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.
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.
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.
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.
Earth Day 2020: Did you know this year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day? There are many online events, actions and activities happening across the globe all month long! ECOS invites you to participate from home in protecting our home planet. This list may grow; check back for updates.
Online Earth Month! Events, Actions and Activities
Remote Earth Week Sacramento
Local climate and environmental activists announce plans for the week of Earth Day, in accordance with social distancing requirements!
Join the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The public is welcome to join Stanford students, staff and faculty to gather online to hear reflections on how far we have come since the first Earth Day in 1970 and what the next 50 years may hold for the future of the Earth. April 20, 2020 – 1:30pm https://woods.stanford.edu/events/earth-day-future-50-celebration-virtual-event
April 20: Earth Day Live
The world’s largest civic event is going digital for the first time in its history. We’ll demand that leaders take science seriously, listen to their people and push for action at every level of society to stop the rising tide of climate change. We can make a better world for everyone; tell everyone you know about April 22. earthday.org
April 25: Celebrate Earth Day with Katharine Hayhoe and CCL
At a time when we are worried, isolated and unable to physically be with one another, we thought it would be good to spend a little time together — online, of course — to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. So far, more than 1,500 people have registered to attend “Uniting from Home: A Virtual CCL Event with Katharine Hayhoe” on April 25! At the event, we’ll hear from one of our favorite climate allies, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe. April 25, 10am-1pm PST.
All across the globe, humans are feeling the impacts of COVID-19, social distancing and confinement at home. With this in mind, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival invites you to watch some past Wild & Scenic Official Film Selections from home for free! www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/socialdistancing/
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.
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.
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.