May 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications and Development
Statement on City of San Diego’s Updated Budget Priorities
City Council Clear: Time to Implement the CAP
“We are pleased to see a core of the council keep faith with San Diego families and prioritize implementation of the landmark Climate Action Plan, including support for Community Choice Energy,” said Climate Action Campaign Policy Advocate Sophie Wolfram.
In budget priority memos released this week councilmembers called for:
- A Climate Action Plan Five-Year Implementation Plan outlining necessary policy steps and their associated costs. This will allow the electeds and public to know what funding needed to reach goals so we can plan accordingly. It also allows public to track the city’s progress and participate meaningfully in the public process related to the CAP.
- Funding for the next phase of development of a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program after the city council’s expected vote this fall. Proactively planning for CCE is essential to enable the city to transition to 100% clean electricity.
- Restoration of funding for shade tree trimming. This helps preserve the health of our urban canopy, a key component of city’s CAP.
- Funds to execute the Downtown Mobility Plan and the highest priority bike lanes, as identified by the Bicycle Advisory Committee, in addition to the installation of bike counters to collect ridership data. Strong support for bicycle infrastructure, especially for the interconnected network of protected bikeways that the Downtown Mobility Plan envisions, is essential to enable the city to meet its ambitious goals to shift 6% of commuters by 2020 and 18% of urban commuters onto bikes by 2035. It remains unclear if the mayor and council will keep their promise to implement the Downtown Cycle tracks by 2019, and it is even more unclear how the city will meet the other walking and transit targets.
Also notable: in a joint memo, Councilmembers Ward, Alvarez, and Gómez emphasized the need for social equity in the delivery of environmental benefits to San Diego families by calling for funding for Phase 1 of the Chollas Creek Master Plan Restoration and Active Transportation Improvement Project. We want a social equity matrix developed by the city to help prioritize all present and future city investments in communities of concern.
Slashing the city’s carbon footprint in half requires fundamental changes in the way the city thinks, plans, grows and develops. It is only through strong political will and the desire to keep our commitments to kids and families that the city will remain a global climate leader, while also cleaning the air and improving our quality of life.