Please VOTE for our People’s Budget Proposal: Stickers for gas water heaters

Redwood City has allocated $1 million in the People’s Budget for projects proposed by people which will positively improve the community.

Everyone with a strong connection to Redwood City or North Fair Oaks is invited to VOTE on the proposed projects.  The voting system is ranked choice. Each voter lists up to 7 out of the 96 choices. Because of the budget cap of $1 million, it is important to rank Green Energy & Sustainability category at the top. Here is an example: if the majority of 1st ranked votes goes to a project that has a budget of up to $1M – that’s it: no other entries would be considered. 

Our low cost entry under “Green Energy & Sustainability” is to: Produce & deliver stickers to put on gas water heaters, with information regarding rebates for replacing gas appliances with energy efficient, safe electric heat pump models. The estimated budget is $2,700. to $7,000, depending on the area of the pilot project. 

How to VOTE:

Online in English or Spanish.   redwoodcity.org/pb 

On paper by picking up a form at any City library, the Fair Oaks Community Center, Veterans Memorial Senior Center, or City Hall. Return the form to any of those locations or scan it and send to pb@redwoodcity.org

The deadline is May 9. Please get family & friends to also vote Green!


Redwood City People’s Budget

Redwood City has a million dollar budget, to be decided by the community: The People’s Budget. The deadline for submissions has already passed, however, several members of FFMP have submitted proposals. Between March 19 and May 9, ranked-choice voting will be open to all members of the Redwood City community.

Check out our members’ submissions on our Google Drive, with links here:

Gas Water Heater Informational Stickers

Neighborhood Microgrids

King Tide Time Lapse

The Silicon Valley chapter of the Sunrise Movement is working on a concept called #WeRiseWithTheSea to demonstrate how sea level rise impacts flooding, particularly on days with King Tides. The below video shows their first timelapse recorded in Redwood City on a King Tide day.

All-Electric! …with exceptions

On September 21st, 2020, the City Council of Redwood City voted unanimously to pass all-electric reach codes with eight exceptions, as recommended by staff. Reach codes are legally required to be as or more strict than state codes, which are updated every three years, most recently going into effect on Jan 1, 2020. This article from before the first review of the staff report and the staff report itself offer more details on what the exceptions mean for development in Redwood City. The simple list is as follows:

  1. Hospitals
  2. Science labs
  3. Restaurants/catering business kitchens
  4. Factories and hazardous material facilities
  5. Projects that have previously approved land use entitlements
  6. Affordable housing projects
  7. Accessory Dwelling Units
  8. Other instances in which an applicant can submit a specific request for an exception because they feel circumstances exist that make it infeasible for their building to be an all-electric building

The exceptions make the reach codes passed by Redwood City less stringent than other surrounding cities, particularly the exceptions for affordable housing and hospitals. But as an article from Green Tech Media suggests, regulations coming in the 2022 building code cycle may require all-electric for all buildings, and even PG&E agrees it may be time to go all-electric.

Reach Codes in Redwood City

Tomorrow, September 14th, the Redwood City Council will consider all-electric reach codes after months of delays. In light of this finally coming before council, we’re posting another past comment on reach codes from one of our FFMP members.

The following statement was originally made by Laurel Bergman on December 9, 2019. At the time, Ian Bain was Mayor of Redwood City.

Good evening, Mayor Bain, Vice Mayor Howard and council members. My name is Laurel Bergman and I’m a Redwood City homeowner for over 26 years.  I want to thank you for your ongoing hard work and commitment to our community. I also have some concerns.

Front doors and sign, surrounded by pink cherry blossoms, of city hall in Redwood City, California.
City Hall in Redwood City

The Council apparently decided to postpone final discussion and voting on Reach Codes until 2020. I’m not sure why, but I know the need for taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse gases becomes more clear every day. This last week a report from the World Meteorological Org, a UN Agency, told us that “this decade is almost certain to have been the warmest in recorded history” and that we’re heading for a temperature increase of three degrees Celsius by the end of the century. That increase affects sea level rise, which will impact Redwood City.

What must we do locally to disrupt this devastating trend? We have many options for action. For example, most homes and businesses still use methane (also called “natural” gas). Buildings account for about 39% of CO2 emissions from burning natural gas; so moving from gas to electricity in buildings is one of our best options.

Changing the building code requirements for electrification of new construction is a significant start.  We must not delay further. Cities can and must adopt ambitious reach codes—codes that reach beyond basic requirements—ASAP.  It is said that nothing is constant but change. My own life experience tells me that another constant is our own resistance to it.  But in this case, we really don’t have time. Please take action quickly.

Thank you, and thanks to Fossil Free Mid-Peninsula for educating me in these matters.

An Equitable Transition

Our mission statement includes our goal to “advocate for swiftly and equitably transitioning to renewable energy.” A few of our members wrote the following statement that specifies what this goal means to us, and helps to tie our advocacy and education work to environmental and social justice.

We believe that the transition from a fossil fuel economy to a clean energy economy must fully include the needs of people of color and low-income communities.

Please see the following resources from other climate organizations to learn more about environmental justice and an equitable transition to a fossil-free world.

Climate Justice Alliance
Just Transition: A Framework for Change

Sunrise Movement
Green New Deal

Hip Hop Caucus Think 100%
The Coolest Show (Podcast)

Sierra Club
Environmental Justice

Extinction Rebellion
What is Climate and Ecological Justice?

The Environmental Justice Movement