Report on the WDC meeting of April 25th – Green New Deal Forum

An overflow crowd of more than fifty people, including Town Council members Debora Fudge, Esther Lemus, and Sam Salmon, turned out to learn about the Green New Deal at a Windsor Democratic Club forum Thursday April 25 at the Windsor Round Table Pizza restaurant.

Doug Nunn, a retired Mendocino high school English teacher who recently finished a training program given by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, gave a presentation on the global warming crisis.

Since 1800 the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen from 280ppm to 405ppm. Global temperatures have increased 1.5 F from 1880 to 2018, the fourth hottest year on record. We cannot afford not to act.

In response to the crisis, the Green New Deal calls for a national mobilization to guarantee full employment at living wages through an upgrade and overhaul of infrastructure, transportation, manufacturing, and power generation, with the goal of 100% clean, renewable, zero-emission power. Representative Ocasio-Cortez introduced a non-binding resolution in support of this in Congress in February 2019.

Debora Fudge reported that she is working with Pete Gang of Petaluma, who was in the audience, on a countywide Green New Deal resolution. She mentioned the Town Council’s recent success in getting the developer of property between Old Redwood Hwy and Merner to agree to build 32 all-electric units. She encouraged people to replace old gas appliances with electric ones, and to sign up for Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen program, offering 100% of energy from renewable sources.

In the forum that followed, Mary Mariani of the Windsor Garden Club spoke about the health and ecological benefits of organic gardening. She invited the public to the Windsor Community Garden’s Saturday Work Party on May 11 at 10:30 am.

Justin Wilcox of Sonoma County Refuse and Recovery said that China, the major purchaser of recyclable waste, now insists on lower contamination levels; SCRR’s dual stream carts help meet this demand.

Les Proteau, co-director of North Bay TIP, spoke about their free 120-hour pre-internship program that prepares participants for five-year apprenticeships in one of 17 building trades, leading to lifelong union-wage jobs. Anyone is welcome as long as they are willing to learn and work. “We don’t just turn them out,” Proteau said. “We make a lifelong commitment to their success.” The first 40 hours of classes (“boot-camp”), covers basics, including workplace safety and math. Subsequent weeks focus on a specific trade. About 50% of participants go on to apprenticeships.

Proteau, rebuilding his Coffey Park home after the Tubbs fire, is having first-hand experience learning about new energy-efficient technologies, most recently a solar-generating window glass that uses the aluminum frame as the conduit.

Doug Nunn reported that the Mendocino Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a Climate Action Advisory Committee. Sonoma County should consider doing the same.

Debora Fudge said that each jurisdiction is different. But the most important thing is for people to show up at public forums to support programs that combat global warming as well as promote social justice. Remember, she said, “The world is looking to California.”

–Shirley Johnston

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