OUR ADVOCACY LETTERS
The San Diego Green New Deal Alliance was created to advocate for climate, jobs, and justice. Although we have been trained to work in silos, we don't live in a "single-issue" world. If we want to not just survive—but truly thrive—we must connect the dots between our daily struggles and global crises. We also must examine the wider systems we live in, and their racist and classist foundations.
The injustices that plague San Diego and the U.S. are multi-dimensional and interconnected. The same systems that criminalize blackness and put workers at the mercy of corporate greed allow polluters to set up shop in the backyards of Black and brown communities. To realize the vision of a better world, we must have the courage and imagination to confront and dismantle these systems.
We know that, if we work together, we can mobilize to make the big systemic changes necessary to stop the climate crisis, address historic economic inequality, fight systemic racism, and put an end to other forms of oppression.
This is a lot to tackle—but we can address many of these inequities locally through regional policy action. Our Alliance demands advancements in climate, environmental, economic, racial, and social justice in San Diego and shows up for calls-to-action in support of these fights. The time for climate, jobs, and justice is now. Join us!
Take a look at our policy recommendations:
Recommendations for elevating the agricultural sector; (1) Recognize healthy soil as vital public infrastructure, (2) Support carbon sink voluntary incentives to compensate the private sector for its investments in soil infrastructure, (3) Prioritize purchasing from carbon sink farms to stimulate green job growth, (4) Plan for farmer/farmworker protections during climate events, (5) Invest in mentorship, training and new farmer incubation programs, (6) Invest in affordable (and green) rural housing to ensure farming is a viable occupation, (7) Invigorate investments in sustainable agriculture education at community colleges, (8) Integrate more science into Farm to School education programs to interest future farmers in pursuing a green career in agriculture.
We urge support for AB 2649, the Natural Carbon Sequestration and Resilience Act of 2022. AB 2649 would be the first bill of its kind in the state to codify specific targets for the removal of past carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in the atmosphere through natural carbon sequestration (NCS). NCS is proven, scalable, cost-effective, environmentally sound and just, and leverages practices informed by traditional ecological knowledge– attributes which are critical to addressing the climate crisis on the necessary scale.
Equity must be a primary consideration in making infrastructure investments to deliver opportunity, jobs, and other benefits where they are needed most. AB 2419 commits California to the Justice40 Initiative by requiring at least 40% of federal climate, clean energy, and infrastructure funds go to projects that provide direct benefits to disadvantaged communities, and an additional 10% of funds provide benefits to low-income communities and households. This bill puts the state on a path for infrastructure to be a driver of inclusive economic opportunity.
Pollution from oil extraction and burning of fossil fuels disproportionately impacts working-class communities of color. Oil extraction and climate change widen the disparities between individuals’ physical and mental health as a result of racism and poverty. Phasing out oil and gas extraction is necessary to stopping climate change and addressing devastating health impacts.
We support the city’s on-going efforts to adopt a CAP Update that commits to achieving a pollution-free San Diego through binding strategies, measures, and actions that will center equity, uplift communities of concern, and create good-paying union jobs—as well as allow the streamlining of new infill development. We strongly urge the city to adopt the CAP Update and Implementation Plan concurrently—with the Implementation Plan integrating a cost assessment and detailed funding plan for all binding measures.
We support AB-1640, a bill that would establish Regional Climate Networks across the state to facilitate collaboration and coordination on climate solutions. The recent Policy Analysis of the
Regional Decarbonization Framework, revealed that no government of the region is on track to reach emission reduction commitments necessary to reach zero carbon by 2045. the analysis highlighted that social equity in Climate Action Plans are limited,
inconsistent, and unspecific.
We do not support the proposed electric and gas Franchise Agreements and “Energy Cooperation Agreement” on the basis that it maintains a defacto 20-year term length, withholds $20 million in equity dollars, has no firm commitments to climate and equity, and has no meaningful accountability mechanisms. We hope the City Council will stop this proposal from moving forward and will continue to negotiate for climate and justice.
We appreciate the City of San Diego as a model of sustainability due to its adoption of a 100% clean-energy Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2015, but understand that we need to update our CAP to center equity and jobs in climate action planning. As climate science and best practices evolve, we urge the City to integrate nine key objectives to advance climate justice and protect San Diego residents.
Our Equitable Development Committee supports the efforts to allow homeowners the opportunity to subdivide their property into four parcels of land, with the option to build housing on each parcel. This will increase density, stabilize rent, and provide homeownership opportunities for more low-income and middle-income families. We support this initiative that will prevent sprawl and encourage density to mitigate the climate crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the pre-existing affordable housing crisis in San Diego, and emphasizes the importance of having a Tenants Protections Board, a Rent Registry, and the adoption of a Rent Control Ordinance at the City of San Diego.
We are thankful that the County of San Diego has acquired the El Monte River Valley region are excited to support its restoration and conservation. To honor San Diego’s native landscape and Kumeyaay heritage, we recommend extinguishing subservience rights, placing available land into a conservation easement, and committing to collaborating with the local community.
The Covid-19 crisis has negatively impacted both MTS and its number one customer — working class families — who are suffering disproportionately from health and economic impacts of Covid-19. Youth Opportunity Passes (YOP) are necessary in achieving clean air and a livable future, and boosting access to educational and work-related opportunities, and expanding ridership in our transit center. These passes, which are no-cost transit passes for individuals 24 and under, are necessary and largely desired by the San Diego community.
We appreciate the efforts to bring immediate economic aid, though we advise prioritizing the wellbeing of everyday people and mitigate the climate change emergency in future programs. Future relief programs should commit to a zero carbon region, ensure a just transition, create good union jobs, prioritize communities of concern, and develop affordable and inclusive communities.
We recommend that the Encinitas City Council amend the Encinitas Green Building Ordinance by implementing the elimination of fossil fuel exemptions that the draft proposed. Following this suggested elimination, we advocate for a just transition for fossil fuel workers that enables the creation of good, green, and equitable jobs for these workers.
We strongly support AB 1395, which codifies the state’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and then maintain a net negative greenhouse gas emission after. This bill is critical in addressing the climate crisis and minimizing the state’s contribution to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
We urge the County of San Diego to join San Diego Community Power (SDCP), the second-largest community choice energy program in the state. To join SDCP this calendar year would provide cost-competitive electricity to residents, create good green jobs and advance a 100% clean energy future.
We support the Coastal Commission’s recommendations to improve the Fiesta Island Mission Bay Park Master Plan amendment. We specifically support the changes to the northern subsection of Fiesta Island, the improvements made to the amendment pertaining to sensitive plants, and the emphasis on coastal dependent, coastal related, and non-coastal related uses at the Coastal Commission. We do, however, encourage changing the type of use associated with part of the Fiesta Island Road and partnering with Indigenous community members to identify significant and sensitive species.
We oppose the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) application and urge commissioners to vote no, as this application fails to uphold the city’s pre-existing agreement. There are many missing components to the CDP application including, water quality testing, environmental hazards, and term length of the permit.
Our San Diego Building Electrification Coalition thanks the Commission for considering all-electric building codes for the upcoming cycle and advocates for the advancement of this draft proposal. We urge the California Energy Commission to adopt all-electric building codes to improve the Californians’ health, reduce construction costs, and decrease air pollution.