Mar 10 2020 meeting of full group

Notes from Tuesday March 10th, 2020 meeting of Climate Action Philly, to discuss near term climate action by Philadelphia government. 

23 people participated (alphabetical by first name) — Abha Saina, Bob Ellis, Dave Moscatello, Brent Groce, Cam Walker, Emily Davis, Frances McCloskey, Freyda Kornblum, Jeanne Myers, Jim Wylie, Judy Morgan, Kim Paymaster, Kimberly White, Lynn Robinson, Meenal Raval, Mehdi Entezari, Mike Heaney, Pat Libbey, Ray Bailey, Sean Gallagher, Sean Welch, Tammy Murphy, Yasha Zarrinkelk

7 groups represented — All Together Now PA, Climate Beer, Climate Reality Project, Eastern Service Workers Association, Green Party of Phila, Neighbors Against the Gas Plants, NW Philly Climate Action Network, POWER Interfaith, Physicians for Social Responsibility — Philadelphia, Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Philly, Temple University, Transit Forward Philly, XR Philly

Facilitator – Dave Moscatello / Notetakers – Meenal Raval & Judy Morgan 

Report from sub-teams

  • Strategy team – Judy , Lisa, Lynn, Fareed met three times since last big group meeting 
  • Strategy team – Judy , Lisa, Lynn, Fareed met three times since last big group meeting. Vision needs to emphasize pro-jobs and pro-economic growth, because that is what most people see as important. Secondarily, pro-clean-air to reduce asthma and other health problems.  We need to focus on a positive future, so focus on Clean Energy Jobs and Clean Air for outreach.  Transparency, public education, and public input are important, amongst ourselves and for all public input process with the City. For goals farther out in time, we need a process that emphasizes input and transparency, such as:
    • Stage One – Reach consensus among our own members
    • Stage Two – Take the draft to relevant academic, technical, and policy experts for fine-turning 
    • Stage Three – Take the next draft to key environmental and social justice leaders for input and discussion, and adjust as needed to maximize broad support.
    • Stage Four – Send the final draft to a wider list of community, advocacy, business, labor, and neighborhood groups, for input and discussion. Encourage groups to get input from their membership and feed it back to us. This serves to educate and gain support at the same time that it provides input.
  • Equity team – Freyda (for Bernard, Ray, Cameron and others) – Met once, Francis joined this team, still refining list below…
    • Impose a moratorium on utility shut-off
    • Ensure affordable access to renewable energy for all
    • Ensure a just transition for workers
    • Hold big polluters accountable
  • Power Generation team – Brent, Dave, Pat – first meeting this Thursday 3/12
    • Phila Gas Commission meeting today was cancelled; Pat delivered PSR flyers to PGC
  • Green spaces & Urban Agriculture team – Jeanne & Wanda – no contact – Lynn & Dave joining this team

Reviewed short list of 2020 strategies. Some of the points raised were: 

  • Climate Policy Advisory Council —  Cam said that XR wants to see ‘people’s assemblies’ that would be wide open rather than appointed committees. This led to a discussion of how committee members would be designated, and whether we could ask for a mix of a formal committee with informal open assemblies.
  • Green jobs in tree planting and non-mechanized sweeping—Meenal explained that the sweeping by hand would provide a lot more jobs, and the machinery is expensive and requires maintenance. Some suggested planting fruit and nut trees; others felt this would cause problems in terms of sanitation and nuisance issues. Also lead contamination in soil may make such fruit contaminated. Germany has planted fruit trees; we should find out more about that. 
  • Transitioning existing buildings to renewable—A concern was expressed that there may be much resistance to this and that it would be good to start in small steps. Others felt we need to push hard on this, can’t afford small steps. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and perhaps should emphasize that.
  • No new fossil fuel projects—Tammy said that any polluting new project should be required to take into account cumulative effects.
  • Anti-idling regulation—In NYC there are fines for idling but it is not enforced. The question was raised whether fines could be linked to income. Several felt we don’t want to push something that will hurt groups of people, and perhaps best to start with commercial vehicles only.
  • Ensuring protection of most vulnerable in transitioning to renewable—Freyda noted that there a number of government services, but there are long waiting lists for them. There is a need to educate low-income people about services that are available, and the availability of Earned Income Tax Credits. Meenal mentioned the Built to Last program of the Phila Energy Authority.

Meenal reported that she has set up a meeting with Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson next Monday 3/16 @ 2 pm. Dave, Lynn, Mike, Emily & Ray can join her in that meeting. 

We’ve met for 5 times now. Setup a temporary site called for public documents. What should we call ourselves? Straw poll showed top three names were: 

  • Climate Action Philly
  • Green New Deal for Philadelphia
  • Climate Justice Philly

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 14 @ 6:30 pm, City Coho, 2401 Walnut St. There was some discussion of whether to use remote conferencing (less travel time, more “social distancing”), but we was felt face-to-face was preferable for building community. 

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