VIDEO. Educational partnership with ALAS, Senior Coastsiders, Youth Leadership Institute funded by San Mateo County for $60k, leading to 15 different outreach events.
From City Council Meeting 1/21/2020
RECOMMENDATION: Receive a summary report on the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) Outreach Pilot Project.
FISCAL IMPACT: The City received a $60k grant from San Mateo County to conduct the CAAP Outreach Pilot Project. No other funds were used.
STRATEGIC ELEMENT: This action supports the Infrastructure and Environment, Healthy Communities and Public Safety, Fiscal Sustainability, and Inclusive Governance Element of the Strategic Plan.
BACKGROUND: As part of the priority setting workshop, City Council identified sustainability as one of the top five priorities for FY 2019-20. In response, staff prioritized developing the City’s first Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and subsequently submitted a grant application to San Mateo County to fund the City’s CAAP Outreach Pilot Project (Pilot Project). In July, the City was notified that it was one of two pilot projects selected for funding and was awarded $60k.
The Pilot Project was pursued as a way to help the City educate the community on climate change as well as gather data on the community’s greatest climate change concerns. Recognizing the City Council’s commitment to working with vulnerable populations and building partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs), staff enlisted the support of three local CBOs to collaborate on this project. The Senior Coastsiders, Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), and Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) (collectively referred to as the Partners) were brought in to facilitate climate change outreach events to the senior, youth, and the Latino populations, respectively. A climate change presentation was also held in partnership with Abundant Grace, which focused on engaging with the homeless population.
The Partners have conducted 15+ climate change outreach events over the last four months. Events included focus groups, movie screenings, mural paintings, climate change presentations and workshops, a virtual reality experience, and facilitated discussions. Educational and interactive climate change boards were also displayed at the Senior Coastsiders as an additional means of data collection and passive outreach. The data gathered from these events have been compiled and will be presented by the Partners and their respective community leaders at the City Council meeting on January 21, 2020.
A Climate Action Plan (CAP) serves as a local jurisdiction’s formalized response to climate change. The City is looking to develop a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), which is a version of a CAP that puts equal emphasis on reducing carbon emissions as well as adapting to the present and future consequences of climate change. Staff believes adopting a comprehensive CAAP is an essential piece to building a successful sustainability program.
In order for a CAAP to truly reflect the needs of the whole community, extensive and targeted outreach efforts are needed. Often times, these outreach efforts are focused on a draft document. While this is a perfectly acceptable, and sometimes necessary, approach to developing a CAAP, it can also result in missed opportunities to engage community members in the earlier stages of the CAAP development process.
The CAAP Outreach Pilot Project represented an opportunity to formalize a more innovative approach to developing the City’s CAAP by conducting extensive outreach prior to drafting the document and related policies. Staff worked with the Partners, County of San Mateo (County), and County consultants (Ecology and Environment and Urban Permaculture Institute) to develop targeted curriculum that the Partners could use to educate and engage with their respective populations.
This pilot project is the first step in the City’s ongoing efforts to create a comprehensive CAAP. Recommendations and findings from the pilot project will be used to develop the CAAP document with the ultimate goal of the final CAAP being a true representation of the community’s concerns and needs as they relate to climate change. Staff is in the process of finalizing the Request for Proposals (RFP) for a CAAP-writing consultant and intends to bring a service contract before the City Council for approval in the coming months.