The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) laments the death of George Floyd as the result of racist policing. Recently we redoubled our efforts to improve the environment in the Sacramento region, which is usually more dangerous for our residents of color. We recognize that historic racist “red-lining” policies have led to the segregation of neighborhoods. For example, air pollution tends to be worse in under-served communities, which are often near sources such as diesel truck traffic.
We believe in equality for all regardless of race and reflect this believe in our environmental work. ECOS supports affordable, transit-oriented housing, and sues to prevent suburban sprawl such as the expansion of freeways. We have been lobbying for more funds for public transit and active transportation. We have urged local jurisdictions to provide more services for our increasingly large homeless population. We helped found “Sacramento Investment Without Displacement”, which is pushing for a “community benefits agreement” for Aggie Square: UC Davis plans to double the size of its Med Center, but not provide housing in our most gentrifying neighborhoods.
Together, we will make our region more environmentally friendly and healthy for Sacramento residence those who are most effected by inequality.
On May 12, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.
We are gratified that on April 7, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to proceed with work on the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). However, we are concerned that the fiscal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could make it difficult to include the CAP work, of approximately $300,000 disbursed over two fiscal years, in the County’s FY 20-21 budget.
On May 27, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a response letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.
Thank you for your prompt response to our May 12 letter on CAP funding. We appreciate your efforts to secure funding for the CAP. As reported at the County’s May 24, 2017 CAP workshop, most of the work (then $267,060 contract and $431,300 staff) was to have been funded by Long Range Planning fees. However, your response indicated funding from development project applicants instead. It isn’t clear if these are only applicants currently in the entitlement process; if so we have the following concerns.
Local climate and environmental activists announce plans for the week of Earth Day, in accordance with social distancing requirements!
Activists of all ages in the Sacramento region have organized street art, a fundraiser, and live online events for the dates of April 22-24. The City of Sacramento is aiding with virtual programming. Money from the fundraiser will benefit the Services Not Sweeps Coalition.
Earth Day — the biggest day of the year for climate and environmental justice demonstrations — is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, just as the spread of coronavirus has disrupted work, school and social gatherings, the pandemic has forced the cancellation of mass gatherings for Earth Day in Sacramento and across the nation.
Locally, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) has canceled Sacramento Earth Day, the organization’s annual celebration in Southside Park normally slated for the Sunday closest to Earth Day. The festival started in 2006 and typically raises 15 percent of the group’s annual budget. The Sacramento chapters of March for Science and Fridays for Future will not hold their planned climate strike. Earth Day events by ECOS and March for Science draw thousands of participants on average.
As a movement based on science, we take recommendations from public health professionals seriously. Evidence shows that social distancing works to slow the spread of coronavirus. We are proud of our quick adaptation to current circumstances, and pleased to offer impactful programming for such a historic day.
Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day): Climate Chalk-out
Members of the Sacramento chapters of youth-led organizations Sunrise Movement and Fridays for Future are leading a “chalk-out” at, where participants will decorate sidewalks with chalk art to raise awareness around the climate crisis. Sacramento chalk art locations include but are not limited to: The California Capitol Building, Sacramento City Hall, Downtown Commons, K and 20th Street Times: Sunrise, noon, and evening (6:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:30 PM respectively) Folsom locations: Raley’s (East Natomas), Target, Palladio/Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway (Prairie City Rd), Sam’s Club, and City Hall. Time: All chalking to start at 6:30 a.m. Other locations: Chalk art is slated to appear in Sacramento, Folsom, Rocklin, and potentially other Sacramento suburbs. Time: All locations will chalk at 6:30 a.m. Some may chalk at additional times. People interested in chalking may sign up at: tinyurl.com/ChalkOut2020 Contact: Hannah Karsting, 916-220-6031, hannahlk49 [at] gmail [dot] com; Caroline Cochrane, 916-342-8129, ccochrane2003 [at] gmail [dot] com; Mikayla Taylor, (916) 599-5839, mkotaylor [at] gmail [dot] com
Thursday, April 23: Fundraising for coronavirus aid efforts
In recognition of the challenges facing the Sacramento community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, local climate justice organizations will raise money through an online silent auction, virtual ‘tip jars’, and other calls for donations. All proceeds will go to the Services Not Sweeps Coalition, members of which include Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento Food Bank, and the Poor People’s Campaign. Contact: Chris Brown, 916-384-7476, info [at] sacclimate [dot] org
Friday, April 24: Earth Day Live Sacramento
Environmental orgs, in partnership with a variety of local organizations, businesses, artists, and public figures, will put on a 12-hour-long livestream from 12pm to 12am on April 24th. This event will be centered around the twin crises of climate change and COVID-19. It will provide education, political engagement, entertainment, and community-based responses to the anxiety caused by the coronavirus. The livestream will include virtual town hall featuring Q&A sessions with local leaders, including Councilmember-elect Katie Valenzuela, slated for around 4-7pm. Details on how to watch the livestream will be released by 4/22. Learn more here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/earth-day-live-sacramento Contact: Alex DeNuzzo, 916-694-7632, awesomenuzzo [at] gmail [dot] com
“This is truly a surreal time and we’re all trying to process what it means, for now, for the future, for ourselves and our loved ones, for those most vulnerable. I am all out of words of wisdom. I just know that the climate crisis isn’t stopping for a mere global pandemic, although it’s hard to focus on non-immediate threats right now, and that it’s more important than ever that we work toward our vision of a ‘world with a safe climate, where nature is respected and protected, and our social, political, and economic systems work for all people and the planet.’” – Laurie Litman, President, 350 Sacramento
“Sac DSA supports the Earth Day Actions because all people, rich or poor, have the right to live on a healthy planet. We must remind our elected officials that the health of the Earth is tied to the health of people everywhere.” – Gina Patterson, Organizer, Democratic Socialists Of America Sacramento
“We recognize this is a difficult time to begin new initiatives, but with both the pandemic and climate crises, time is not on our side. The pandemic crisis is short-term and immediate, but while the impacts of climate change are gradual, they are more enduring. Therefore, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ We must move forward with climate action and do what is required to avoid a threat whose scope has no historic parallel; to do not as little, but as much as possible.” – Ralph Propper, President, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS); Laurie Litman, President, 350 Sacramento; Barbara Leary, Chair, Sierra Club Sacramento Group
“My generation has grown up with the threat of an ecological breakdown constantly looming above our heads. We know that as youth, we will live to see the worst effects of the climate crisis. This Earth Day, we’re demanding that our elected officials have the courage to prioritize our lives over fossil fuel money.” – Supriya Patel, Organizer, Fridays For Future Sacramento
“There has never been a more critical time to be listening to scientists. The federal government was too slow to heed the warnings of epidemiologists, and its failure to act quickly has allowed the virus to sicken and kill exponentially more people. We should apply this lesson to climate change. Believe science and act fast.” – Wes Samms, Lead Organizer / CEO, March For Science Sacramento
“The recent shift to digital platforms and social distancing is reducing our carbon emissions around the world. However, the COVID crisis shows that the human costs of waiting to the last minute are enormous and much worse than planning ahead and working proactively to fend off an emergency. We need to learn from these days that we need to care for people in ways that care for our environment at the same time.” – Chris Brown, Organizer, Sacramento Climate Coalition
“This Earth Day, our local, state and national leaders should do more to empower our community to harness the awesome power of the sun to fight climate change, reduce pollution and help people cut their energy bills. Rooftop solar and battery storage is the ultimate win-win for the people and the planet. Unfortunately, utilities across California are working to make it harder and more expensive for people to do the right thing by choosing solar energy. With one million solar rooftops across California, it is clear the people are ready to lead. Are our leaders ready to get out front and take it to the next level?” – Lee Miller, Organizer, Solar Rights Alliance Sacramento
“Crises that threaten our health, our homes, and our families are only going to get more common as our climate changes. COVID-19 has proven that its possible to disrupt business as usual and change everything about our way of life. With our response to this pandemic, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build a society that takes care of all its people, and puts our future over profit. Now more than ever, we need a Green New Deal.” – Logan Dreher, Local Coordinator, Sunrise Movement Sacramento
Above all, please follow all stay-at-home and social distancing orders.