Fewer trees, more asthma. How Sacramento can improve its canopy and public health

By the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board
October 15, 2019
The Sacramento Bee

We often plant trees as a symbolic gesture. We plant them on Earth Day in honor of clean air and sustainability. We also plant trees to commemorate people and events.
But trees do more than provide shade and improve landscapes. They are also critical to public health.
In Sacramento, which the American Lung Association named fifth worst U.S. city for air quality and where temperatures increasingly reach triple-digit highs, we must take the importance of trees seriously.

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article236197713.html

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Sacramento Needs Public Bathrooms

Need to go to the bathroom in Sacramento? Good luck! Unless you are close to home or happen to be somewhere where you have just been a customer (but what if you didn’t “have to go” then?) your chances of finding a toilet are slim. Even our parks are lacking. According to the Sacramento Bee, “…the city operates 205 parks, but most either have no bathrooms or have facilities with limited hours. In the central city…only 5 of 22 parks have restroom facilities.” Many times, park bathrooms are locked up without warning or notice of when they may reopen.

Many of the river access points closest to downtown Sacramento completely lack any bathrooms for beach-goers, such as Sutter’s Landing. Imagine taking your family to have a nice day at the beach, only to find that your kids or your aunt have no where to relieve themselves! That’s what Sacramento is like, and it’s time to change that.

Why? Diseases, for one thing! Now the river is full of bacterias that can make people really sick, like E. Coli.

The link to this SacBee article, published September 12, 2019, has been changed or removed and is no longer available.

Sacramento will continue to struggle with sanitation and risk of disease so long as the city refuses to provide an adequate number of public restrooms, on and off the river, for both people who are experiencing homelessness and those who are not.

Alexandra Reagan

Director of Operations, ECOS

SacRT and City of Sacramento Partner to Offer Students Free Fare Transit Passes

By Anisca Miles
June 13, 2019
Fox40 News

Starting October 1, 2019, “All children from kindergarten through 12th grade who live or go to school in Sacramento will now have the ability to use public transportation for free at any time of day, any day of the week, and year-round.” – Jay Schenerir, City of Sacramento Councilmember

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MTP/SCS EIR Scoping Comments from ECOS

On May 25, 2019, ECOS submitted a letter outlining our comments and concerns about the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) 2020 update, managed by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for the Sacramento region pro-actively links land use, air quality, and transportation needs. The current 2016 MTP/SCS was adopted in February 2016. The MTP/SCS is federally required to be updated every four years. The next MTP/SCS is required to be adopted by February 2020.

Click here to view the letter.

ClimatePlan’s Commitment to Investment without Displacement

April 04, 2019

California is in the midst of an affordability crisis. Without careful planning and policies, new investment in existing neighborhoods or ongoing disinvestment in areas where low-income people live can push lower-income and people of color out of their own communities and away from jobs and transit. This exacerbates historical inequities, forces more driving and climate pollution from those who have the highest propensity to ride transit, re-segregates our towns and cities, and destroys natural and agricultural lands. ClimatePlan recognizes that displacement threatens to undermine all of our network’s priorities including climate, equity, health, active transportation, and conservation; it is a central challenge to building a more sustainable and equitable California.

Displacement harms people and communities and worsens the climate crisis. Recognizing these profound impacts, beginning in April 2018, ClimatePlan convened partners from housing, transportation, land use, equity, conservation and climate organizations to develop a shared policy platform on Investment Without Displacement for guiding the ClimatePlan network’s advocacy. Over 20 participants worked collaboratively to develop the approach and solutions outlined in the document linked below.

The ClimatePlan network’s vision is to create a healthier, more sustainable California, where people of all backgrounds and incomes have the opportunity to thrive.

Click here to view the document.

Creating Sustainable Communities and Landscapes

Recommended practices and tools for local collaboration on climate-smart growth

Published: October 8, 2018

By the Strategic Growth Council

The State of California has a rich history of environmental leadership. With some of the most beautiful landscapes and fertile soils in the country, we have much to protect and conserve. As the State’s population grows towards fifty million people, infrastructure demands place intensified levels of stress on California’s agricultural and natural wealth. In order to address these challenges, California has led the charge nationally to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, because we recognize that this battle is not only about the environment – it is also about protecting the well-being of our families and communities. To ensure the prosperous future of our State, we must shift to a more conscientious approach to land use planning in California – one that balances the needs of conservation and development. In order to balance these priorities, the State has put new laws in place for new housing and infill development, community resilience, economic growth in urban and rural areas, and set an ambitious target for carbon neutrality by 2045 that relies upon efficient and orderly growth across California.

Developed through a collaboration among the Strategic Growth Council, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO), this paper is intended to help support coordination among local entities to advance efficient growth and conservation of natural resources. The document highlights case studies in which LAFCos, cities, counties and special districts successfully partnered to reduce suburban sprawl and increase the conservation of natural and working lands, while also considering how to improve community resilience. It also aims to raise awareness of available tools and resources that can be used to create more environmentally and economically sustainable communities throughout California.

California, State of. “AnnouncementCreating Sustainable Communities and Landscapes: Recommended Practices and Tools for Local Collaboration on Climate-Smart Growth.” CA.gov, Strategic Growth Council, 8 Oct. 2018, www.sgc.ca.gov/news/2018/10-08.html.

Read the paper by clicking here.