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League of California Cities

City of Stockton initiatives featured during California Climate Action Day

On Sept. 24, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs took part in California Climate Action Day, as one of the featured speakers in a series of virtual conversations with world, state, city, tribal, and business leaders to discuss innovative solutions to climate challenges. Mayor Tubbs served as a panelist where he talked about climate justice and the correlation between racial inequities and climate impacts.Michael-Tubbs-1-(2).jpg

During the event, hosted by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Tubbs said, “The communities most impacted by climate change are the same communities most impacted by the violence of poverty.”

He spoke about how the city's universal basic income program, in which 125 residents receive $500 a month, is designed to build more resilient communities. Tubbs said this mission is even more important today as residents face increasing economic pressures from natural disasters and they need money in order to plan for our new climate reality, which includes devastating wildfires.

“Basic income is needed for pandemic response – this includes both COVID-19 and climate change. In order to build resilient communities, we need to ensure our residents have the means to prepare and take preventative actions,” Mayor Tubbs added.

In November 2017, the City of Stockton was awarded a $170,000 Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Planning Grant by the Strategic Growth Council to support planning activities in the downtown and south Stockton region. The TCC program empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution.
 
Mayor Tubbs said through the TCC process there was a better understanding of how city planning, housing, and transportation are related to climate change. He also reinforced the need for civic engagement and shared how feedback from the community about the need more trees was integrated into the TCC planning process. This in turn revealed that the temperature in the disadvantaged community of south Stockton is three degrees higher than other parts of the city solely because of the lack of trees.
 
The city’s TCC Planning Grant partners completed three activities: hosting a Climate Leadership Forum, developing a Sustainable Neighborhood Plan, and conducting a South Stockton Tree Census Update. The robust community engagement and thorough planning efforts led to an award of a $10.8 million implementation grant for Stockton in June 2020.
 
“I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve accomplished as a community to uplift some of our most disadvantaged communities by investing in climate resilient infrastructure and public health,” said Mayor Tubbs. 
 
This story was featured in the CA Cities Advocate newsletter on Sept. 30, 2020.
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