City Council Setting Goals: Councilors Need to Hear that Climate Action is a Priority for Bend Residents
Next week, the Bend City Council will establish goals for the next two years. The City Council is seeking input on the new goals from Bend residents.
The goals will set priorities for City staff and help shape the City’s two-year biennial budget for July 2017 through June 2019. The Council will adopt the new goals at a special, all-day Council meeting on February 22, 2017.
If you think implementation of the climate action resolution, adopted by the Bend City Council on September 7, 2016, should remain a priority over the next two years, then the City Councilors need to hear from you today.
We know they will hear from opponents of the climate action resolution. They need to hear from even more people who support climate action now.
Here’s how you can help:
Send an email to the full City Council today. Tell them you support implementation of the climate action resolution. Email the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
Share a few ideas—in your own words—about why you support implementation of the resolution. Here are a few suggestions:
- Climate change is real and human caused. Bend needs to do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- With no leadership on climate at the national level, local action to reduce emissions and protect our clean air and water is needed more than ever.
- Climate action will help our local government, businesses and residents be more energy efficient and save money.
- Our City and community will be making large, expensive investments of all sorts over the next few years. Implementing the climate resolution will ensure that those investments are cost efficient and climate smart. That’s good government!
Background on the Climate Action Resolution Adopted last September 2016
The adopted resolution can be reviewed here.
Last May, local environmental organizations and activists proposed a climate action ordinance to the Bend City Council. Their proposal was the result of 15 months of research about how other leading cities had launched their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The reaction from some City Councilors and some in the business community was very unfavorable to an ordinance, primarily because they worried about enforcement and what that might mean to businesses. After several months of discussion, the Council adopted a resolution that is more aspirational but still lays out a clear pathway for Bend to move forward.
The adopted resolution includes all of the core principles that the environmental community advocated for last May. The resolution:
- Is grounded in science and the scientific consensus that climate change is real and largely human caused;
- Sets greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and fossil fuel reduction goals for City operations/facilities and the community as a whole;
- Sets timelines for adopting climate action plans (2 years for the City, 3 years for the community);
- Establishes a robust public involvement process in developing those action plans, including business involvement;
- Hires new staff to develop and implement the action plans; and
- Conducts periodic reporting about progress towards meeting the goals.
- Finally, the resolution also commits the City to taking near-term actions to reduce energy use, to increase the efficiency of its vehicle fleet, and to reduce vehicle miles traveled through investments in transit and in safety to encourage biking and walking.
The adopted resolution—if implemented—will move Bend in the right direction when it comes to climate action. And it will help the City reduce costs, save money and design a much more livable community.