Earth Day 2019

We were thrilled to table at Earth Day again this year!

This is an annual event put on by Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS).

The Board of Sacramento Environmental Democrats
(minus Perry, over at Sierra Club!)
The Board of Sacramento Environmental Democrats
(minus Perry, over at Sierra Club!)
Left to Right: Rae Vander Werf, Slava Bekker,
David Hildebrand, Timothy Irvine, Chase Kelly-Reif

It brings together a diverse range of activists, artists, teachers, and vendors in one place to celebrate the environment and many innovative approaches to reduce pollution and improve the reduce-reuse-recycle mantra we all know and love.

We had over 20 new people take our 2019 Environmental Priorities Survey and handed out all of our membership fliers!

We also learned about some great work being done by high school groups and touched base with great community partners like Citizens Climate Lobby, Sacramento Climate Coalition, and 350 Sacramento!

All in all it was a great day to be out in nature amongst like-minded environmentalists working towards a humane, just, and sustainable ecosystem.

ENDORSEMENT: Resolution Demanding that PG&E Invests in Infrastructure Safety

At our last meeting, we endorsed a Resolution Demanding that PG&E Invests in Infrastructure Safety.

The Democratic Party of Sacramento County (DPSC) will vote on this and other Resolutions (including our Resolution Condemning Islamophobia) on Thursday, May 9th, 2019.

The full text of the resolution is below. Principal authors/sponsors are Perry Metzger and Timothy Irvine.

WHEREAS, Climate change has increased wildfires and caused numerous negative impacts, such as tens of thousands of acres burned, thousands of homes and businesses burned, hundreds of lives lost, thousands of climate refugees seeking shelter amidst a housing crisis, millions of dollars spent in fighting fires, and causing extreme anxiety throughout its sphere of influence, the majority of these fires are ignited by utilities equipment failings especially by PG&E as in the 2014-2016 timeframe when 1,551 wildfires were started by PG&E equipment, 351 by Southern California Edison, and 110 by San Diego Gas & Electric; and

WHEREAS, Rather than expedite upgrades to ancient equipment with 60-year-old bare wire conductors, PG&E is ramping up their enhanced vegetation management program from ensuring the required 4-foot radial clearance around distribution lines to demanding home owners allow a 12 foot clearance earth to sky and the removal of tall hazard trees up to 200 feet away, which often necessitates the removal of healthy trees causing the loss of carbon sequestration, increased erosion and risk of flooding, damage to property and communities, loss of wildlife habitat, and increased fire risk from wind tunnels, flammable invasive plants, and hotter local microclimates, and will eventually result in the loss of 100 million trees throughout California as estimated by PG&E; and

WHEREAS, Infrastructure improvements are available to provide long-lasting and effective protection from wildfire—including replacing weak, hazardous, bare wire with reinforced, insulated, covered conductors, and installing high impedance arc fault interrupters that cut power within seconds of a break—thereby providing the most effective safety improvements and reducing the need for any enhanced vegetation management;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Democratic Party of Sacramento County calls on the Governor, California Legislature, and the California Public Utilities Commission to require PG&E to provide maps of all their known faulty or unmaintained equipment that can result in fires including the extent of bare wires and lack of arc fault interrupters, so that upgrades can be prioritized within the high fire hazard zones, and to expedite infrastructure improvements, long-term effective protection, rather than allowing continued environmental degradation from unproven and unnecessary enhanced vegetation management, specifically removal of healthy, mature trees.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Democratic Party of Sacramento County calls on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and on all city councils within Sacramento County, to adopt ordinances requiring PG&E to upgrade bare wire to covered conductors and to make other equipment changes necessary to make the public safe from wildfire—as allowed by Public Resource Code Section 4117.

ENDORSEMENT: Resolution Condemning Islamophobia and Affirming Solidarity with our Muslim Neighbors

At our last meeting, we endorsed a Resolution Condemning Islamophobia and Affirming Solidarity with our Muslim Neighbors.

The Democratic Party of Sacramento County (DPSC) will vote on this and other Resolutions (including our Resolution Demanding that PG&E Invests in Infrastructure Safety) on Thursday, May 9th, 2019.

The full text of the resolution is below. Principal authors/sponsors are Timothy Irvine, Mahmoud Zahriya, Yassar Dabhour, J.D. Garcia, and Dennessa Atiles, with the following organizations endorsing it:

  • Sacramento Environmental Democrats
  • Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento (WPDS)
  • Town and Country Democrats
  • Sabeel: A Christian Voice for Palestine
  • Jewish Voice for Peace Sacramento

The full text reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Islamophobia—fear, antipathy, and hatred of Muslim and Arab people—is rampant in our society for a number of reasons, some of which are listed below; and

WHEREAS, The sitting President of the United States of America is abusing his position by actively inciting violence against one of only two Muslim Congresswomen; and

WHEREAS, The Muslim Ban, promoted by the sitting President as “a total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States,” is currently the law of the land in terms of immigration and naturalization of individuals originating in the nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen—with an earlier attempt including individuals originating in the nations of Chad, Iraq, and Sudan;

WHEREAS, United States armed forces are currently in active combat operations and support in no less than five Muslim-majority countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen; and

WHEREAS, The United States has been involved in active combat in Afghanistan for almost 18 years, resulting in over 100,000 civilian deaths, and has also been involved in active combat in Iraq for over 16 years, resulting in over 500,000 civilian deaths, with millions displaced; and

WHEREAS, An endless “Global War on Terror,” a major foreign policy of successive presidential administrations, overwhelmingly and disproportionately kills, injures, and degrades the infrastructure of Muslim-majority countries while exacerbating the threat of terrorism; and

WHEREAS, Muslims, Arabs, and many immigrants from South-West Asia / North Africa (SWA/NA) and from the Middle East / North Africa (ME/NA) regions experience systemic discrimination simply because of their apparent religious beliefs or backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, Sacramento, California, is one of the largest refugee-resettlement areas in the state, and Muslims, Arabs, and people from SWA/NA and ME/NA countries increasingly diversify and contribute to our City, County, and many of its neighborhoods;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Democratic Party of Sacramento County condemns Islamophobia wherever it appears, from the racist, violent rhetoric of powerful elected officials, to the daily discrimination faced by thousands of our residents and neighbors.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Democratic Party of Sacramento County affirms its solidarity with our Muslim residents and neighbors, and will endeavor to represent them and advocate in their best interest against hateful and divisive rhetoric and/or policies.

ENDORSEMENT: Declaring a Climate Emergency in Sacramento City & County

At our last meeting, we endorsed urging the County and City of Sacramento to declare a Climate Emergency and accelerate their climate change mitigation, adaptation, and restoration!

Read the full text below:

Resolution of the Council declaring a Climate Emergency and proposing a Regional Mobilization Effort to Restore a Safe Climate

Get more involved and let us know how much more action you’d like us to take to do what we can here in Sacramento.

2019: Regional STEM Fair Judging

We helped judge Middle School and High School STEM science fair projects at American River College this last weekend.

We met aspiring young physical and social scientists, as well as mathematicians and critical thinkers!

We saw projects ranging from soundproofing to efficient water filtration to astrophysics.

Taking part was inspirational and an amazingly fun way to spend our day on community service.

2019: New Board, New Retreat!

Every year in January or December, most Democratic Clubs hold internal elections to decide who will do what within their Board.

Our Bylaws stipulate that there are 5 core Officers, who will now be:

  • President – Rachelanne “Rae” Vander Werf
  • Vice President – Chase Kelly-Reif
  • Political Director – David Hildebrand
  • Secretary – Timothy Irvine
  • Treasurer – Perry Metzger

At our first General Member Meeting in January, we were honored by the presence of two elected officials.

Natomas Unified School District Member Susan Heredia and Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Member Orlando Fuentes did the honors of swearing in the new board.

The following weekend, we took two days to put our heads together and flesh out our Annual Calendar of Events and goals for individual officers and the club.

Lack of internet or phone service made this retreat to a snowy cabin especially productive!

Environmental Democrats

Enviro Dems Logo v2

We have officially changed our name to the Sacramento Environmental Democrats.

For short, instead of “Green Dems”, call us the Sac Enviro Dems!

We feel that this name change reflects a focus on deeper political, social, and economic issues that include not only just the natural environment, but also housing, race, and gender/sexuality.

Sac Enviro Dems remain an all-volunteer, all-action group committed to keeping our world alive, green, equal, healthy, and honest. We will be leading change on national and regional environmental issues throughout all of Sacramento County – not just the city – by participating in Democratic-focused political action and discussions on sustainability, social justice, and ecological conservation.

Our new email address is: EnviroDemsSac@GMail.com.

We still meet the fourth Thursday of each month – see you there!