Nov 1 2017

Student Input on Piedmont Climate Action Plan

High School student interest in Piedmont Climate Action Plan – 

      In the Climate Action Task Force meeting, we, students, talked a lot about how we can change the cities in the Bay Area for the better. Many of the student speakers in the meeting talked about transportation expenses and recycling better in the park.  Since there is nothing in the park but a big trashcan that the students throw everything in, it would be nice to have recycling, compost, trash, etc.

    For about half of the meeting, one of the presenters talked about light bulb/ light efficiency in many cities ranging from Alameda to southern California.. With 100% renewable energy being a great possibility in the next couple of years, people are on board! From the diagrams and graphs shown, it tends to be a great idea both money and environmentally wise.

     I then asked a question to the people running the meeting about Solar Panels, and if and when is it possible for them to be in the school. Like many people in Piedmont, I have seen tons of panels on people’s houses, which would save them a lot of money each year. The sun is free! We should use it to our advantages!

    Everyone talked and contributed in the meeting, some more than others. It was a very effective meeting. There are about 8-10 more meetings before they will have this issue all figured out (going into February). It was brought up how there is too much water usage in the school with the showers, however there is storage in the showers in both the Middle School and High School. I don’t know how they got that information, maybe due to the sprinkler leaks or with the sink in the bathrooms that are accidentally left on. When it rains, Witter Field tends to be flooded with water, so they are going to try to find a drainer to fix and clean so this won’t happen as often (one of many problems that they are facing in years to come).

Interview Questions:

Name: Cody Ericson ( New graduate from UCLA but excited to start working for the City!)

Q: Why are you here?

A:  ¨I’m a part of a Americorp program called Civic Spark that links up new graduates, young professionals with local governments that help them with suitable issues. And so this is part of the Climate Action Plan passing City Council; we have to get input from the community.¨

Q: What difficulties and problems brought you here?

A: ¨Climate change is a huge issue obviously, and so local governments are in a interesting position, because they can test out new innovative ideas that can’t really be tested out on a federal scale. Cities can do  innovate thing that can be used as a model for the world for other cities in America, so I think there is  a lot of opportunity in local government.   I wanted to try finding climate change issues at a local stage.¨

Q: What did you learn?

A: ¨It takes a lot of patience and work to get this issue across to the public and get people on board, so it might take awhile until we get this plan officially approved.¨

Q: What was your reaction of the meeting?

A: “I thought it was very productive.  It was great to see that a lot of people in the community are involved in this Task Force to help a Climate Action Plan pass. It was great to see everyone have a lot of influence.  It’s great to see that people care.¨

Q: What next step will you take to get this particular concern addressed?

A: ¨To get this concern addressed, we are going to take all the imput that we had today, and try to incorporate as much as we can from the public, We are holding a focused community outreach workshop on November 7th, as we talked about, and yeah, hopefully just to keep the public involved throughout the process, I think is very important. So yes, hopefully it’s an effective workshop on the 7th.¨

by Kyle Deutsche, Piedmont High School Senior  

Editors Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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