Executive Director's Letter
By Chris Rogers
The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report tells us what we have known for decades: our climate is changing, and while thumbs have twiddled, it's local communities like our own that have borne the brunt of political inaction. In Sonoma County, every jurisdiction has now recognized the urgency by passing climate emergency resolutions and committing to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. And while there are days where this seems like an impossible goal, we also see the seeds of hope sprouting. In May, California briefly exceeded his energy demand with renewable energy along – 103% of consumption.
But we have to keep the pressure up. Over the last year, SCCA has continued to advocate for our core mission – protecting and preserving Sonoma County's parks and open spaces, lending our voices to the statewide issues that will impact our climate, and helping to elect the candidates who aren't afraid to continue to fight for a sustainable future. Together, we have pushed back on legislation that would have rolled back renewable energy requirements for investor owned utilities, advocated for better public transit and multimodal pathways, and opposed weak road standards that would create significant challenges for our first responders and evacuating community members during a natural disaster. You can read about some of this work throughout this newsletter.
Thank you for your continued support. We couldn't do this work without our members. As we move into the second half of the year, I hope you will join us in fighting for our environmental champions who won't just nudge the needle, but advocate for the wholesale systems-level changes we need if we are going to stave off the worst of climate change.
Remembering Kate Frage
By Matt Callaway
Early in SCCA’s story, when Mark Green was still the Executive Director, he hired an amazing actress and activist named Kate Fraga. Kate lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and canvassed with SCCA for over a decade, knocking on upwards of 40,000 doors. Kate Fraga was the namesake of our Green Clipboard Award because it recognized the recipient for Inspired and Enduring Activism – qualities Kate exemplified every day on the job. Even as the years have passed SCCA’s new crop of organizers still hear stories of Kate when out in the field. Our members around the county still ask about her to this day, and recount fond memories of speaking with her on their porches and in their homes.
To our organizers, even those who never met her, she is a legend, a mythical figure known far and wide and expected year after year, constant and counted on like the seasons or the tides. Kate was a fixture in west county, knocking on thousands of doors and inspiring local political action, and will long be remembered for her friendly smile and knowledgeable but persistent approach to door-to-door organizing. For the people who saw her work, she will be remembered for her tenacity and fervor in the field. Kate wouldn’t argue or harangue but she also wouldn’t let a supporter off the hook if she needed them to write a letter, sign a petition, or join our organization as a member. To those who knew her well, Kate was kind, wise, and funny. Those qualities made her incredibly welcoming and supportive of new employees and, of course, helped her train new canvassers and push us to be the most effective organizers we could possibly be.
More than that, she helped inspire young SCCAers to be lifelong activists, I know she did with me. In Kate we could see what lifelong activism really meant, the commitment it took, and how fulfilling it could be. Kate’s death is a major loss for SCCA, our members, and her community and family, but Kate’s life had an even more potent and powerful impact on Sonoma County and the world. We miss you, Kate and thank you for everything you gave to this community.