Over the past two-and-a-half year history of Cool Davis, a powerful network of more than 50 partners joined together to support the Cool Davis mission. As Cool Davis matures into a stronger, more focused organization, the existing Cool Davis Initiative Core will transition to a full-blown coalition of community partners with a broader purpose under the shared leadership of Tom Hall and Lisa Baker.
In this robust Coalition, community organizations, institutions, households and individuals will work together to fulfill their commitment to inspire our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to a changing climate, and improve the quality of life for all.
Under the Coalition umbrella, members will:
- help and mentor between organizations to achieve lower carbon footprints themselves,
- create a place for creative community dialogue and social/political action,
- provide community forums, collaborative projects, and fun educational events about climate change, action and adaptation, and
- host the Cool Davis Festival.
In the new structure, the Coalition will provide advice to the Cool Davis Foundation Board and to the One Cool City campaign, which is dedicated to engaging 75% of Davis households in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2015. The Coalition will hold two representative seats on the Cool Davis Foundation board of directors, and their meetings will provide the forum for consideration and input on Cool Davis policies and programs.
Both Tom and Lisa hope to invite more businesses and organizations into the fold soon, partly by offering clear objectives, benefits and opportunities. The plan is to hold a meeting of the steering committee once a month, and a meeting of all the Coalition members quarterly featuring guest speakers, workshops, and other programs. The co-chairs have in mind a Summit for the coalition members to set the goals of the coalition together.
If Cool Davis wants to achieve its carbon reduction goals, it is important that the Coalition expand its membership.
Lisa Baker explains with her usual enthusiasm, “I believe that good structure, goals and open access will really inspire folks to be involved in concrete planning and in moving the Coalition forward.”
Lisa continues, “Part of the structural changes described above are precisely so that we can grow the Coalition, and this means having different levels for different wants and desires for engagement. If Cool Davis wants to achieve its carbon reduction goals, it is important that the Coalition expand its membership.”
Lisa is excited as she imagines, “Soon, the Coalition will be looking to invite additional folks to the collaborative process. We will be bringing in speakers and looking at ways to help businesses and agencies operate in ways that are green and cost effective.”
“I see the Cool Davis Coalition as a path for businesses, public agencies, advocacy organizations and residents to find common ground and balanced solutions on emissions reduction in Davis.”
Tom explains, “I see the Cool Davis Coalition as a path for businesses, public agencies, advocacy organizations and residents to find common ground and balanced solutions on emissions reduction in Davis.” From Tom’s perspective, the more members that enter the tent, the better.
“I envision a place where a business, agency or individual can ‘come as you are’ with various goals, such as learning how to improve sustainability if you are a beginner or mentoring others if you have experience,” elaborates Lisa. “The Coalition will be a place where we can build something much bigger than just the sum of our parts through the collaborative process.”
In the near future, the Coalition will be gearing up to create another successful Cool Davis Festival, an educational opportunity for Davis residents to come, have a good time and learn more about having a sustainable lifestyle that will also allow a full and enjoyable life.
Both Tom and Lisa are committed to continue the dynamic event that the three-year-old Cool Davis Festival has become. They plan to make the 2012 new location – next to the Farmers Market – even more vibrant! A Coalition working group on the Festival will be formed in the coming months. Those interested in helping put together the 2013 Festival can contact Lisa or Tom.
At the Coalition level, focusing on finding common ground within Davis and breaking down barriers should be a priority. However, Tom anticipates that those within the Coalition interested in pursuing 350.org actions and other national and possibly international political moves will form a coalition group for advocacy.
Tom is pleased to head the new Cool Davis Partner Coalition, saying, “as the public information officer of Yolo-Solano Air Quality, communicating with residents about emissions, health and the environment is at the core of my work. Collaborating with businesses and agencies to help foster discussion on reducing emissions in Davis is a natural outgrowth.”
Lisa is the Executive Director of Yolo County Housing, where she has focused on sustainability and greening the organization.
On a personal level, Lisa referred back to lessons from her family as she accepted the new position. “My father and my great grandmother both serve as great sources of inspiration to me. When I was a little girl, my great grandmother asked me, ‘if everything is paved over, what will you eat?’ My father was always interested in self-sufficiency, urban gardening and in doing the most with the least. My love of gardening and sustainability spring from them. I am happy to be asked to serve and really look forward to the Coalition’s work and to being part of this wonderful opportunity!”
Cool Davis looks forward to a lively Coalition with even more members as Lisa and Tom lead the way.
350.org, Coalition, collaboration, Cool Davis festival, greening businesses, individuals, members