Reaching out to local government

Many Transition Inititiaves are beginning to connect with local government.  There are several examples including more recently the Mayor David Boyles' support of the Brixton Pound, a new local currency, Transition Town Monteveglio in Italy's strategic partnership with the local authority, and of course Transition Town Llandeilo's visit from Prince Charles.

Here in the US, we wanted to share with you an example of a Transition Initiative reaching out to local government and starting to develop a partnership. Do you have a story to share about what your initiative is doing? Please contact us!

We will be hosting an upcoming webinar in January on working effectively with local government. Stay tuned for details.


(Originally posted here)

City logoTransition Santa Cruz Influences City Redevelopment Plan, by Rick Longinotti

The Food Working Group wrote to the City’s Redevelopment Agency requesting support for sustainable agriculture in the Agency’s 5-year plan for economic development. It wasn’t until Food Group members met with City Council members that the Agency replied to Transition’s requests. In a letter to Council Members, Agency director, Bonnie Lipscomb, wrote, “ I agree that making Santa Cruz a sustainable food hub for the region is an important goal... I look forward to meeting with Mr. Stearns [from Transition] and representatives of local food institutions and organizations in the coming months ahead on how we can work together and collaborate on sustainable food based local initiatives.” Congratulations to the Food Working Group for opening the door to increased City support for local sustainable agriculture. If you’d like to walk through the door with the Food Working Group, contact David Stearns.

Congratulations are in order as well to the Transportation and Land Use Working Group, who, in coalition with Campaign for Sensible Transportation and People Power, succeeded in amending the Redevelopment Agency Plan to require close alignment of Agency projects with the City’s upcoming Climate Action Plan. The draft Plan is due out in February, and the Working Group is focusing its efforts in ensuring that the plan will really accomplish the City’s climate change goals. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have risen by 13% in the City since 1996. In order to achieve the targeted 30% reduction by 2020, substantial efforts need to be made to reduce car trips. Contact Rick Longinotti  to participate.


Transition Santa Cruz is on the City Council's Map, by Batya Kagan

Batya Kagan and two other representatives of Transition Santa Cruz were at this week's City Council meeting for their hearing on the Redevelopment Agency's 5-year Implementation Plan. Here is her report:

Both David Stearns and myself gave testimony at yesterday's city council meeting that emphasized the need to both support sustainable agriculture and to include ways to preserve land for community garden space. Katherine Beiers (city council member) was particularly supportive of the community garden space needs in the city and asked questions about how to acquire land for that purpose.

Transition Santa Cruz has now officially presented some of its agenda to the city council! We are on the map. Mayor Mike Rotkin thanked everyone who advocated for greater greenhouse gas reduction and said they "need the citizens to keep the fire under the feet of the city council" to make greater changes and commitments and encouraged us to continue to push in this direction.

Mike Rotkin and Don Lane encouraged us to continue to work with the council in their upcoming process to amend the city's general plan and put these ideas into that document.

Image: City of Santa Cruz logo

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