April 14th meeting of full group

Notes from Tuesday April 14th, 2020 meeting of Climate Action Philly, to discuss near term climate action by Philadelphia government.

16 people participated (alphabetical by first name) — Alex Lola, Cam Walker, Dave Moscatello, Emily Davis, Freyda Kornblum, Hilary Baum, Jeannie Myers, Jim Wylie, Judy Morgan, Kevin Brown, Lynn Robinson, Meenal Raval, Mehdi Entezari, Pat Libbey, Peter Winslow, Tre Schumacher

9 groups represented — A Smart Collaborative, Eastern Service Workers Association, Extinction Rebellion Philly, Green Party of Philadelphia, Neighbors Against the Gas Plants, NW Philly Climate Action Network, Penn Environment, People’s Emergency Center, Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Philadelphia

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

  • Icebreaker – Dave – “How are we getting thru COVID-19?”   
  • Organizational decisions: 
    • Are we a coalition or an alliance? Alliance’ more accurate, not as formal or binding as ‘coalition’. Decided we’re an alliance. 
    • Mission statement
      • “We are building an alliance of environmental, social justice, labor, and other groups seeking to coordinate goals and efforts to address the urgent climate crisis, and transition rapidly to an equitable and sustainable Philadelphia that provides living wage jobs, a healthy environment, and a safe climate for all residents.”
      • Discussion about lack of labor groups in our alliance. Agreed that goal is to include these groups. 
    • Name
      • Survey result showed that “Climate Action Philly” got 11 votes, “Green New Deal for Philly” got 9 votes, and “Climate Justice Philly” got 2 votes.
      • New name suggested “Climate Action Alliance”. We also considered “Phila Climate Action Alliance” and “Climate Action Alliance of Phila”. Debated whether to send out another survey, and decided not to. The sooner we have a name, the sooner we can move on said actions.
      • Decision to call ourselves “Climate Action Philly”.
    • Hub and Spoke Model – Alex described again the model in which there is a central coordinating circle made up of two representatives of working group circles. We watched a brief video about the Sociocracy process (Sociocracy. The Operating System Of The New Economy). It’s used by Philly Thrive, also Occupy. Judy mentioned a 6 session training is available. This process needs robust membership and assigning leadership roles. We could replace w facilitator & delegate for our Alliance needs. Wondered if these roles could shift over time? Sure! Alex to check with Alexa of Philly Thrive about their experience with this process and how to implement it.
  • Update on 2020 goals list 
    • 5 people offered feedback — 
      • Freyda Kornblum of ESWA – utils must convert to RE, without increased cost to ratepayers – 4 equity concerns – year-round moratorium, restoration of service, lower rates, and more — details captured by Lynn. 
      • Adrian ___ of NAGP — missing equity in housing – cash incentives for new green construction don’t flow to existing residents of low inc neighborhood – make new construction affordable for all 
      • Sean Gallagher of Climate Reality Project  — edit suggestions
      • Maria Duca of NW Philly CAN — maintain PGW distrib lines, stay w methane, but syn gas made from exhaust from power plants — 
        • Alex opposed to this, still methane, pipelines EJ issues – leak a lot — power gen w/g to weigh in — 
        • Dave – ok with renewable methane from sewage treatment plant, used onsite, oil industry transitioning to util scale geothermal — PGW could get involved w geo heating & cooling — 
        • Lynn — consider NOx, UFPs, VOCs, SOX, not just CO2 or CO. 
      • Judy — the Advisory Group needs to discuss email from Alexa Ross of Philly Thrive and consider how her suggestions would relate to both our 2020 goals and our overall mission.
    • 2 people wanted more time — give them another week
      • Tre Schumacher of GPOP. Trey later emailed saying Green Party likes it. They have no additional feedback.
      • Abha Saini of Climate Reality Project
    • Will incorporate and present to whole group again — when? 


  • Idea of forming a Green Jobs Initiative — COVID-19 — effect on city budget — gov’t likely will look for shovel ready jobs – public bank, impact investing, raise bonds to fund — we need a strong vision for face off w gas industry — Kevin wants to be on green jobs w/g – type of jobs could be… 
      • solar installs on existing buildings, esp w large roofs like schools, streamline permitting 
      • Geothermal for schools instead of air conditioning for warmer days in September 
      • Peter Winslow – A Philadelphia public bank could be a vehicle for green investment, but the time frame may not work.  Bank doesn’t currently exist, feasibility study by HR&A advisors due this month with report next month, then legislation would be required – earliest would be this fall.  The current economic ‘coma’ is different from 2008 recession, and the recovery will be different. What could a green new deal look like? Need to improve relationship w labor – Council will not be able to handle citizen participation during the lockdown, but the OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY is doing some things. PEA interested in green bonds, green bank, based on CT Green Bank 
      • Judy Morgan 
        • Maurice Sampson of CWA – lot happening already – we need to speak with businesses doing solar, energy efficiency, etc. and find out what their obstacles are, what policy changes they need to grow.
        • Julie Greenberg of POWER – they are looking into green jobs at the state level right now, will work with us on city level.
        • Peter Handler of CCL – has links with labor that could be explored.
        • Council member offices – couldn’t reach Gym & Brooks office apparently they are so swamped because of the epidemic and are not thinking of a climate advisory group – Green’s office not interested either – 
      • Meenal Raval – what jobs can be created with physical distancing?  solar and energy efficiency can’t be done now. Some ideas — large scale shade tree planting combined with street sweeping, and cooperative gardens for food growing everywhere — really, anything that heals the earth and people, such as herbalism, care work, teaching, etc. 
      • Lynn – our approach must connect to what their focus is now with the COVID-19 scare –  strategy group needs to do this – Lynn got calls back from Gym, Brooks, Oh, Youngblood about a COVID19 concern.
    • Working Group updates
      • Power Gen – many of ESWA concerns were included – Dave will integrate comments in goals and send out
      • Ag team – Wanda & Jeannie on team, but Jeannie unable to connect with Wanda  – Lynn & Dave had expressed interest. Meenal’s tree, trash & food work could be part of this team.  Hilary also interested in Ag team.
  • Next steps, next meeting — 
    • consider using Sociocracy model 
    • When announcing Zoom meetings we should put Zoom in subject line, as some have trouble finding the email with the link
    • Wed 4/15 @ 4:30 – Zoom call about Green Jobs Initiative 
    • Tue 4/21 @ 5:30 – advisory team 
    • Tue 5/12 @ 6:30 – large group meeting – 
    • We need to update the list of Working Groups on Contact page of website
    • Freyda – asking for help assisting people impacted, please call Freyda  215.545.9055 – office at 1518 South St – all contact-less and from a distance. 

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