Sac City Building Electrification Ordinance

On May 4, 2021, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) sent the following in an email to the City of Sacramento’s Law and Legislation Committee regarding a Building Electrification Ordinance.

Dear City Council members Eric, Katie, Jeff, and Jay,

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) supports the proposed New Building Electrification Ordinance, to be considered today by the Sacramento Law and Legislation Committee. ECOS believes that the proposed ordinance is necessary for the City to take appropriate action to be a leader in the development of technology that all cities will need before long, as the threat of climate change becomes increasingly obvious to all. It will benefit the City to be a leader, as we strive to develop a world-class economy.

We note that the proposed ordinance is generally consistent with the recommendation from the Mayors’ Climate Commission. It would require new buildings, with permit applications filed on or after January 1, 2023, to be all electric. Buildings that are four stories or more, with building permit applications filed on or after January 1, 2026, would be all electric. We note that staff has added time limited exemptions for food establishments for cooking equipment only, and for manufacturing process loads within a manufacturing or industrial facility. The revised ordinance also includes more detail on the process for obtaining an infeasibility waiver. We hope that the Committee agrees that, with these changes, it can support the proposed ordinance.

Ralph Propper, ECOS President


Update: Good News!

After we sent our letter, at their meeting later the same day, the Sac City Law and Legislation Committee voted to recommend that the proposed New Building Electrification ordinance move forward to the full Council. The vote was 3:1 (with Schenirer, Harris, and Guerra voting for, and Valenzuela voting against). The Committee also directed the staff to do further outreach between now and the council meeting.

We want to express a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to write support letters on behalf of yourself and your organizations. It made a big difference as the opposition is strong, especially from restaurants.

The item is tentatively scheduled for the May 25 council meeting. It’s important that we continue to express our support between now and then.


Photo by Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/time-lapse-photography-of-blue-lights-373543/

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Environmentalists of the Year Film Premiere!

ECOS is excited to share with you our 2021 Environmentalist of the Year Awards film, made in lieu of the annual in-person event. Enjoy the film below!


2021 Environmentalists of the Year


Environmentalist of the Year

Dr. Michelle Stevens

Dr. Michelle Stevens, a professor in the Environmental Studies Department at CSUS, has been leading the Bushy Lake Restoration Project along the lower American River Parkway, which protects, studies, and restores Sacramento’s riparian ecosystem. Michelle was able to “sell” this idea to the local community, a myriad of stakeholders, regional professionals and experts, and fellow colleagues. Michelle started with planting a few plants that are important to native peoples in the region, and nurtured it until it grew into a grant-funded restoration plan involving CSUS students and volunteers. Her work is informed and guided in uplifting the historic indigenous practices and culture of traditional ecological knowledge, and provides a hands-on opportunity for college students through CSUS and volunteers. In 2019, this project won an award at the annual CSU-wide Student Research Competition.


Environmentalist of the Year

Brandon Rose

Brandon Rose was ECOS President 2016-2017. During his tenure, ECOS put on a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) workshop, which helped to attract and train volunteers. ECOS supported Sacramento’s plastic bag ban and ethics reform ordinances. Under his leadership, ECOS also helped the City obtain a $44 million “Green City” grant to construct electric vehicle charging stations and acquire electric vehicle fleets for car sharing programs in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Also during Brandon’s board presidency, ECOS worked with Wilton Rancheria to locate their proposed casino within the County of Sacramento’s Urban Service Area, rather than a rural area. In 2017, ECOS sued Caltrans over its approval of extra lanes on US 50 without considering the environmental impacts of increased traffic, which led to a settlement providing funding for transit. Later that year, Brandon was elected to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) board, which has since committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.


Early Career Environmentalist

Moiz Mir

Moiz Mir was the president of the Environmental Student Organization at CSUS, 2017–2019. As an intern at the Sacramento Mayor’s Office, he organized youth summits to include students’ voices in the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, and served on the Commission’s Community Health & Resiliency and Equity Technical Advisory Committees. He co-won a statewide “Best Practice in Student Sustainability Leadership Award” for organizing the CSUS Student Summit on Climate Change. As a student, Moiz worked with Michelle Stevens, supervising student plant experiments at Bushy Lake. With Sunrise Movement Sacramento, Moiz is engaging youth in climate justice action. Moiz recently became the first staff at 350 Sacramento, where he developed a new after-school student climate organizing program.


Climate Hero

Anne Stausboll

Anne Stausboll chaired the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, which presented its recommendations in June 2020. She obtained a unanimous vote on a very progressive set of recommendations, which took two years to develop. The goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in Sacramento and West Sacramento, by 2045. Anne made sure the Commission reviewed and considered everything through a lens of racial and income equity. She is inspiring us to be active with the City of Sacramento to ensure that these recommendations are incorporated into the Cities’ Climate Action Plans, and into appropriate ordinances and other city actions. As Anne says, “it is a crisis situation, and we need to act now. We want the city to start seriously adopting and acting on the recommendations. Now. It’s not something that can wait.”

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