‘Pure magic’: A street in the Haight closed to traffic becomes the stage for professional cello concerts

May 20, 2020
By Heather Knight
The San Francisco Chronicle

[Shuttering traffic] creates a giant front yard to mingle from 6 feet apart with neighbors who too often go unmet in our busy city. It gives kids, many of whom live in little apartments with no outdoor space, an area near their homes to play. And it creates a stage for whimsical, wonderful things to happen — like live concerts and in-the-street picnics.

Click here to read the full article.

Open Sac Streets for Social Distancing – Presentation May 26

ECOS will be holding our board meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 6pm virtually. We invite you to join us for the following presentation.

Presentation: Slow Streets Pilot Project, City of Sacramento

Due to the pandemic, we are driving less, and walking and biking more. Many cities have blocked or restricted traffic on streets so walkers and bikers have more room. Also, when restaurants open, they will need to space out patrons – ideally out onto some streets. San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles have embraced “Slow Streets”. How can we get that here?
Speakers: Jennifer Donlon Wyant, City of Sacramento Transportation Planning Manager; and Debra Banks, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, Executive Officer.

Click here to learn more about Slow Streets Sacramento, and for opportunities to take action now: https://www.walksacramento.org/slow-streets-sacramento/

Zoom Meeting ID: 818 6537 7865
Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81865377865
Call-in: 1-669-900-6833
No password.

Feel free to share with your networks!

Click here to view the meeting agenda.

ECOS Board Meetings

Join the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) at the ECOS Board of Directors meeting! These meetings are a great place to network with fellow environmentalists and to keep up with the latest local environmental successes and challenges.

ECOS will be holding our board meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 6pm virtually. We invite you and anyone interested to join us for the following presentation.

Slow Streets Sacramento

May 1, 2020

Over 30 cities around the world have taken action to prioritize streets for pedestrians and bicyclists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s time for Sacramento to join.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our daily life, including how we move and what transportation we chose to do it with. Our streets and green spaces are more active than ever with residents walking and biking for transportation to essential jobs, groceries, and for physical and mental health. But our sidewalks throughout the City are too narrow to support safe social distancing, and serious infrastructure gaps in sidewalk and bike networks further reduce the ability of residents to walk and bike safely during stay at home orders.

ECOS has joined forces with Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, WALKSacramento and others to call upon the City of Sacramento to partially or fully close streets in order to keep residents safe from COVID-19, create more local public space, and continue providing safe access to essential businesses and services. Click here to read the official letter to the CIty of Sacramento.

We realize this is a challenging time of disruption, and that while everyone is pondering and planning for the “new normal” our hope is to encourage the City to expedite many of the plans it already has in place to create a cleaner, safer Sacramento for all ages and abilities, now and in the future.

Take Action

The time is NOW to stand up for Slow Streets.

Click here for three ways you can help.

Innovation without gentrification?

By Graham Womack
April 1, 2020
Sacramento News and Review

The promise and pitfalls of Aggie Square in Oak Park

“The reality is Aggie Square could be the best thing for the neighborhood, and it could be the worst thing for the neighborhood,” said Sacramento City Council member Eric Guerra, whose district is directly east of UC Davis Med Center.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Even a UC Davis official—Hendry Ton, the university’s associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity and inclusion—has questions about Aggie Square causing gentrification and displacing residents.
“I think there’s a lot of questions about that and I certainly have questions about that as well,” Ton said. “I think that the potential is that if the people in Aggie Square and the university are thoughtful and careful and collaborative about this, this can be a very significant force for good in the neighborhood.”
So far, however, collaboration hasn’t exactly been smooth, with officials and residents clashing on plans to ensure the neighborhood benefits from the project.
A group connected to the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, known as Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, has been working on a legally binding community benefits agreement for Aggie Square.
A January draft of the agreement called for local hiring from nearby zip codes, anti-demolition policies to protect homes and enrollment of at least 50 percent of Medi-Cal recipients living within five miles of Aggie Square.
“We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families.”
Gabby Trejo is executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together.
“We want to see Aggie Square be successful,” said Gabby Trejo, who has been working on the agreement and serves as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families. And we want to make sure that working families in our region are protected.”
City leaders have yet to commit to a community benefits agreement, however. Guerra and Councilman Jay Schenirer, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, are instead working on a letter of intent, which city leaders declined to provide.
“I’m less concerned about the type of document and more concerned about an honest agreement… that will last longer than whatever we call the agreement,” Guerra said.
But Trejo and Sasso said the letter is insufficient. “We’ve seen other folks be bad actors in that things are promised and then they’re never delivered,” Sasso said.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Click here to read the full article.


ECOS’ Involvement

ECOS is a part of the Sacramento Investment Without Displacement coalition to work towards preventing the displacement of long-time residents and local businesses that could occur as a result of this significant, new project at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Click here to learn more about Aggie Square and ECOS’ involvement.


Image credit: Edna Winti, 2016/366/238 Proceed with Caution

City Announces Temporary Ban On Residential Tenant Evictions

The Sacramento City Council adopted an ordinance on March 17 to establish a temporary ban on evicting residential tenants unable to pay rent due to a loss of income caused by the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“It is vital for us to protect residential tenants during this tenuous time,” said Assistant City Manager Michael Jasso. “This ordinance is part of the City’s efforts to address the financial impacts of the disease on renters locally, the population most at-risk of swift housing displacement.”

Click here to view the article on the City of Sacramento’s website.

Why is this an environmental issue? People need to have the option to live near their jobs and other every day destinations. This means making sure there are enough affordable, quality residences in the urban core of Sacramento, even in the face of a pandemic. If people who work downtown cannot afford to live downtown, we are not going to meet our region’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. To do our part as a city, Sacramento must find ways to reduce the need for workers to commute every day.

Help Steer Sacramento County’s Transportation Planning

Do you want better public transit and more walkable, bike-friendly, accessible neighborhoods for all? How about affordable housing at transit stations all over town? On Dec. 12 and Jan. 9, the Sacramento Transportation Authority is meeting to discuss details for a possible ballot measure in November 2020 to levy a sales tax for transportation funding in Sacramento County. It’s up to them whether this measure addresses the dire reality of climate change and the needs of all neighborhoods no matter the zip code. Find out how to contact your representative and tell them what you think! Especially important for communities like Citrus Heights, Arden Arcade, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, North Highlands, etc.
– Chase Kelly-Reif, ECOS Board Member

Click here to learn more about how you can help.

Click here to learn more about what ECOS is doing to help.