After working throughout 2018 to develop support for and then pass a Resolution calling for the County Commissioners to actively engage the community in the topic of climate change, this year I have helped to plan and implement a series of public presentations across the county to highlight the impacts that climate change is already having on local industries and communities, from ocean acidification to increasing wildfire danger to water scarcity.
The Commissioners will follow up with a series of structured opportunities for civil engagement and conversation, using a format known as a “Jefferson Dinner” to learn from citizens across the county what type of climate change policy they would like to see at a local level.
I am also providing leadership and helping coordinate the effort to design and build a new reservoir, next to the Dungeness River, that will help citizens (and endangered fish!) in District 1 be more resilient as we navigate a future of lower snowpack in the Olympic Mountains – the need for which will surely be evidenced again in 2019 as we experience our second declared drought emergency in the last four years.
We are consistently working to maintain focus on reducing the county’s carbon footprint. At times this takes the form of policy that encourages the use of efficient vehicles; other times it is an investment of capital dollars in more efficient equipment such as HVAC systems in county facilities.
The most exciting work being done around the impact on our collective carbon footprint is in a somewhat unexpected arena; reducing our solid waste stream with a focus on reducing or eliminating food waste. I have successfully advocated for increased funding for the WSU Extension Office to help bolster these efforts as well as serving on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee which affords opportunities to improve recycling efforts while making meaningful decisions around the future of solid waste in our county.
I am excited to continue to be the voice ensuring that Clallam County is a part of the solution around local climate change policy, providing creative leadership and programming that is already having a positive impact. I would appreciate your vote so that together we can maintain focus on this vital policy arena.