Jonathan K. London at ECOS Board Meeting – highlights

Professor Jonathan K. London of the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis spoke to ECOS at our September 18th Board Meeting about their work on Environmental Justice. The Center for Regional Change has grown into a well-known policy-oriented research organization that aims to create linkages between the university and the region of which it is a part.

Professor London presented several tactics for how an organization such as the ECOS coalition can do more to help improve social equity in the Sacramento region. London directed us to get to know the Center for Regional Change’s report called “Capitalizing Environmental Justice in the Sacramento Region.” The report assesses the dire conditions of environmental injustice confronting low-income communities and communities of color in California’s Capital Region. However, local residents and regional leaders have begun to develop a cohesive framework for action to improve conditions in their communities, and to contribute to the region’s burgeoning Environmental Justice movement.

London reminded us of the plethora of information offered by CalEnviroScreen, including some analyses done by the Center for Regional Change on mapping pollution levels and drinking water contamination in the Sacramento region.

London also highlighted a tool called “IVAN” (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods). IVAN is an Environmental Monitoring System that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems.

The presentation emphasized the importance of environmental injustices to people living in rural areas and engaging them in environmental advocacy work. Connecting with neighborhoods, working to help bolster affordable housing options and joining food justice efforts are all also effective.

ECOS members in attendance were appreciative of the presentation, its cutting-edge research and the new tools for advocacy with which we left. Thank you to Jonathan K. London!

You can suggest future speakers to present to ECOS by emailing our office at office [at] ecosacramento [dot] net.

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Sacramento eyes new transportation tax, but are residents willing to pay?

By Tony Bizjak

September 7, 2017

The Sacramento Bee

Proponents say they misfired with the local transportation tax measure last year because they didn’t take enough time to reach the public early on and to get vocal grass-roots support.

“The criticism from groups was that the process was too truncated and not inclusive enough,” said Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer.

Read the article here.


Note: the Environmental Council of Sacramento believes that the last transportation tax proposal, Measure B, allocated far too much for new road construction and far too little for transit. Click here to read the letter ECOS submitted about this last measure.

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ECOS’ Comments on the 2017 SB 375 Update

July 28, 2017

The Environmental Council of Sacramento, along with Organize Sacramento, the Sacramento Housing Alliance, the Planning and Conservation League, Mogavero Architects, 350 Sacramento and the California Bicycle Coalition submitted our collective comments on the recent update to SB 375, The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. Below are our opening comments, with a link to the letter in full. 


Dear Chair Nichols, Air Resources Board Members, and Staff:

In 2004, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) adopted the Blueprint. This plan provided vision for how the region would integrate land use and transportation planning to curb sprawl, reduce vehicle emissions, and cut down on traffic congestion to improve quality of life. This is to be accomplished by encouraging a sufficient variety housing options close to jobs, schools, and other critical community amenities. The adoption of the Blueprint—and subsequent Metropolitan Transportation Plans/Sustainable Communities Strategies (MTPs/SCSs)—has made SACOG a leader in the state and the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and build more equitable communities.

While we support the recently adopted MTP/SCS, we also believe there is tremendous room to improve the plan. We believe that neither the SB 375 target recommendations made by SACOG staff (-18%) or Air Resources Board (ARB) staff (-19%) represent the full GHG reduction potential from improved land use and transportation behavior in the Sacramento region. Considering the substantial amount of greenfield development anticipated in the current SACOG MTP/SCS and the extremely low densities of the existing urban footprint, we feel that a stronger GHG reduction target is very feasible.

Read our full comment letter by cliucke=ing here or on the image of the letter below.

Photo: Smog over LA – is this what we want for the Sacramento region?

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