Thursday, July 16, 2009

Inaugural CAC Advocacy Day a Big Success

Katie Johnson, USGBC-NCC

The USGBC California Advocacy Coalition (CAC) conducted its first ever Advocacy Day in Sacramento on July 8th. Members of the newly-formed CAC gathered in the state’s capitol to introduce California’s eight USGBC Chapters to 38 state lawmakers and their staff. Nearly 40 USGBC volunteers from all corners of the state joined forces to highlight how green building legislation, education and regulation are integral for ensuring a healthy environment and economy in California. They were joined by USGBC National Advocacy staff. USGBC-NCC Director Elizabeth Echols affirmed that the day was an overall success. “We exceeded our expectations for the CAC’s first Advocacy Day and laid the groundwork to take our statewide advocacy efforts to the next level.”

Immediately following a day of lobbying, the CAC hosted a reception honoring Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for his leadership on SB 375—Redesigning Communities to Reduce Greenhouse Gases. SB 375 lays out a smart growth strategy in order to reach California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). USGBC CAC members were joined by a dozen State policymakers and their staff including guest of honor, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Senator Fran Pavley (author of AB 32), Senator Loni Hancock, Senator Mark Leno, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, Assemblymember Paul Fong and Assemblymember Norma Torres.

Dennis Murphy, NCC Advocacy Committee Chair and newly named California Advocacy Coalition Chair, was very encouraged. “During the last meeting of the day, the staffer we were meeting with commented that she couldn’t believe that this was our first time out. Today we introduced ourselves and let people know that the united chapters of the California USGBC will be a key policy resource moving forward. Elizabeth Echols, Justin Malan, Dan Geiger and NCC staff did a tremendous job putting this together. Now it will be incumbent on us to continue to build on this success.”

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