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    Sustainability of Human Life on Earth

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    This is now the hottest summer on record. In recent weeks, we have seen triple digit temperatures in Europe. The Arctic is on fire. It’s hard not to wonder what we can do to sustain life on Earth in the face of such incredible acceleration of global climate change. This crisis threatens food production, and ultimately, human survival.

    The Bay Area is a Mediterranean climate, which means that we have the ability, if we take the right actions, to grow food here. As an elected leader in the Bay Area, I intend to continue the work we started to do just that.

    In the recently passed budget, we secured funding for community gardens, added funding for trash capture devices to protect our water, set aside funding for emergency resources in city buildings, and extended our hours in the Planning and Building department to make it easier for residents to make sustainable improvements to their property. We also added funding for emergency services planning grants and additional funding for vegetation management to assist in reducing the risk of extensive fire damage.

    There is much work to do. Recently we attended the Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) community workshop, where there was an amazing exchange of ideas and accomplishments. We need to continue to work collaboratively with organizations and individuals because this is not something we can solve alone.

    Upcoming this fall, I will be bringing legislation that helps to ensure local actions. We need a green transportation transformation. We must plant community gardens and Food Forests, and we should work on water reclamation and land remediation. Climate action is an urgent need and I look forward to working with the community and my colleagues to ensure that we build a viable future.

      Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( https://twitter.com/Kaplan4Oakland ) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/Kaplan4Oakland/ ).