Notes of General Meeting
of Sustainable City Volunteers
On Implementing Sustainability in San Francisco
Setting Out Strategy for 1998 - 1999
November 18, 1998
Golden Gate University
Sustainable City’s leadership was extremely
pleased to see 35 - 40 people come to a Thursday evening meeting near Thanksgiving
to discuss how to move San Francisco to the next step of implementing sustainability.
The organization results from the merger of Sustainable City and Sustainable San
Francisco, and is now being led by Beryl Magilavy, recently director of the Department
of the Environment for the City and County of San Francisco.
These notes are a combination of the discussion
at that meeting and information on next steps to implement San Francisco’s sustainability
plan. If you would like to join that effort, please contact us.
Sustainable City is organized to create change
-- to achieve a sustainable future for San Francisco. Its work is currently divided
into three primary work areas:
- Sustainability Plan Implementation:
To encourage achievement of objectives of the Sustainability Plan for the City of
San Francisco, enacted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in July, 1997; and
subsequent community-based versions.
- Marketing Sustainability:
To increase understanding and acceptance of sustainable policies and practices by
local decision-makers and the general public in the Bay Area.
- Sustainable Development:
To encourage sustainable development in San Francisco–- development that incorporates
energy and water conservation; transit-oriented design; space accommodation for collection
of recyclables; building materials and internal furnishings and fixtures that are
made from recycled and reused products, are recyclable, and are low-toxic; and other
features that will enhance the resource efficiency of the buildings and the health
of their occupants.
Sustainability is providing for the needs and
quality of life of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations
and the natural world to provide for their own needs. It is in essence nothing more
than responsible long-term planning. The City of San Francisco has historically been
deficient in developing a broad vision that incorporates the three fundamental components
of a successful city in the long term:
(1) maintenance of a healthy environment, (2) equitable, locally focused, nonpolluting
economic growth and (3) social justice for all the city’s residents.
A collaborative community effort in 1996 created
The Sustainability Plan for the City of San Francisco, which sets out a strategy
for achieving sustainability. Nearly 350 people from city agencies, the environmental
advocacy community, business, universities, and the general public participated in
drafting the plan. The goals and objectives of the plan were adopted by city officials
It has become clear that if the objectives
in the sustainability plan are to be achieved, strong community advocacy is vital
to augment the efforts of city agencies. Sustainable City (1) harnesses the volunteer
efforts of the many San Franciscans who are concerned about their future and are
willing to provide the ongoing research work and idea-marketing necessary to help
the general public and decision-makers make positive decisions about the city’s future
quality of life, and (2) provides ongoing focused public participation in the civic
debate to increase understanding about and adoption of sustainable development concepts
in new projects. Sustainable City provides a public focus in conjunction with government
and business to address a broad sustainability agenda.
Generally, during the next two-year period,
Sustainable City will focus on the following areas. Each work group will adopt its
own strategy and time-frame under the general direction of Sustainable City’s board.
The focus will be on visible work-product, rather than informational meetings. The
whole organization will meet in mid-January to compare notes and finalize short-term
- Sustainability Plan Implementation:
the collection and analysis of information on sustainability plan implementation;
production of issue papers to educate the public and policy-makers on the importance
of specific actions, objectives and indicators of the plan; and liaison with the
City Planning Department on incorporating the features of the sustainability plan
into the general plan;
Sustainable City will work closely with San Francisco Planning and Urban Research,
Redefining Progress, a yet-unidentified organization representative of progressive
businesses, and multiple city agencies in compiling and disseminating this information.
This group is nearing completion of the research
phase of an assessment of sustainability plan implementation to date by city agencies.
Following the research phase, additional volunteers will be needed to analyze collected
data and prepare the written report. Expected completion date: February, 1999.
This working group is chaired by Donelle
Gregory. Next meeting: Monday, December 14, 6:30 p.m. To participate, call her at
437-1899; e-mail email@example.com.
- Marketing Sustainability: dissemination
of the information outlined above, and information on sustainable planning generally,
to San Francisco’s elected officials and the general public in San Francisco and
the Bay Area (and via the Web, throughout the world).
This work is divided into two sections. A general marketing committee is working
on determining a print media strategy, discussing the possibility of collaborating
on a new television show, and other projects.
This working group is chaired by Kassie
Wilner. Next meeting: Wednesday, December 16, 6:00 p.m. To participate, call her
at 989-1446; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also a number of people working specifically
on the world-wide web, including establishing links with other sites, developing
a central database of information, and incorporating an ongoing calendar listing
on Sustainable City’s web-site: www.sustainable-city.org.
The web team is communicating via the sustainable-city-webteam
e-mail forum (for which you can find info on the website). At that meeting they will
be looking to see who has interest in:
- Finding useful web resources to link to from
- Translating good print media articles into
on-line articles for our site;
- Coordinating development of our environmental/political
- Coordinating our on-line almanac of changes
in our local natural environment;
- Enriching our website with photos of San Francisco;
- Helping with technical support tasks, such
as installing "perl scripts" and developing web databases.
This working group is chaired by Kevin Shrieve.
Next meeting: Wednesday, December 2 at 7 p.m. To participate, e-mail him at email@example.com.
- Sustainable Development: participation
in the implementation of San Francisco’s sustainability plan and advocacy of sustainable
development in San Francisco, in its broadest definition. Initially, this work will
focus on "green building" in the city, specifically participation in drafting
a green building ordinance for municipal buildings and discussions with the developers
such as the Mission Bay development, the University of California expansion into
the Mission Bay area, and Treasure Island.
This working group is chaired by Beryl Magilavy.
Next meeting: Tuesday, December 8, 4:00 p.m. To participate, call her at 552-7732;
- Organizational Development: fund development,
establishment of working committees, volunteer development, and other administrative
activities to enable the organization to work from an adequate financial base, to
enlarge the participation of volunteers and to enrich their experience, and to establish
the organization as a credible player in civic discussion.
This working group is chaired by Janet Jacobs.
Next meeting: Monday, December 7, 7:15 p.m. To participate, call her at 282-3541;
Sustainable City’s work relies on San Franciscans
concerned about leaving a legacy for the future. We invite you to join our work,
and ask for your financial support to broaden the effort. We are a virtual organization,
without office overhead–every dollar received goes directly toward program costs.
Please join us in working toward a future we can all participate in and be proud
Checks should be sent to Post Office Box 430236,
San Francisco, California 94146. Contributions are tax-deductible.