Commission takes action on any item.

 

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL:  The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.  Present:  Commission President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Wald, Gravanis, King (11:00 a.m.), and Mok

All attendees introduced themselves.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. 

 

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel requested that the Commission discuss a rumor that she stated has been circulating that the garbage rate review process would be held again in two years instead of five.  Ms. Wuerfel also asked the Commission to review the 2004-2007 Strategic Plan and that the Plan should include:  what worked and did not work; the greatest achievement; an administrative section with specific plans for fiscal accountability and transparency that would include accounts and reports that everyone can understand.  It was also recommended that the Plan be shortened

 

DISCUSSION:  How to use the climate change issue to unify numerous program areas under one campaign.

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that today’s focus would be to discuss an integrated effective program that engages people and results in a behavior change that would reduce our green house gas emissions.  The Department of the Environment has developed a local Climate Action Plan with the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and elements of the Plan were discussed.

 

Goals, Reduction Measures & Opportunities

 

§         City and County of San Francisco target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (2.5 million tons) 20% below 1990 levels by 2012.  Ms. Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator is in the process of registering the City and County of San Francisco in the California Climate Action Registry in order to certify an inventory of municipal emissions.

 

§         AB32 deals with the largest emitters in the state, e.g., power plants, oil refineries and large emissions (does not deal with community or municipal sources).  San Francisco’s target is more aggressive than the AB32 target, but AB32 will help us move forward.

 

§         Urban Environmental Accords Actions 1-3 deals with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and a green house gas reduction target.

 

§         Peak oil provides an additional motivation for moving away from the carbon economy.

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that the citywide goal is to reduce 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gas reductions by 2012.  Climate change reduction programs are divided into three areas that include energy, transportation, and solid waste measures.  A discussion was held on what is being done strategically and pending legislation.

 

Energy Measures

 

§         Energy Efficiency/Conservation:  Percentage of reductions in Climate Action Plan – 51%.   Director Blumenfeld advised that (1) the Department conducted an electricity resource planning process that looked aggressively at how the Department can achieve energy efficiency and conservation megawatt reduction implemented through a PG&E partnership, and (2) Energy Manager Cal Broomhead and Energy Efficiency Coordinator Ann Kelly are working on an energy efficiency program with multi-family and small businesses.

Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager discussed the success of the Department’s Powersavers program to retrofit the lighting systems for 4,000 small businesses in San Francisco (6 megawatt goal) and a subsequent program run by PG&E in partnership with the Department that was not as successful (16 megawatt goal of which 12 megawatts was achieved). Mr. Broomhead advised that in the 2006-08-program year (8 megawatt goal), the Department would again be running the program, which would result in eliminating previous administrative difficulties experienced with PG&E.  Obstacles and strategies in meeting current program goals were discussed. 

 

Vice-President Commissioner Wald asked if the Climate Action Plan percentage of target reductions should be revised if all previous efforts produced only a 4% reduction as stated by Mr. Broomhead.  Director Blumenfeld advised that target reductions could be met with other methods.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel recommended that a property tax credit be applied for reducing megawatt usage.

 

Legislation: Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance Amendments (RECO) and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance (CECO).  Director Blumenfeld advised that RECO is the priority this calendar year.  Mr. Broomhead gave a report on pending legislation noting legislative incentives and requirements and discussed the need for energy and economic impact evaluations. 

 

RECO:  The Ordinance requires (1) that at the time when reroofing a house, R30 attic insulation; (2) an investment (1/2% or 1% of the sale price) or a home energy rating.  Director Blumenfeld stated that this would create a huge demand and opportunities for job training and would tie in with the Environmental Justice Program area.  Alexis Harte, Urban Forestry Council Coordinator advised that Berkeley provides incentives for people to retrofit housing for earthquake safety by returning a small percentage of transfer tax.

 

Mr. Broomhead advised that there are about 60,000 residential units that are sold or transferred every year in San Francisco out of approximately 340,000 and is the most effective area to require energy investments.  Director Blumenfeld discussed the CIP Rent Ordinance regarding how to pass-through savings/costs from the landlord to the tenant and a formula went to the Commission for adoption and then to the Rent Board.  Director Blumenfeld recommended that a Rent Board representative discuss the status of the Ordinance at a future Commission meeting.

 

Vice-President Commissioner Wald asked if any promising technologies or practices have been identified for the commercial sector that can be influenced through incentives and are contained in the legislation.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the actual programs, not the legislation, contain technical assistance and incentives and will be discussed at the Commission meeting on September 26.  Director Blumenfeld stated that more time would be spent on incentives than legislation this year.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Isabel Wade, Neighborhood Parks Council, inquired as to whether all residential requirements are related to energy.  Mr. Broomhead advised that residential requirements pertain to energy and toilets. Ms. Wade stated that the Council wanted to require that a property owner plant a tree when changing over property. 

 

Renewable Energy: Ms. Johanna Partin, Renewable Energy Coordinator discussed the integrated approach that is being taken between renewable energy and energy efficiency. The focus is on three technologies—solar, wind, and ocean energy. 

 

o       Solar:  The Climate Action Plan and Energy Plan’s goal is 50 megawatts of renewable energy within city limits by the year 2012 with 31 megawatts coming from solar.  The need to possibly revise this goal was addressed.  Ms. Partin discussed solar outreach that is being worked on with the commercial and residential sectors that includes providing technical assistance for potential solar customers and the creation of a solar mapping interactive website targeted for January 2007. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel discussed a radio broadcast that concluded it would be better for residences to install a solar thermal water heater instead of putting solar panels on their roof because of supply, demand, and pricing issues surrounding solar panels.

 

President Pelosi Jr. recommended that (1) PG&E issue credits for solar energy that is produced and (2) a marketing campaign.

 

o       Wind:  Ms. Partin explained that there is one wind installation that generates power in San Francisco located at the Randall Museum.  The Department is working with the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection on a wind pilot program where individual homeowners and businesses could put wind on their building and measure wind speed.  Limitations such as height, noise, vibrations, and bird safety are being addressed through new technologies called vertical access wind turbines.  A vendor forum is being organized to provide information to the public, businesses, and homeowners.

 

o       Ocean Energy:  Ms. Partin advised that the Department would like to pursue wave and tidal projects in San Francisco and discussed studies that have been done on tidal under the Golden Gate Bridge and wave energy off the coast of San Francisco.  It was determined that the resource was the best in the lower 48 states. Ms. Partin advised that the Department is participating in a wave study being conducted by the Electricity Policy Research Institute (EPRI), with the California Energy Commission, PG&E, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to review different sites off the west coast in California including San Francisco to determine where the best resource is for a wave energy site, what the potential is, and interconnection issues. 

 

Tidal status—Director Blumenfeld stated that the Mayor advised prioritizing tidal over wave because of permitting/marine issues.  Ms. Partin has completed a draft proposal articulating funding requests to the California Energy Commission to help move this effort forward.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Isabel Wade recommended that the City develop a program that will capture the public’s imagination about their individual capacity to be more involved in energy efficiency efforts.

 

o       Community Choice Aggregation.  Director Blumenfeld explained that community choice aggregation would allow PG&E to retain all of the transmission, infrastructure and billing, and the City would be in charge of the procurement.  That would afford the City certain opportunities to move more aggressively towards renewable energy, but includes risks.  Mr. Broomhead explained that the SFPUC is the lead on community choice aggregation and is formulating a Plan that may be before the Board of Supervisors and Mayor in the next few months.

 

Transportation Measures – Percentage of reductions in Climate Action Plan – 37%.

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that transportation measures propose a challenge because it is impossible to control the transportation choices of individuals.  A discussion was held on methods used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by (1) getting people to use public transportation, walk, bike, and carpool; and (2) using clean vehicles and fuels.   

 

Transportation Demand Management:  Mr. Faiz Khan, Transportation Demand Coordinator explained that 60% of commuters (people commuting into San Francisco that do not live in San Francisco) use alternative transportation and 40% of people drive alone.  It was stated that by 2012, that the drive alone figure must be further reduced in order to achieve the reductions necessary to meet the San Francisco target.  A discussion was held on new programs being worked on in collaboration with MUNI and the Transportation Authority to try to achieve the goal.  Programs discussed:

 

§         Commuter Benefit Programs providing financial incentives to employees and tax incentives to employers. Director Blumenfeld discussed the possibility of creating a law that requires every employer with more than so many employees to provide commuter benefits to their employees.

 

§         Emergency Ride Home Program: City pays for an emergency ride home (6% increase in transit use as a result of the program). 

 

§         Telecommuting Program encouraging City departments to allow employees to work from home by providing network support;

 

§         Vanpool Program: $400 or $500 to set up a vanpool, pretax deduction from the commuter benefits program, convenience in pickup and drop off locations, and reduction in parking rates.

 

§         City Bicycle Fleet Program:  Grant to provide 200 bicycles to different City departments/employees such as gardeners, MUNI planners, any City employee who is making significant car or truck trips to get their work done. 

 

§         Bike mapping – working with MPC, various City Departments, and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to develop online bike mapping.  Goal is to achieve a 6% increase from the commuter drive alone figure. 

 

Mr. Khan stated that more staff support is required to expand the outreach effort for the emergency ride home and commuter benefit programs.  The Clean Air Program is in the process of hiring two GIS experts to work on outreach efforts to study the City workforce to determine what type of carpool/transit/trip plan options are available to them.

 

Commissioner King recommended that the Department supply a freshen-up kit to commuters that bike or walk to work.  Mr. Khan advised that employers could contact the City to have a free bike locker or rack installed at their location.  Ms. Partin recommended bike-only partnerships with gyms in order to be able to use their showers.  Commissioner Wald encouraged more involvement from other City departments such as MUNI.

 

Future programs to reach goals include:

 

§         Congestion Pricing Program:  working with the Transportation Authority to charge drive-alone cars during commute hours.  San Francisco would be the first City in the country to do this kind of program—(10 to 15% reduction in drive alone car rates). Recommendations may not be available until next year.  Director Blumenfeld requested that the consultants present a report to the Commission as the program moves forward.

 

§         Transit Pass Program:  working with UCSF and San Francisco State to get faculty and students onto transit by offering subsidized transit passes.  Students will get transit passes for $5.00 and if students return their parking pass, they will receive a free BART or transit pass.  Grants for this program would come from the Air District and Transportation Authority.

 

Deputy Director David Assmann recommended promoting the 9-80 Alternative Work Program throughout the City.  Commissioner Gravanis recommended a goal of reducing per-capita car ownership in San Francisco.

 

Alternative Fuels and Clean Vehicles:  Director Blumenfeld discussed the Department’s clean fuels program in the City fleet, biodiesel work being done--CALTRANS and Federal EPA grants allocated to groups in the Bayview and City College work on biodiesel.  It was announced that the Rate Board decided to require Norcal to move toward B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% diesel).

 

Mr. Bob Hayden introduced Ms. Vandana Bali who will be working on current programs. Discussions included: 

 

§         Healthy Air Ordinance: much of the work that is being done in the clean fuels area is based upon the Healthy Air Ordinance enacted in 1999/2000, which has done a good job to move the City fleet toward being greener.  The Ordinance is outdated and is being worked on internally to develop concepts to incorporate into a new ordinance.

 

§         Alternative Fuel Vehicles:  goal is that the City fleet continues to have as a first priority, alternative fuel vehicles. 

 

§         Green Index for Medium and Heavy Duty:  A program is being instituted that will require department fleet purchasers to seek out the lowest tail pipe emissions and highest fuel economy for vehicles in that class.

 

§         Access to City Pumps:  San Francisco has the largest number of alternative fuel stations in the San Francisco Bay Area--CNG, biodiesel, and hydrogen are being worked on.

 

§         Biodiesel:  Active work underway to increase retail general accessibility to biodiesel as it starts to become available.  Director Blumenfeld stated that if you went to B100, green house gas emission reduction would be 90%; when you go to B20, it would be a 15% reduction.  Mr. Hayden advised that the City is operating through a Mayor’s Office City directive to institute B20 biodiesel beginning this year, and the Department is working with other City departments to get it implemented.  The Board of Supervisors Resolution created a Biodiesel Access Task Force that makes biodiesel more widely available.

 

§         Plug-in Hybrids:  Mr. Hayden advised that funding is being sought to obtain plug-in hybrids for testing to (1) work on heavy-duty vehicles in conjunction with the Electric Power Research Institute program, and (2) to convert new Prius’s that are being purchased to be plug-in hybrids.  Mr. Hayden advised that PG&E is interested in seeing if a small fleet can be tested to show grid interface and send power back into the grid system.

 

Solid Waste Measures – Percentage of reductions in Climate Action Plan – 12%; goal of 75% by 2010; zero waste by 2020.

 

Jack Macy, Commercial Recycling Coordinator discussed what the Department is doing and how goals of 75% diversion by 2010 and zero waste by 2020 could be reached.  It was explained that numbers were based on 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide reduction, looking at what the increase of tons being diverted was that could be projected, to get to the 75% goal by 2010.

 

§         Composting:  doing well on composting and exceeding target

 

§         Recycling:  doing well in residential and doing less well in commercial (commercial waste is 55-60% of the waste stream)

 

Mr. Macy reported that the Recycling program is working with businesses providing assistance with programs, outreach to the residential sector, and offering residential incentives, e.g. paying for the trash container only (not recycling and composting containers) and providing savings for reducing from a 32 to 20 gallon trash container.  It was explained that the commercial sector has more opportunity to save because of incentives that include discounts on the volume of recycling and composting being diverted. 

 

§         Upstream waste burg.  Upstream impacts of waste are not seen, for example for every one ton of waste produced locally, 70 tons are being produced upstream.  It was explained that the biggest impact of greenhouse gas on the landfill is organics that generate methane, which is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the biggest source of human made methane in the United States is from landfills.  A discussion was held on the possibility of establishing a law banning the landfill of organics as proposed in Europe and currently in effect in Germany.

 

§         Mandatory Recycling:  Mr. Macy indicated that mandatory recycling is a policy option in the future. Director Blumenfeld stated that the garbage rate seems to be a five-year rate but anyone can come back during that period.  It was stated that the Controller who is part of the Rate Board confirmed that if mandatory recycling were to be instituted, the garbage system would have to be redone to create penalties.  The Department indicated that they wanted mandatory recycling online in the next two years which may impact the rate making process. 

 

§         40% sent to landfill could be composted; 25% of what goes to landfill cannot be recycled.  Mr. Macy stated that the biggest item going to landfill is food waste, second is paper from residential and commercial sectors, and third is construction and demolition debris. 

 

§         Zero Waste:  To reach zero waste, work needs to be done at the policy level in addition to consumer and producer responsibility.

 

Other Strategies.  Measures not included in the Climate Action Plan.

 

Offsets:  Flights/Travel/Events, Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s)/the Climate Protection Tariff

 

§         Offsets: Events:  Director Blumenfeld advised that the Department is working with City events to make them zero waste and suggested working on a City requirement that all City events be zero waste and carbon neutral. 

 

§         Offsets: Flights/Travel/Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s): Melissa Capria, Climate Action Coordinator advised that the Airport has started to look at climate measures and have become a member of the Sustainable Silicon Valley. A discussion was held on establishing an offset counter at the Airport.  Ms. Capria stated that various organizations are setting up credit cards where they have established partnerships with retailers.  People would receive a percentage reduction at those retailers when they use the credit card, and a certain percentage of the funds would go into a fund that could be sent back locally to offset emissions.

 

§         Offsets:  Climate Protection Tariff:  Ms. Capria reported that PG&E has proposed a voluntary climate protection tariff where all their customers that receive electricity and natural gas would be given an option to pay a tariff that would be used to offset the amount of emissions associated with their electricity and natural gas usage.  A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proceeding is underway to determine what the project will look like.  Director Blumenfeld stated that the Department wants to make sure all PG&E projects that are being done are in partnership with local government. Ms. Capria advised that projects will be purchased through the California Climate Registry and the only types of projects available will be forestry offsets.

 

§         Sequestration:  Urban Forests:  Ms. Capria explained sequestration: as trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, they actually store that carbon.  The urban forest on an annual basis stores an additional 5,000 tons of carbon per year.  One approach to sequestration is to consider the forest that may be cut down and credit can be taken for the tons of carbon that are stored in the forest.

 

Ms. Grace Ma, Urban Forestry Council Associate reported that currently San Francisco has approximately 668,000 total trees totaling up to about 5,000 tons of carbon per year which adds up to .25% of the target for greenhouse gas emissions.  Urban trees are a modest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to other programs.  Trees do produce other benefits in terms of air quality--trees take out particulate matter, reduce sulphur dioxide, nitrous dioxide and have public health, social and environmental benefits for the larger community. Ms. Capria stated that there are a lot of benefits to urban forestry in terms of climate change that are not reflected in carbon sequestration numbers.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Wuerfel asked if any particular tree is better or different in carbon sequestration.  Ms. Ma stated that some trees do sequester more carbon but there are tradeoffs as some trees are more volatile in getting compounds.  The site has to be considered, as some trees require specific conditions to grow and factors have to be balanced to get the best tree for the location.  Director Blumenfeld stated that it has been reported that evergreen trees have the most surface area and may be the best for carbon sequestration.

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that at the September 11, 2006 Commission Policy Committee meeting on food, food advocates recommended that the City and County of San Francisco buy land to plant food in the City, which would save in transportation/green house gas emissions. The plants can also be used to sequester carbon.  Commissioner Gravanis asked if there was scientific information about the merits of trees versus other plant forms in terms of sequestration and that it has been said that a lot of sequestration takes place in the root systems of these various plants.  Debbie Raphael, Toxics Program Manager discussed Volatile Organic Compounds that are highly reactive in the atmosphere and may cause smog.   

§         Green Building: Mark Palmer, Municipal Green Building Coordinator discussed education and outreach to City design professionals, private sector architects, engineering firms, builders, contractors, homeowners on green building standards.  It was explained that Green Building is a process of integrating the building environment with natural systems.  

 

Green Building Energy Efforts:  Mr. Palmer stated that buildings are being designed to exceed the Energy Code by 30% and are providing their own energy sources.  It was stated that Green Building incorporates many different program areas that include:

 

Green Building Recycling Efforts:  A discussion was held on Green Building’s recycling efforts, which produce a 67% diversion rate citywide.  In new construction, buildings are designed with storage and location facilities for recyclable materials and a large part of the program is construction and demolition. 

 

Integrated Pest Management:  City pesticide application is reduced by 90% and buildings are being designed to be pest resistant so pesticides do not have to be used.  Buildings are being designed with materials that have low volatile organic compounds. 

 

Transit Demand Program: Buildings receive Green Building and LEED credit for being close to public transit, for creating bicycle and changing rooms and shower facilities, for reducing parking and influencing carpooling.

 

Environmental Justice: Buildings are created for people to support health, welfare and productivity. 

 

Mr. Palmer explained that there is a tremendous amount of environmental impact that goes into green building and urges that pressure be kept up to provide resources and support for the green building program.

 

Sushma Dhulipala, Commercial Toxic Reduction Coordinator stated that in order to qualify for the City’s Green Business Award, the Department has asked businesses to demonstrate their commitment to the environment by implementing certain measures.  Standards have been developed for hotels, office buildings, and restaurants in consultation with other jurisdictions in the Bay, local industry, the public, and City staff.  A checklist has been created that lists a minimum number of measures to be implemented that is divided into program areas, e.g. recycling, energy conservation, water conservation, and pollution prevention.  All these factors may directly or indirectly impact climate change. Measures that directly help reduce the impact of climate change are energy conservation measures, reducing the amount of solid waste, and water conservation.  A current project is to look at the practices that green businesses are being asked to implement and associating carbon dioxide reduction numbers with each of the measures.

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that in the next two weeks the Mayor would announce a fast-track permitting process for all new and renovated buildings that qualify for the LEED Gold rating or equivalent.  This will be a joint effort between the Department, DBI, and Planning.  It was also advised that the Resource Efficient Building Ordinance would be reviewed so that municipal construction over 5,000 square feet including renovations and any new building built downtown would have to be LEED silver or gold. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if it was in the green building domain to influence the Planning Department to put in recycling chutes in each new structure and inquired about gray water.  Mr. Palmer stated that he serves on the Department of Building Inspection Code Advisory Committee, and they have instituted a Green Building Subcommittee that is discussing recycling chutes in multi-family buildings.  Mr. Palmer stated that the City’s Recycled Water Master Plan is relied on for supplying recycled water on a mass-produced level.  The use of gray water is not being sought after at this time.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Isabel Wade requested that the green building concept incorporate roof top gardens and green landscaping.  Mr. Palmer advised that there is a green roof pilot project that is being designed on a municipal facility at this time.

 

§         Adaptation:    Director Blumenfeld defined adaptation as how we adapt to climate change versus how we reduce our emissions.

 

§         Clean Tech:  Director Blumenfeld explained that there are different ways that technology is going to intersect with the Environment.  The Mayor created Clean-Tech Advisory Council, which is studying how to bring innovative businesses into the City. There is a Clean Tech tax credit for renewable energy companies that come to San Francisco.  Clean technologies provide in most economists’ perspective, the same kind of job and growth opportunities that biotech, Internet and computers have in California. 

 

§         Environmental Justice Programs:  Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager stated that there will more inequities in the future when global warming arises and that models are being created to address this situation.  An example given was the Bayview Farmers Market where there are two community gardens that are certified as organic farms.  Ms. Eng asked the Commission to issue a policy directive to support investment in gardens and teaching children how to grow vegetables.

 

Ms. Eng discussed current programs and work in the Environmental Justice Section that are focusing in the areas of renewables, conservation, and reducing diesel emissions, e.g. solar training and installation programs, promoting biodiesel on a regional basis by helping to build an infrastructure with distributors, retail gas stations, and initiating training programs at City College.  Ms. Eng stated that there is a lot of opportunity for production, distribution, and education.

 

Director Blumenfeld discussed the November ballot which has two relevant initiatives--Proposition 87 is a fee on the oil industry which would collect $3.00 a barrel from the oil companies and tax them on the production of oil in California and Proposition 84, which contains $500 million for a local community climate program that would give money to jurisdictions to develop local climate strategies.  It was recommended that brainstorming would be required to develop other strategies to develop a fund to pay for projects on a long-term basis.

 

Director Blumenfeld discussed the Business Coalition on Climate Change who is looking at ways that businesses can work together to reduce their green house gas emissions and receive credit in the process.

 

§         Treasure Island as Development Model:  Director Blumenfeld stated that the Department would like Treasure Island to be a development model, a carbon neutral development, and to use 100% renewable energy.  It was announced that there is an event on September 21 called futuresealevel.org located at Pier 39 at 11:00 a.m.

 

Messaging-Integration with “Our Home, Our City, Our Planet”

 

§         Mark Westlund, Public Outreach Program Manager discussed how we talk about climate with other departments and our planet, and how we integrate each of the program areas in a climate message. 

 

Tag line is “Our Home, Our City, Our Planet” developed by Ms. Thea Hillman, Technical Writer.  The concept is that people should think of the environment as what’s around them and these things that we do in smaller environments have a larger impact.  The goal is to promote San Francisco’s activities that address the challenge of global warming and inspire and give the public tools to take action. 

 

Director Blumenfeld asked the Commission for their input as to how to create a unified message of action around climate change and existing programs. 

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Isabel Wade stated that the community has heard about global warming, but does not know what action to take.  It was recommended that the message include something that our City is trying to do together to make an impact.  Ms. Wade recommended a public relations campaign and selecting three to five individual action steps for the public to participate in.

 

Vice-President Commissioner Wald stated that the message should not suggest that the total solution would be that individual action would solve the problem.  It is important that political action be taken to solve environmental problems.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that individual action should be connected to the overall solution. 

 

President Commissioner Pelosi Jr. discussed the infeasibility of federal legislation to support climate action.  It was recommended that over-users be taxed and to brand what San Francisco Environment is doing on climate change.

 

Director Blumenfeld advised that there is adequate funding for outreach for recycling and energy and requested input as to how climate can be tied in.

 

Indicators

 

§         Personal – Citywide Grading Program (“What’s your number?”  Thea Hillman, Technical Writer discussed how people could understand their impact by tracking their rating on a local calculator that is connected to the City’s programs and can consist of ten actions steps that can be added up. 

 

Vice-President Commissioner Wald recommended changing the public’s behavior by starting with one constant message and then taking up another message at a future time. A discussion was held on developing several action steps to achieve a particular goal.  Commissioner Gravanis encouraged the idea of a residential certificate or award that parallels the Green Business certificate.

 

Vice-President Commissioner Wald recommended developing a flyer about San Francisco’s climate challenge with a message of “here are ten things that can be done to make a difference.”  President Pelosi Jr. recommended keeping the action step list short and differentiating action steps that could be done individually and on a local or statewide level.

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that this issue would be heard again at the Commission on the Environment’s Policy Committee and stressed the importance of getting the community and organizations to partner in this effort.

 

The following agenda items were heard together with the above agenda item or not heard at this time:

 

DISCUSSION:  2007 Commission Agenda Items.

 

DISCUSSION:  Status of pending Commission legislation.

INFORMATION: President’s Announcements

INFORMATION: New Business

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.

 

ADJOURNMENT.  The Commission on the Environment Special Meeting Retreat adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

 

 

 Respectfully submitted by,

 

Monica Fish

Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Commission’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission as attachments to the meeting agenda or minutes, (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

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Adopted:  November 28, 2006
 
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