Watchwords: get in early on problems; facilitate information flow; and bring in new voices.

For meeting schedule, Zoom/phone links, see Meeting Schedule.


Chair: Ralph Propper, rpropper47[at]icloud[dot]com

Team Leads:
Land Use Natomas – Heather Fargo, h-fargo[at]comcast[dot]net
Transportation – Sam Rice, samhrice[at]gmail[dot]com
Green Building
Environmental Justice

This new committee will make climate change a primary focus for ECOS advocacy, and a pivot point for its land use, transportation, green building, and environmental justice teams. This interdisciplinary group will meet monthly to discuss issues and plan advocacy related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. Teams may meet more frequently to conduct their work as part of the plan. The Climate Committee invites people willing to put their minds and their energy to these issues.

The Climate Committee and its teams will advocate for the City and County to meet their commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030, and for all jurisdictions in the region to take actions that until now were inconceivable, such as financial incentives to allow households to go all-electric and ordinances to give certainty to businesses and investors. The committee and its teams will advocate for consistency across jurisdictions in inventorying emissions, setting targets, evaluating climate action methods, verifying GHG reductions, and meeting climate change related laws, regulations and guidelines.

Transportation: Forty to sixty percent of GHG emissions in the Sacramento region are from the transportation sector. Therefore, areas of focus for the Transportation Team are the expansion and filling-in of the transit network so that transit becomes convenient to more people; the retrofit of streets to prioritize walking and biking; battling against highway expansions and low density development that produces lots of car trips; the equitable distribution of electric vehicle charging stations; and mitigation of poor air quality in residential areas near industrial sites.

Land Use: Development patterns have a huge impact on GHG emissions production, so the Land Use Team will advocate for the use of planning tools to achieve more dense development around transit and to keep open areas open. The tools include upzoning, eliminating parking minimums, establishing parking benefit districts, and transferring development rights, among other things. The Land Use Team will focus on infill projects near existing community assets; walkable neighborhoods with connected streets, pedestrian paths and bicycle routes; inclusionary zoning for affordable units in all new developments; regionally responsible planning that retains existing habitat, agriculture, and ranchlands. Trees for Sacramento exists as an arm of the Land Use Team. You can learn more about them here.

Green Building: The building sector is responsible for about forty percent of the emissions in the County and City of Sacramento. The Green Building Team will demonstrate and advocate for advanced sustainability standards for materials, construction, and operations to be incorporated into California building codes and jurisdictions’ ordinances. Also, the team will bring creative solutions to the difficult problem of retrofitting existing buildings to all-electric.

Environmental Justice (EJ): The EJ Team will bring together experts in housing equity and the effects of institutional racism in planning. It will advise on advocacy and outreach strategies; help to ensure vigorous and effective public participation in Sacramento area jurisdictions’ planning; participate in the anti-displacement activities of Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SIWD) in the Aggie Square community benefits agreement (CBA) and other future CBAs. This team will also address homelessness, food security, and public health issues as well. It will engage young people and, with the Organizational Development, start ECOS YOUTH for the next generation of ECOS leaders.

For more information on the Climate Committee . . .


Chairs:  Rob Burness, rmburness[at]comcast[dot]net and Sean Wirth, wirthsoscranes[at]yahoo[dot]com

The ECOS Habitat Committee is Habitat 2020, a coalition that works to protect the lands, waters, wildlife and native plants in the Sacramento region. The great Central Valley of California has been identified by the World Wildlife Fund as one of North America’s most endangered eco-regions. Preserving its remaining open space and agricultural land is essential for sustaining native plants and wildlife and ensuring a high quality of life for ourselves and future generations. The Habitat Committee has one subcommittee, Habitat Acquisition and Protection.  Water was also a subcommittee until recently when it became its own ECOS committee. 

The California Heartland Project is a comprehensive conservation plan for the Sacramento region. Habitat 2020 developed it in response to the neglect that the many natural treasures of the Sacramento Valley have received. More information.

For more information on the Habitat Committee . . .


Chair:  Ted Rauh, tnrauh[at]att[dot]net

The Water Committee focuses on water related issues that affect the region’s ground and surface water resources. The major focus of the committee is both regional growth and climate change’s impacts on these waters including increased droughts, reduced snowpack, water quality, temperature, surface water flow rates, groundwater pumping and surface water diversions, increased flooding risks, and the appropriate conjunctive use of ground and surface waters for both human and environmental beneficial uses. The Committee pushes for improved forecasting of water supply and demand, improved water demand management, and the preservation of water for all human and environmental beneficial uses in the region. This long-term adequacy of water supply is a key threshold for approval of future large scale development projects.

The Committee works to accomplish these objectives by participating in the Water Forum and current efforts to update and reaffirm the Water Forum Agreement. The Committee monitors and when appropriate participates in water purveyor and local agency water planning and management efforts and actions including local government Climate Action and General Planning efforts. Recent Committee Actions: The Water Forum Update, recent comment letters, Groundwater Sustainability Plans

For more information on the Water Committee . . .

Organizational Development

Chair:  Jon Ellison, jellison[at]surewest[dot]net

The Organizational Development Committee (ODC) is focused on fund raising, membership recruitment, leadership development, and succession planning.  ODC offers orientation sessions to introduce new members to our work and to learn about members’ interests and talents. The Committee seeks enthusiastic, knowledgeable, experienced (and inexperienced!) people who are willing to work in the areas of events, fundraising, policy analysis, communications, and administrative support. Is there a “Greta” in town who is looking for a place to concentrate their efforts? Through the ODC, a new ECOS YOUTH will be established to help create the next generation of ECOS leaders.

In addition, ODC participates in overseeing ECOS’ advocacy activities, events including field trips, office space, staff responsibilities, the budget, and fund raising including the Year-End Fund Raising Letter describing ECOS accomplishments; Big Day of Giving campaign through the Sacramento Region Community Foundation; Sacramento Earth Day; and Environmentalist of the Year Awards.


Chair:  Susan Herre, susanherre[at]gmail[dot]com

The new Strategy Committee has two primary goals: to help ECOS to evolve into a more effective advocacy organization, and to benefit the Sacramento region through the advancement of a few critical issues through a united advocacy front of ECOS and its partner organizations. The Strategy Committee is a deliberative group that makes recommendations to the ECOS Executive Committee for its approval. When a recommendation is approved, the day-to-day work and decisions of ECOS committees will reflect it.

The external focus of the committee will be regional issues, identification of priorities and goals, and establishment of strategies for action. Through collaboration with partner organizations, with power in numbers, we will ideally implement the strategies for action on a few issues of regional importance.

The internal focus of the committee will be to build a deeper bench within ECOS in the areas of climate change, land use, transportation, green building, environmental justice, environmental science and law, and in the organizational development areas of events, fund raising, communications, and administration.

For both areas of focus, we will discuss with each ECOS committee its priorities and suggested strategies for action. We will reach out to ECOS member organizations, individual ECOS members, our partner organizations, professional groups, and others for their input.