By Brittney Nial and Brandon Rueda

County level climate emergency

In 2020, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors declared a climate emergency in response to higher temperatures, more frequent wildfires, floods, and drought. They acknowledged that the COVID19 pandemic has exacerbated social and economic disparities in our communities and they set the goal of a carbon-negative footprint by 2030. Resolution No. 20-114 called for an immediate mobilization of resources to affect a just transition towards an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and resilient local economy … to reverse the climate, social justice, and economic crises.

The resolution also directed the creation of the Yolo County Climate Action Commission (YCCAC), charged with advising the Yolo County Sustainability program on the development and implementation of a new countywide Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Development of the plan kicked off in 2023 with an initial public input workshop series, the identification of early actions, and the hiring of Dudek, an outside consultant.

Driven by public input, the CAAP will serve as a roadmap with recommendations for how we can lower emissions, protect our natural resources, use more renewable energy, support the sustainable agricultural practices that are already thriving here in Yolo County, and more. The CAAP is designed to benefit all community members and promote health, equity, and resilience in all processes and outcomes.


Second workshop series

Friday night, December 8, was an exciting night! Cool Davis had been working with the Yolo County Sustainability program to host a workshop in Davis and to promote the entire second CAAP workshop series countywide with a large cohort of county partners. While one-hour workshops were held across Yolo County, the Davis workshop was a three-hour drop-in event on a Friday ArtAbout night in downtown Davis. Cool Davis partnered with the Odd Fellows to co-host the event held at the Odd Fellows Hall from 4pm to 7pm. Cool Davis had reached out to downtown businesses and about 55 groups throughout Davis from different demographics and communities with invitations to attend.

We had a busy night! About 60 people attended the Davis workshop and provided deep and meaningful input on the CAAP strategies. Attendees could join a conversation at any table at any time during the event and ask questions; present ideas, criticism, or concerns about the strategies; or write down their thoughts on index cards or sticky notes on boards if they preferred not to speak. Volunteers from Cool Davis, Odd Fellows, and the Yolo County Sustainability program moderated at each table.

Four main topics were discussed with about six strategies per topic.

  • Decarbonize Transportation/Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled
  • Decarbonize Energy and Buildings
  • Conserve Water/Minimize Waste
  • Resilient Infrastructure and Healthy Communities

According to Yolo County Sustainability team, feedback from the second series of CAAP workshops is now entering a review phase throughout the remainder of December and into January. A draft CAAP will be ready for review in the Spring of 2024. With the release of the draft CAAP, the team will be hosting a final round of CAAP workshops, tentatively in May 2024, to review the draft plan. A final plan is expected to be adopted and move into

implementation come Summer 2024. The Yolo County team is “amazed with how much progress has been achieved over the past couple of months and are thrilled to see what is in store.”

Cool Davis will continue to help bring residents into the CAAP process. Check out the full photo album on our Cool Davis Facebook page @cooldaviscity.

Follow up feedback

While some of the conversations sprawled out in several directions, others were laser-focused on a single idea. Many attendees suggested additional strategies or found constructive critiques to the ones presented. For instance, community member Lise criticized the emphasis on replacing gas-powered devices with electric-powered ones in the decarbonizing buildings category.

“I think that it is important to educate people about reducing their energy use by not having the heater turned up so much or planning their cooking better,” she said. “Replacing gadgets takes more energy, too.”

Additionally, Emily suggested adding another focus to the water conservation strategy. “It seemed like there wasn’t enough emphasis on landscape water use,” she said, “and that’s a place where people can make a big difference.”

Others, like Mark, called for a focus on fewer big picture goals rather than several smaller ideas. “If we’re really serious about our climate goals and tackling our emissions,” Mark said, “then it means shifting our investments into our resources… it should focus on the big picture.”

After attending the event, Davis resident Natalie commended the county’s efforts to directly involve community voices. “I’m from San Diego County,” they said, “and it’s very rare that we get any community events.”

One of the values of an event like this is that it allows for these perspectives to be heard on a level playing field. Diverse and sometimes contradicting opinions are expected, welcomed, and crucial in order for a truly effective plan.

Overall, the most common sentiment Cool Davis heard from attendees was that people wanted to come to more of these types of events.

Plugged-in neighborhoods: Rancho Yolo

A remote workshop was held concurrently at Rancho Yolo Senior Community connected via live Zoom with the Davis workshop. The Yolo County Sustainability program team provided an intro and “outro” for Rancho Yolo participants remotely, which encouraged more engagement from Rancho Yolo attendees. Rancho Yolo attendees conversed about each topic followed by a group summary and closing thoughts. Strong opinions about transportation and energy storage were expressed; participants were also inquisitive about the general nature of the strategies.

Reaching communities such as Rancho Yolo is an essential part of Cool Davis’s equity goals and the CAAP implementation process. The remote workshop demonstrated our capability to further connect across communities, bringing attention to climate adaptation strategies and resource saving measures.


Extensive neighborhood outreach

Leading up to the Davis workshop, Cool Davis reached out to many local communities, especially our neighbors adjacent to Davis but outside the city limits, in an effort to improve equity and inclusiveness for the event. We went canvassing door-to-door and engaged in digital outreach, phone canvassing, and tabling. To spread awareness for the CAAP, we canvassed Davis Creek mobile home park and discussed the sustainability measures. Cool Davis reached a majority of the park and had many conversations while handing out a number of Cool Solutions checklists, Renters Guides, and the CAAP workshop fliers.

Cool Davis also teamed up with the Davis Odd Fellows to cover a large portion of the City with marketing materials from the county. Several planning meetings were held to maximize outreach strategies, and the Odd Fellows Hall provided an ideal venue due to its central location in downtown Davis.


Next steps

The YCCAC has considered community input from the first workshop and is currently reviewing feedback from this second round of workshops. Cool Davis will again be helping with outreach efforts for a third round of CAAP workshops to be held, tentatively, in May 2024. The YCCAC will return with a refined list of solutions for each topic; all of which will be used in the implementation of the final iteration of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.

If you would like to read more about the CAAP please refer to the provided links.

CAAP Goals & Objectives:

CAAP Timeline:

YCCAC Commission Info: