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Letter from Our Executive Director: Reflections On 2020

Over the past five years, we’ve grown from 1.5 people and a shoestring budget to a staff of ten with a budget of over $1 million. In early 2021, CAC will grow by three more team members, as we continue to build transformative change from the bottom-up in San Diego and Orange Counties. It’s been quite a journey, and we thank all of you for being on this journey with us!

As I write this, Orange County is on the cusp of energy democracy through Community Choice Energy, which is set to form by the end of the year.

San Diego’s CCE program, San Diego Community Power, will begin serving customers next year. It will be the second-largest CCE program in the State of California and offer San Diego families and businesses lower rates and cleaner energy. It will also be a critical part of our region’s green economic recovery with revenue that can be reinvested in local clean energy projects, bringing more good, family-sustaining jobs to our communities.

Even in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, we’ve built a foundation to launch off in 2021. This year, we advanced Zero Carbon climate solutions throughout our region by:

  • Defeating the County of San Diego’s fatally-flawed Climate Action Plan in court. Now, we’re pushing the County toward the north star: a Zero Carbon CAP.

  • Securing funding for the City of San Diego to update its groundbreaking 2015 CAP. In 2021, we’ll fight to ensure that the CAP charts the course to a Zero Carbon future.

  • Activating new advocates through our Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC), a group of public health professionals committed to winning the fight for clean air and a clean climate.

  • Building an all-electric future for the City of Encinitas, which updated its CAP with a commitment to kick dirty natural gas out of its homes and buildings. In 2021, we’re going all in on electrifying everything in our region.

  • Rising up to kill a bad deal by our former Mayor that would have given our Wall Street-owned utility the keys to the city. Next year, we’ll work with our new Council and Mayor toward an energy paradigm that’s better for our climate and communities.

  • Joining hands with 50+ organizations in San Diego to launch the San Diego Green New Deal, a grassroots movement for climate, jobs, and justice.

Check out our full list of 2020 accomplishments here.

I’m proud of what we’ve built over the past five years, but I know that we must go further, faster to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Incremental solutions won’t secure a safe and livable future. We’re building a roadmap to Zero Carbon in Southern California and we’ll need your help to enact the policies that show what’s possible when our communities rise up for climate, jobs, and justice.

My team is ready to continue to work tirelessly to protect our health and improve our regional quality of life. There are hard fights and tough conversations ahead of us, but we know that, together, we can build a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for our communities.


- CAC Founder and Executive Director, Nicole Capretz

P.S. Please consider supporting us in the fight of our lives by donating here.

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