Green New Deal Town Hall – May 7

Tue, May 7, 2019, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto
Free, register at EventBrite

A Green New Deal Resolution has been proposed in Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. The stated goal is to address climate change by creating millions of new green jobs that will decarbonize our economy.

These broad brush strokes provide a framework for legislative action. Now we as a society get to have a conversation about what we want the details to be.

Join us for a community discussion where you’ll learn about the Green New Deal and how you can help push for meaningful climate legislation nationally and in California.

6:30 – Doors Open
7:00 – 7:05 – Welcome
7:05 – 7:20 – A Solution That Rises to the Scale of the Crisis: A Green New Deal
7:20 – 7:35 – Gearing Up for a California Green New Deal
7:35 – 7:45 – Opportunities for Green Jobs Creation
7:45 – 8:15 – Discussion (in breakout groups then full group)
8:15 – 8:25 – Pathway to Victory
8:25 – 8:30 – Closing & Thank you

Co-sponsored by Transition Palo Alto

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2/22 Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – the Sequel film and discussion

Friday February 22, 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
Free, donations appreciated

‘Every political party in the world bases its program for improving human life on economic growth. But it’s not possible for that to continue indefinitely.’ 

In fact, the signs of civilization collapse are everywhere, generating fears of a terrible future with no resources and no growth.

But what if the fears of no growth aren’t true?  What if there is a way for people and economies to thrive without endlessly growing?

David Fleming was a visionary author and thinker whose work has inspired many and has who been called the granddaddy of the Transition movement. The Sequel draws on Fleming’s work to daringly reimagine a thriving, resilient civilization after the collapse of our current economies.
See the trailer…

david fleming

Clean up Oily Wells

From Victoria Armigo:

I know that you share my concern about the impact of climate change and the urgency to act. I’ve struggled to find a way to make a meaningful difference, to bring more of us together to support each other and make our voices heard. Here’s what my friends at 350 Silicon Valley and I have come up with: the  March for Fossil Fuel Freedom.
Details about the march can be found on our website but in a nutshell…
●  When: Sat March 16 – Mon March 18 (join for just a day or half a day)
●  Where: Palo Alto to SF (14 mi/day—or about 5 hours of walking—for a total of 34 miles)
●  Who: Up to 150 people from our partners including  Sierra Club, Climate Reality Project, Interfaith Power & Light, Idle No More, PODER, and many others.

What I look forward to most about the march is meeting kindred spirits who share my hopes and concerns, walking and talking about what can make a difference and also why it’s hard to do so, and learning more from our partners who will provide educational insights and lively entertainment during rest breaks along the way.

The climate emergency will not blow over. We are at that moment. Having you as part of this march would mean so much to me personally and make it a lot more fun! Please join me on the march or sponsor me.
Gratefully,
PS — If you’re on FaceBook,  here’s our event page.

Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Demain (Tomorrow)

Friday January 25, 7:30-9:30pm 
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

For the new year, join Fourth Friday for a look at creative solutions to the ecological crisis. The acclaimed French film Demain (Tomorrow) follows Cyril Di,  Mélanie Laurent, and their team to ten different countries to learn more about the impending disaster how people are working hard to avoid or mitigate it.

A Variety reviewer wrote this about the film:

As ever with this sort of advocacy film, there is a danger that it will only ever preach to the converted. And that’s perhaps why the filmmakers’ approach is so smart: ‘Tomorrow’ wastes little time trying to convince us that that world is ending. It takes that as a known fact, and then highlights the people who are fighting in small but appreciable ways to stop that from happening. Almost inadvertently, it therefore embodies not just the how, but a pretty good reason why humanity ought to survive: It has people like these in it, ordinary people whose example, be it ever so idealized here, makes … tomorrow seem not quite so bleak.

FREE, Donations appreciated.
Co-sponsored by Transition Palo Alto, 350 Silicon Valley, and the Green Sanctuary Committee of UUPCA.

demain

 

 

There oughta be a law

–Peter Ruddock

A few years ago, Joe Simitian, then a California State Senator, started ‘There Oughta be a law,’ a contest to encourage California citizens to propose legislation to improve quality of life in California. Current State Senator Jerry Hill now sponsors the program.

Senator Hill writes:
The contest is open to all constituents of the 13th Senate District and allows residents to submit their ideas for improving the quality of life in our community and/or the state of California. Ideas can vary from local community improvements to statewide reforms. Applicants can create new laws or repeal/revise laws already on the books. I will select a winner in February and work toward implementing the reform during the legislative session. Applications can be submitted online. The deadline for entries will be in January 2019.

Two years ago Transition Palo Alto jumped into the fray and submitted a proposal in our name.  You can read about that effort and some of our proposals here.

We’d like to submit an idea for a new law in 2019, ideally to incorporate one of our core interests:  climate change, local economy, or community resilience.

Send your ideas to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com by Jan 4, then come to the Transition Cafe Friday, Jan 11 to share your idea. We’ll pick one of the suggestions to submit.

To learn more about the contest, go to Senator Hill’s website. To help inspire you, the page includes a description of past contest winners.

Transition Holiday Party – Dec 21

holiday lights banner

December 21 7:00-9:00pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

Help celebrate the holiday season at the annual Transition Palo Alto Holiday Party!

Thinking about the past year and the coming year, our theme is gratitude and solidarity. What are your thoughts? Do you have recent examples in your life about gratitude or solidarity, or ideas for the new year?

Please bring yourself, friends, family, and your favorite holiday food/drink to share with others.

Kids of all ages are welcome!

tree with hands

Conversation with Asher Miller of Post Carbon Institute

On October 15, TPA had the pleasure of hosting Asher Miller, head of the Post Carbon Institute. In conversation with TPAer Bart Anderson, Asher talked about his roots in the Bay Area, his work at PCI, the connection between the Transition Town movement and Post Carbon, and the crises we’re now facing ecologically, politically, economically, and culturally.

By working with visionaries and thought leaders like Richard Heinberg, Bill McKibben, and Rob Hopkins and educating people through the resilience.org news and information site, PCI has been promoting social and cultural changes to make society more resilient and responsive. Asher wants to make sure that positive ideas and approaches are ready and available for people to grab and run with when they decide or are forced to act.

You can learn more about Asher Miller and the work on PCI by going to https://www.postcarbon.org/ and resilience.org.

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Roundtable wisdom

30 enthusiastic and thoughtful participants gathered for Fourth Friday’s election roundtable to crowdsource information and advice about the state and local ballot measures that are up for a vote in November.  The purpose was not to endorse any particular measures, but rather to look beneath the surface at what motivated the presence of each measure on the ballot and what the likely result of passage would be.

Hopefully, the following notes accurately reflect the conversation!

State ballot measures

Ballotpedia has a summary of all the measures with links to details.

State bond measures

There are several bond measures on the ballot this year. We had some general discussion about bond financing, with questions raised about reliance on bond financing instead of having the legislature simply appropriate money where needed. The explanation was that the legislature appropriates money on a year-by-year basis, which doesn’t work for long-term capital-intensive financing.

Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 address affordable housing, with Proposition 2 specifically addressing the nexus between mental health and homelessness. We learned about the complicated layers of funding required for affordable housing and how these bond measures are an essential piece of a larger puzzle. Most people who shared their views were in support of these measures.

Proposition 3 is a bit more complicated. It provides additional funds for water infrastructure but is opposed by groups such as the Sierra Club as a giveaway to Big Agriculture that may divert funds from climate funds and elsewhere. Some participants wanted to learn more about the measure, but the general feeling was that it should be opposed.

Proposition 4 would provide additional funding for children’s hospitals. Sentiment in the group leaned towards support, though it was noted that money to finance the initiative has been provided by all the major children’s hospitals in the state.

Other state measures

Proposition 5 allows homeowners who are 55 and over or severely disabled to buy another house anywhere in California without having their tax basis recalculated for property tax purposes. Current law allows a one-time transfer of property tax basis homeowners 55 and older, with restrictions as to the counties where they can move and keep the benefit.  Sentiment in the group was strongly against this proposition. The proposition places no limit on the number of times homeowners can get the benefit, so it could encourage house flipping, where people buy a house, add improvements, and then immediately sell at a higher price. It also could mean a significant reduction in property tax revenues for education and other services.

Proposition 6 would repeal the 2017 gas tax increase and make it much harder to impose future gas taxes for revenues and carbon reduction. The group expressed strong opposition.

Proposition 10 would make it easier for localities to implement rent stabilization by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Currently, rent stabilization policies, such as Mountain Views do conform to Costa-Hawkins, but there are constraints that could be relaxed if this passes. Participants expressed support for this measure.

Support was also expressed for Proposition 12, which would improve conditions for animals intended for food consumption.

Participants expressed opposition to Proposition 8 (dialysis clinics) and Proposition 11 (ambulance workers). Proposition 8 came across as a piecemeal proposal that is not best addressed by a proposition, while Proposition 11 came across as a giveaway to ambulance companies.

It was noted that Proposition 7 for year-round daylight savings time would have an effect only if the federal government allows the change AND the California legislative enacts it.

Local measures

We also discussed the local measures on the ballot in Palo Alto and Mountain View.

Palo Alto

Measure E would raise the hotel tax (transient occupancy tax) by 1.5% to help with general municipal funding. Raising the hotel tax to fund city services is often a popular thing to do because it doesn’t directly hit the pocketbooks of local residents.

There was no consensus on this measure, but it was noted that it would enable or continue projects that for which costs have increased since funding was last approved (the group wasn’t sure what specific projects would be involved).  And people wondered if the tax would apply to Air BNB rentals. According to my reading of the official resolution, it would (see section 2.33.010 of the resolution).

Measure F would get Palo Alto into the business of regulating health care costs. The consensus was that while keeping health care costs in line is highly desirable, it’s not an issue that can effectively or should be addressed at the municipal level.

Mountain View

Measure P would be a change to the business license tax. The new structure would be highly graduated with little change for small business but much higher rates paid by large businesses such as Google. The goal is to help improve transportation for the new developments that are planned north of Shoreline (on the Bay side of 101). Participants were in favor of this measure.

Measure Q is part of the city’s preparation for local retail cannabis sales, ensuring that a tax will be in place before any retail operations are opened. It would levy a 9% tax on gross receipts, which is in the range of rates that are already authorized by other local governments. Participants noted that this would not establish or enable any cannabis businesses, just garner revenue from ones that are established. Participants expressed support for this proposal.

Resources

There are lots of places to look for more information on the November ballot. Here are just a few. If you have information you’d like to share, please send email to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com. If your information is appropriate and helpful, we’ll add it to this post. Please remember, though that Transition Palo Altos is a non-partisan organization.

Indivisible CA Ballot Propositions Voter Guide. This is the guide that was passed out during the roundtable, prepared by the non-partisan Indivisible resistance group.

League of Women Voters. This page has links to various resources, including their ballot proposition pros and cons.

Ballotpedia very comprehensive place to go for almost all ballot information.

Sierra Club. This page has their statewide endorsements.

 

 

 

 

Transition US Online Summit Oct 27

October 27th, 9:45am to 3pm
RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com for location and details of the local gathering.

Transition US will host its first-ever national online summit, bringing together Transition US Community members and organizers from across the country for a day of education, inspiration, and celebration. The gathering will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Transition Movement with:

– Keynote sessions featuring international Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins and world-renowned author, educator, and activist Margaret J. Wheatley.

– Engaging panel discussions focused on sharing some of the greatest success stories from our national network and deepening connections with the wider movement for community resilience.

– A live, interactive session with a talk by Transition US staff about the state of our movement and the presentation of several awards nominated by you, the community.

For more information and to participate in the local gathering, please RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com.