Asking candidates about sustainability
What do our city mayoral and council candidates think about sustainability? To find out, Lake Oswego Sustainability Network (LOSN) sent them a three-question survey focused on climate action, housing and their sustainability vision. Below is a sample of what the candidates are thinking about Climate change. Unabridged answers to all three questions are posted at losn.org.
All the candidates, both mayoral and city council, view climate change as an important issue for the city to address. Most agreed that climate change should be treated as an emergency and requires urgent action. Our city adopted the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP) earlier this year to address climate change. We asked the candidates what actions in that plan they would prioritize and if there are further ideas they suggest the City explore.
Our mayoral candidates have many ideas regarding the plan: making sure we invest appropriate resources in the plan (Joe Buck); linking affordable housing to transit (Teresa Kohlhoff); including incentives (John LaMotte). Theresa advocates "working with regional partners to get transit and preserving big trees for a number of things, including carbon storage." John LaMotte proposes we "seek to increase our use of green energy for City facilities and infrastructure, while working more closely with our energy suppliers to help residents and businesses reduce the use of fossil fuels." Joe Buck says, "Aside from proper overall funding [of SCAP] I am particularly excited about ensuring LO is a community with a robust network of safe pathways and bikeways not only within LO but also connecting us to our neighbors."
Our council candidates had interesting and innovative ideas regarding climate change. Emma Burke suggests: "A municipal tax rebate for vehicles with lower emissions could also help folks transition to a cleaner mode of transportation."
Melissa Fireside focused on the urgency: "It (SCAP) all needs to be completed simultaneously." She would "love to see the City work much more closely with PGE to electrify the grid and partner with those in our regions already making impacts." Massene Mboup is proud of the work the city has done so far. He suggests focusing on the transportation sector which is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, by doing "a combination of the electrification of vehicles, EV charging infrastructure and the funding of active transportation - pathways, bikeways." Aaron Rapf wants to make sure we have achievable short term goals along with our longer-term goals. His top priority is "about allocating resources to improve our city infrastructure, which will prioritize road & pathway improvements and safe routes to schools." Rachel Verdick suggests "a combination of actions should be implemented to help make the biggest impact on decreasing carbon emissions and working to create a habit of sustainability efforts for members of our community."
This is just a small sample of the thoughtful answers our candidates provided regarding climate change. To view their complete answers to this question as well as our question about housing and their sustainability vision, please go to LOSN.org.
Mike Perham is a member of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network.
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