ECOS has been a powerful advocacy organization in the Sacramento region, working for over fifty years to curb sprawl and protect open space and habitat; and promote transit, walking, and biking. However, with the climate crisis escalating, we need to be even more effective in our advocacy. We need to persuade our local and regional leaders to take bold, difficult, and even unpopular steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We need to make sure the public understands the consequence of poor land use decisions, and who is responsible; how wasteful land use planning and rising greenhouse gas emissions go hand-in-hand. We need to explain the “tipping point” in the climate crisis; and how important it is for the public to elect representatives who will act with urgency.
Regional planning structures such as the Urban Services Boundary and the Natomas Basin and South Sacramento habitat conservation plans must remain intact. We need to collaborate with landowners on land conservation before development decisions are made.
We need to be more energetic in fund-raising to make ECOS’ and our partner organizations’ positions heard, and to support our office and staff. We also need funds to litigate when greenhouse gas emission reductions are not credible, verifiable, or happening fast enough either on plans or in reality; and when jurisdictions’ policies and procedures make sprawl inevitable.
ECOS re-organized at the start of 2022 to reflect the increased importance of climate change, and the need to better coordinate our work on transportation and land use, green building and environmental justice; to better prioritize action and strategize effective methods both internally and with our partners; and to focus on water-related climate change impacts such as drought, reduced snow pack, and flooding risk. We hope these changes will strengthen ECOS, create a more synergistic approach to our work, and attract a new generation of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and dedicated people – who are frustrated with the status quo, rightfully fearful about our future, and ready to get to work.