When I went to UC Berkeley, I spent two years living at the International House. I-House, for short, is a multi-cultural campus and residence. Its goal: “Foster intercultural respect, understanding, lifelong friendships and leadership skills for the promotion of a more tolerant and peaceful world.”
The other day I wrote about how Yolanda Cookson was “passed over” (in the normal rotation) for the Vice Mayor’s slot by longtimer Dan Miller. Some might use a stronger word to describe the move, approved by a 4-1 vote.
It was another example of the “old guard” refusing to let go. Yolanda has expressed some refreshing independence lately on a Council that long has been accused by some residences of being a “political machine,” catering to the old guard political, civic and business leaders.
In my view and others, we need fresh ideas and a fresh approach to grow. The old economy will not be the “new” economy.
A blog post by Cookson, “The Conversation,” is here: “For me, that means voting for something and/or someone I believe in . . . and sometimes more importantly saying ‘no.’” Good point. It also means sometimes voting against the people who helped elect you.
Yolanda was the youngest female ever elected to the council in Nov. 2008. (The fact that it took so long is telling). But she also was elected the same year as the new mayor, Jan Arbuckle.
The council’s new seating chart is all about the “old guard”: The new Mayor in the middle, flanked by Lisa Swarthout and Dan, with Cookson and Jason Fouyer on the ends.
Yolanda has blogged about Tuesday night’s experience, showing some real insight and wisdom. Miller has had some highly publicized, public clashes — with Steve Enos, for example. One incident is here.
“Tuesday night was the most difficult night of my short political career,” Yolanda writes. “I was visibly shaken by the experience. It was my first time voting against someone and not something. A person. A man. Someone I genuinely care about. He’s funny, really funny. A great storyteller and he truly loves Grass Valley in his own, very personal way. I voted against a friend.
“We have two very distinct styles. He thinks I don’t know what I want, and I think he’s not willing to do what it takes to get what he wants.
“We’re just different…and that’s good…it’s actually great. It’s great for someone like me to see it at this time in my career.
“I am going to remember the sting and it’s creating something within me that is going to make me better, stronger.
“Someday, I will be ‘more experienced’ and there will be someone ‘less experienced’ maneuvering for the same piece of turf, and I will have this to fall back on…and I will have the opportunity to be unlike those who have served with and before me.”
The rest is here.
Good for you, Yolanda. You have a real opportunity to forge the past with the present. And in Grass Valley, that would be very refreshing.
A website called CoolCalifornia.org has been launched to provide Californians with the tools they need to protect the climate and keep California “cool.” The founding partners include state government agencies, universities and Next10, a nonprofit group.
The website also shows how to calculate your carbon footprint. It is here.
Information on California’s cap and trade program is here.
A video on how cap and trade works is below. Cap and trade is not without its detractors, however. As one reader comments below the video by the Environmental Defense fund: “Yea . . cuz cap and trade ‘worked’ in Europe . . . seriously . . . all supporters . . . shut the f*** up.” This sounds like something you’d read from the denialists here. LOL.
After a 10-hour meeting, the state Air Resources Board late yesterday adopted landmark “cap and trade” legislation to combat climate change. “The cap-and-trade system, which will begin in Jan. 2012, is a key part of the state’s landmark climate change law, which aims to reduce carbon emissions to 1990s level by 2020,” as the Bee reported this morning. The article is here.
Readers of this blog, however, learned about the meeting and the vote in real time, with some real insight, thanks to posts from Steve Frisch, president of the Sierra Business Council. Steve posted to the most recent reader comment section, which happened to be “Old guard” in GV just won’t let go,” which drew a few snarly responses (proving my point, in my view).
“I think this blog post is the best example I have seen showing the power of blogs,” wrote reader Greg Zaller this morning. “Wow, a shoot out with the publisher of The Union and then real time reporting from the CARB Hearings! The theme of old guard and new guard carries all the way through, almost larger than life.”
I have pulled Frisch’s reporting out of the comments section and posted it here. It provides some real insight that you can’t find in the mainstream press reporting. As he observed: “There is a center out there that wants pragmatic solutions.”
•I’m at the CARB hearing today on Cap and Trade. Interesting observation. SPI, California Forestry Association, industry, haulers, TNC, Pacific Forest Trust, SBC, all testifying on behalf of existing forest protocols.
•What do SPI and CFA know that our local obstructionists don’t know? I think they are pragmatic and understand that there are real economic benefits to forested regions that can come from this, including jobs, fire safety, energy production and recreation industries.
•I met with the National Federation of Independent Business this morning, and we agreed we could work together on implementation policy to help small business.
•I have been meeting with many local legislators, and we agree we can work together to create opportunities for job creation from energy efficiency, fuel treatment, biomass utilization, carbon sequestration, native revegetation, recreation, etc.
•There is a center out there that wants pragmatic solutions.
•Interesting dynamic to me that it is the strong enviro’s and the strong conservatives who seem to be allied here today. Even seeing some coordination between Tea Party people and Sierra Club. That’s ultimate proof that politics creates strange bedfellows.
•I am sitting here in Sacramento listening to people testify: foresters, utilities, manufacturers, businesses, ngo’s, all standing up to support Cap and Trade. All speaking on behalf of cooperation, dialogue, and working together. Right now the coalition of cement manufacturers is testifying that they would like a lower benchmark, but are supporting Cap & Trade. Dow is coming out right now in support of Cap and Trade, asking for some changes, but support.
•Of 40 people testifying so far no one has testified against the Cap and Trade program. Where are the vocal critics? All 5 of them here are out on the street holding up signs showing Homer Simpson measuring trees. But they are not in the hearing room, acting like responsible citizens and identifying where they want or need change, research, or alternatives.
•There have finally been some people testifying against: Modesto irrigation district, cotton farmers, food processors, gas turbine manufacturers, manufacturers who are doing r&d, municipal solidcwaste—I want to be fair and not imply are no opponents. They just started testifying late.
•The Governor just showed up and talked about economy and environment working together, the joy of beating Prop 23 and the 22% mandate for change, why people who don’t believe in climate change should support Cap and Trade because of national security health and innovation, the approval of 5700 mw of solar power just this year, and the value of being ahead of the curve.
•CARB board pretty vigorously debating the clear cutting inclusion in the forest protocol. Interesting. Seems Chair Nichols is leading the ‘keep it in’ faction. ‘Keep it in’ means that a project developer could do a project where some portion of the property covered had a clear cut as long as the total carbon increase was greater then the carbon loss from the clear cut. They appear about ready to vote clear cutting in.
•This is a truly historic night. CARB passes CAP and TRADE! Let the Sierra Nevada carbon market begin!