By Kerry Fugett, Executive Director
Stepping into Dennis Rosatti’s role as Executive Director can certainly be described as “big shoes to fill”. But I am ready for this challenge and am extremely honored and excited for the opportunity to take those shoes and stretch them out. To keep those shoes knocking on 50,000+ doors a year, educating and building our community to achieve a healthy quality of life and ecologically thriving environment in Sonoma County.
The environmental movement is shifting, as we stand on the shoulders of those before us, we must open our arms and acknowledge the impacts of social pressures affecting our environment. Longstanding, unsolved problems are festering: affordability of housing, stagnant wages, crumbling infrastructure, the impacts of climate change, and a generation who wants to call Sonoma County home but struggles to find a salaried job locally. This all affects our environment: carbon emissions from long commutes and increasing traffic, development pressures on open spaces, our local coastal access being used as a quick fix to state level funding problems. While there is no shortage of problems, there is equally no shortage of solutions. Our community is filled with brilliant minds, passionate groups of millennials thinking outside the box, and advocates for our environment. The crucial piece is that we build the right alliances and push to have our values and voices represented in local government.
One relationship at a time
At the core of labels, grudges, and false assumptions are shared values: health, family, community, culture, and happiness. Our ability to find solutions depends on us working together, getting to know our neighbors, and thinking outside the box beyond our traditional allies. Sonoma County Conservation Action is more than ready to step up to these challenges as we move into our next 25 years. Our phenomenal Board and Advisory Board members carry forward the vision of Bill Kortum, our staff is full of passion and energy, and our community is engaged.
As a millennial, born and raised in Sonoma County, I recognize our home will grow and change. The choice of how we grow is ours to embrace. Will we build strong communities with incredible access to open space, Redwoods, and our coast? Will we become leaders as a county that provides healthy, fresh, locally grown, affordable food for the health of our population and environment? We have the ability to be a model of balance and partnerships for other communities struggling with these shared problems. This challenge is not mine alone, it is ours to accept and our children’s to inherit. Let’s step up together and guide Sonoma County to a healthy, prosperous, culturally vibrant, and ecologically rich home for generations to come. I’m excited to expand the number of feet we have on the ground and keep knocking on those doors!