On this campaign trail every candidate talks about housing and climate. Here’s how I’m different: I talk about them together. We cannot separate climate change from housing. Finding creative ways to add more housing types and permanently affordable options is the single most important local action we can take to address climate change. Many strategies are needed at the local level to tackle climate change, and cities can achieve them by determining how and where we build.
By welcoming more people into our city and encouraging growth in and up with sustainable building practices, we will protect the surrounding natural beauty we all treasure and preserve the lands that grow our food. This creates more opportunities to improve mass transit by reducing our carbon emissions and decreasing costs of transportation for our residents.
Developing an agreed upon strategy to transition to 100% renewable electricity, improve existing buildings efficiencies and their use of renewable energy, and ensuring that new homes are built to high standards- are significant steps in the right direction. Building in and up will help us focus our dollars on our city’s much needed infrastructure improvements (roads, parks, street lights, libraries, protected bicycle routes) rather than adding infrastructure demands further out.
While combating climate change in the future we need to also prepare for today’s climate impacts.
Our kids have known nothing but climate reality. Since they were born, they have seen devastating impacts on our community and the wildlife they love. As we work to slow and reverse climate change we also need to create resilience in our community that will tolerate and withstand the growing unpredictable weather patterns, sea level rise, droughts, and severe storms. We must work with climate scientists and engineers to determine where we should and should not build housing, improve our shoreline master plan to mitigate storm surges on the bay and around creeks, and improve our stormwater systems’ response to heavy and sudden downpours. We will protect our wildlife by cooling our creeks and streams with shade trees and natural habitat. We will keep our city cool by setting tree canopy goals and developing a strategy to achieve those goals.
Getting things done.
- Partnering with 350 Bellingham, April added aspirational targets for clean energy into a resolution developing the Climate Action Task Force (CATF). She believes it's better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit. The CATF has been hard at work developing recommendations to reach those goals and will be presenting their recommendations before the end of the year.. See the ambitious targets here- https://www.cob.org/Documents/council/Climate%20Action%20TF/Resolution-2018-06-1.pdf
- April is a WTA Board member and voted to approve the purchase of more electric buses and the development infrastructure to charge and maintain them.
- Co-authored an article “Bellingham, we’re feeling 100% Optimistic.” Published by ClimateSolutions.org https://www.climatesolutions.org/article/1547219902-bellingham-were-feeling-100-optimistic?fbclid=IwAR1hI4hrT1uljF04AoYFu37ZItoKq6Lo-0EARQmmLmy6gNW0WnJZIy9WvBo