If you're in California, we hope you've been staying safe and cool and had access to clean air in these last few weeks of utterly terrifying atmospheric conditions. Our hearts go out to all those whose homes have been threatened, and we have utmost gratitude for those who must brave these conditions to continue to do essential work outdoors. But gratitude is not enough: we must all pitch in to build a resilient future while protecting our most vulnerable.
As Urban Environmentalists, we know that cities have a lot of work to do to meet the challenges of climate change. This timely NY Times article on the intersection between urban heat islands and racist redlining policies is a stark reminder of how racist and environmentally unfriendly policies have resulted in heat waves being much more uncomfortable and even dangerous for black and brown communities across the United States. And two of our favorite California leaders on housing and climate, Annie Fryman and Leonora Camner, provided some inspiration for our work in this incredible Vox interview released today. We are so glad to be taking on these important challenges together.
If you're joining us for the first time from the SPUR event on saving public transit, or because you sent emails to save Caltrain, welcome! Thanks for everyone who sent emails and helped make sure Measure RR made it to the ballot! Grassroots outreach (what we do) will be the margin of victory - Sign this pledge card and you’ll be connected with opportunities to help.
September 16 Happy Hour - Gather Mixer - RSVP Now!
Join us for informal hangout time in Gather, a fun virtual spot for mixing and mingling in small groups. Sign up today!
Coming Soon - What is the True Cost of Residential Parking Permits?
Have you ever wondered what we could do with the space and money we devote to residential parking, if it didn't all go to cars? Join us for an upcoming event in partnership with SPUR to explore this question, and to hear from experts on what it would take to equitably transition to more vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable use of our residential curb space. Stay tuned for the RSVP!
Coming Soon - Missing Middle Housing
Suburbs are environmentally unfriendly and perpetuate inequality - but that doesn't mean we all have to live in skyscrapers. Come learn about the promise of "missing middle" housing - duplexes and sixplexes, in-law units, subdivided lots, small cottages, and more! Our featured speaker will be Karen Parolek or a colleague from Opticos. The RSVP page is coming soon! In the meantime, learn more by reading this op-ed on missing middle housing in Los Angeles, and dive even deeper by checking out Dan Parolek's recent book.
Coming Soon - Urban Environmentalists x Livable Sunnyvale x Greenbelt Alliance
Let's talk about the intersections between urban environmentalism, the pro-housing movement, and preserving nature! Event details coming soon.
Urban Environmentalists promotes vibrant, diverse urban communities that nurture their inhabitants and benefit society, and provide abundant housing and opportunities for all. While we don't provide our own election endorsements, we are a part of the YIMBY Action network, and we invite you to look at the regional endorsements from our friends at SF YIMBY, Peninsula for Everyone (stay tuned for fall endorsements shortly), East Bay for Everyone, and Berkeley Neighbors for Housing & Climate Action. Your vote counts!
The California legislative season ended on August 31. Here's a rundown of which bills we support made it through, and which will have to wait until next year:
You can email Gov. Newsom to ask him to sign SB 288 and AB 2345, and let him know your disappointment that the legislature was not able to pass comprehensive housing reform this year.
Federally, we support the YIMBY Act which has passed the US House in a bipartisan vote and is now in the Senate. Follow Up for Growth (which Urban Environmentalists is a member of) for updates and ways to support. Also see Dan Bertolet's rundown of the major options for federal land use reform.
Hope to "see" you on Sep. 16.