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San Francisco County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Environmental Protection and Sustainability

By Alix Amelia Rosenthal

Candidate for Member, Board of Supervisors; County of San Francisco; Supervisorial District 8

This information is provided by the candidate
Cities and Municipalities are essential elements in the fight against global warming. Public Policy on this level is essential to conservation and environmental protection.
The Problem

With a global environmental crisis looming, we owe it to our neighbors and our children to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Public transit is not reliable or efficient enough to lure people out of their cars for unnecessary car trips. Other cities are taking the lead in providing green building incentives and requiring recycled materials usage in new construction, and providing incentives for homeowners and businesses to install solar panels and green roofs. We can do much more to increase our environmental sustainability.

The Solution

In the short term, we must expand existing programs such as the solar roofs initiative, reduction of city vehicle fleets, and convert city vehicles to biofuels and hybrids. In the longer term, we must reform the city's Green Building Ordinance to encourage green building in San Francisco and assure that future construction projects - both private and public - conform to the highest possible standards of recycling and sustainability. Of course, assuring that MUNI becomes more efficient and convenient will reduce congestion, pollution and reliance on the automobile. I will energetically pursue these conservation programs.

By increasing green building, San Francisco can go a long way toward improving air quality, reducing energy consumption and keeping trash out of landfills. We should follow the lead of Chicago, Portland and Vancouver, and other jurisdictions in California and consider these innovative, workable green building policies:

  • Require LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for all new construction, public or private, and increase the types of construction for which LEED Silver certification is required
  • Facilitate solar energy creation by creating financial incentives for homeowners and easing building or planning department restrictions on installation of solar panels
  • Explore options for promoting "living roofs" to improve air quality, temperature and stormwater runoff
  • Reduce Muni's environmental impact by increasing the number of hybrid or electric vehicles in operation

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