This Thursday morning, Jan. 18th, may be the most important day ALL YEAR to ask Santa Rosa city council to start a public bank. Their annual Goal Setting meeting is coming right up: the city council's two-day session Thursday-Friday, 1/18 to 1/19 to decide what top 5 priorities they will be focusing their energies on in the upcoming year.
As you probably know, Native American leadership continues to urge divestment from fossil fuels. However for cities to divest, there is NO alternative to Wall Street banks. Local banks and credit unions are far too small: they can only insure accounts up to $250,000. The ONLY option for cities to divest from Wall Street banks is a public bank, a bank run by the government that serves the public interest.
The divestment team at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock works closely with Public Bank Santa Rosa to urge the City of Santa Rosa to start a public bank.
Now this proposal takes on a new urgency - as the city attempts to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in the fires.
A public bank offers HUGE local financial gains:
In addition to trying to scrape together the money for rebuilding city infrastructure and the cost of clean-up after the fires, Santa Rosa faces huge problems and huge financial needs such as how to handle the issues of the homeless, which have grown worse since the fires. A public bank offers the biggest pot of money that the city can possibly go after.
Show up and please wear green on Thursday morning to urge city council and the city manager to fund a feasibility study right away, so we can reap these considerable benefits as soon as possible. This is crucial to institutional divestment and to the rebuild of Santa Rosa.
Our presence can make a difference! At the city council meeting on 1/9, there were around 20 speakers and 11 of those expressed their support for public banking during the public comments. As a result, we got into the Press Democrat!
Note: If you plan to speak, note your time limit may be only 3 or only 2 minutes, so please plan accordingly.
City Council - Executive Team Sessions
10:00 AM to 5 PM
The public comments section is right after the mayor's welcome at 10am, this Thursday 1/18.
Hyatt Vineyard Creek - Chalk Hill Room
170 Railroad Street
Ways you can support this proposal:
"Put your money where your solidarity is." -- Mazaska Talks
Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock
Click for more info on public banking.
Fire Safety, not Clear-Cutting! Stop the Logging! Stick to Defensible Space! Save the Trees - Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino
The state is about to do excessive logging as part of post-fire "emergency tree removal". The state is about to clear 300 FEET of trees around any permitted building! This is far in excess of what science recommends: the research shows 100 FEET of clearing is sufficient. PLEASE email or fax the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to stop this excessive and unnecessary clear-cutting throughout Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino. Haven't Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino been through enough??
*** Deadline extended to at least Monday 1/22 ***
They finally say the comment period is now open but ONLY for the next five days. If they mean business days, then I suppose it means by Monday, Jan. 22. But I'm just guessing. So it would be good to get your comments in as soon as possible.
email@example.com and Eric.Hedge@bof.ca.gov (Cal Fire)
OAL Reference Attorney
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1250
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: Public comment on the “Emergency Rulemaking to Facilitate Post-Fire Recovery Efforts within Counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino”
Dear OAL Staff Members:
We are concerned about the level of clear-cutting (“harvesting”) being proposed by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, dated January 5 2018. Removals proposed in the Emergency Tree Removal Documents are well beyond the level required for public safety, and would result in the removal of stored carbon, trees that could have survived, and valuable wildlife habitat, including habitat that supports wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We urge you to reduce the area to be cleared around permitted structures from 300 feet to 100 feet of defensible space, as 100 feet is the current standard recommended by CalFire and many fire scientists who have studied the subject in depth.
We understand that your stated intent is to protect the post-fire environment. However, the proposed removal footprint appears to be more economical that ecologically relevant to a system that is currently in the process of regenerating after the fires. Therefore, the proposed actions do not represent good intent.
There are several fundamental issues related to the proposed removal of “all dead or dying trees” within 300 feet of any permitted structure, and there is inherent lack of balance between safety measures and environmental damage resulting from the proposed post-fire salvage logging. Proposed removal of “all dead or dying trees” could also include dead or dying trees being “chipped or piled and burned within forty-five (45) days from the start of Timber Operations.”
Our major concerns include (a) the excessive removal of trees around each structure, (b) the preliminary evaluations that are likely to underestimate the number of live and recovering trees, (c) massive amounts of carbon lost due to burning (e.g., for biomass) and other harvesting products, (d) the elimination of great swaths of wildlife habitat due to excessive removal of snags as well as trees that could be still alive, and (e) the elimination of natural regeneration and carbon sequestration processes that are already vigorous, and (f) massive erosion impacts resulting from mechanical operations.
Your document includes an appreciation of the wildlife habitat created by stating the intended plan to “retain an average for the Harvest Area of not less than one (1) Decadent and Deformed Tree of Value to Wildlife, Snag, or Dying Tree per acre that is greater than sixteen (16) inches DBH and twenty (20) feet tall.” Many wildlife species, including species protected by the ESA, use the “snags” and one per acre is insufficient to provide adequate wildlife habitat that has been created by the October 2017 fires.
In a recent document, Dr. Richard Hutto stated that it is “abundantly clear that salvage logging has uniformly negative ecological consequences for the very species that are most restricted in their distribution to burned forest conditions (Hutto 1995, 2006, Hutto and Gallo 2006, Hutto 2008, Lindenmayer et al. 2008, DellaSala et al. 2014, DellaSala et al. 2015, Hutto et al. 2015, Lindenmayer et al. 2017, Thorn et al. 2017).”
Please note: there is a nine-fold difference (almost an order of magnitude difference) between tree removal operations conducted within with 100 feet around a permitted structure (approximately 31,400 square feet) to retain acceptable defensible space, and the proposed removal of 300 feet around a permitted structure (approximately 282,600 square feet). Our concern is that these operations are going to result in a massive loss of stored carbon and complex wildlife habitat created after the fires – habitat that is currently being documented by scientists. As summarized in your documents, 185,000 acres burned around approximately 9,200 homes, and damaged approximately 790 additional structures in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties.
You also state the removal of dead and dying tree can “reduce the risk of fire to timberlands” and also “increase forest vigor and vitality of surviving stands of trees…” These notions have recently been disproved in the scientific literature by many empirical studies (e.g. 12-year study by Sarah Hart and others, 2015), and the Governor’s Scientific Advisor was informed about the results of those empirical studies.
In summary, we have well-founded concerns about the level of clear-cutting (“harvesting”) being proposed in your Emergency Tree Removal Documents, which is well beyond the level required for public safety, and will result in the removal of valuable stored carbon that also serves as excellent wildlife habitat, and natural carbon sequestration processes that are currently in progress. In addition, clear-cutting operations are very likely to result in the removal of trees that could have survived the fires.
Please consider clearing within the acceptable 100 feet to maintain defensible space.
Christy Sherr, John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute
Denise Boggs, Exec. Director, Conservation Congress
Heating Up: California Spotted Owls and Wildfire
Can large wildfire benefit spotted owls and other imperiled wildlife? An emerging science brings all manner of surprises, and a few tough questions.
We had a great night at the city council meeting. During the public comments section, 11 of around 20 speakers spoke in favor of public banking!
Next week, on Thursday 1/18 and Friday 1/19, city council will be deciding priorities for the upcoming year (time & location TBD). Public banking is the biggest possible pot of money that the city council can possibly go after: for the rebuild, for the homeless, for clean-up after the fires, etc. Please endorse our proposal, and come to the city council meetings on the 18th & 19th. We cannot afford to put this off another year.
One of our members spoke about how starting a public bank will help fund the rebuild of the City of Santa Rosa:
I am a climate activist working with the divestment team at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock. We have joined with Public Bank Santa Rosa to urge the City of Santa Rosa to start a public bank as it is the ONLY way for the city to divest from Wall Street banks.
Now this proposal takes on a new urgency - as the city attempts to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in the fires. A public bank offers huge financial gains:
It will help cut the cost of rebuilding Santa Rosa infrastructure after the fires IN HALF. This can be achieved by financing through the city's own bank, eliminating interest paid on bonds and returning the earned interest to the city's own operating budgets.
It will save millions in banking fees to Wall Street banks.
It can offer lower interest loans to homeowners wishing to rebuild after the fires.
It will help keep money in our city and county.
It's the only way the City of Santa Rosa and other cities and institutions can truly divest from Wall Street banks which invest in fossil fuels.
Profits can be used to finance clean energy projects and green, sustainable, more resilient rebuilding.
The public bank can profit from providing much needed financial services to the cannabis industry, and the profits can be applied to budgetary needs. If our county's cannabis dollars go to another public bank in the area, this financial opportunity may diminish at a time when we need it most. We must strike while the iron is hot.
We urge city council and the city manager to fund a feasibility study
right away, so we can reap these considerable benefits as soon as possible, so desperately needed by fire survivors. This is crucial to institutional divestment and to the rebuild of Santa Rosa. To everyone in the audience, please endorse our proposal at www.publicbanksantarosa.org/endorse.html.
P.S. Just how does public banking support Standing Rock? What is the connection?
As you may know, Native American leaders continue to call for divestment. However even if cities such as Seattle and San Francisco divest from fossil fuels, there is no bank big enough to handle their accounts. Unfortunately local banks and credit unions are only able to insure accounts up to $250,000. After the City of Albuquerque declared they were divesting from Wells Fargo, they received requests for proposals from 5 banks. Only Wells Fargo was able to fill all of the city's requirements, and the city has to return to Wells Fargo for now.
A public bank (a bank run by the government that serves the public interest) is the only option for cities which choose to divest their money from fossil fuel investments. This is why we at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock have joined forces with the Public Bank Santa Rosa work group, and why Lakota People's Law Project actively promotes public banking. Note that in addition to the above local benefits, a public bank does not compete with local banks: it is a wholesale bank which can partner with local banks to offer lower interest loans.
Click here for more information about public banking.
See also the Mazaska Talks ("Money Talks") web site and Facebook page.
Happy New Year! As you are probably aware, even though the camps at Standing Rock are gone, Native American leadership continues to urge divestment from fossil fuels. Our divestment team at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock has joined with Public Bank Santa Rosa to urge the City of Santa Rosa to start a public bank as it is the ONLY way for the city to divest from Wall Street banks.
Now this proposal takes on a new urgency - as the city attempts to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in the fires. A public bank offers many financial gains:
We urge all community organizations to endorse our proposal. Also, please attend this Tuesday if you can. This is crucial to institutional divestment and to the rebuild of Santa Rosa. The link to the endorsement form is below.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shelly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 7:36 PM
Subject: [Climate Activists-SC] Urgent: Endorsements Needed for Proposed Resolution to Create a Public Bank of Santa Rosa
Dear Friends of Public Banking,
A very warm and Happy New Year’s greeting to you all. The Friends of Public Banking working group has been diligently working away and we have created a Proposed Resolution to Create a Public Bank of Santa Rosa. We ask for your immediate support in endorsing this Proposal. We are asking that the city fund a feasibility study for a Public Bank of Santa Rosa. You may read the Proposal in full and endorse it on our website at the following link:
If link does not work, try: http://publicbanksantarosa.weebly.com/endorse.html
You may further show your support by signing our online petition, which also asks the city to support our recommendation to fund a feasibility study for a Public Bank of Santa Rosa.
http://www.publicbanksantarosa.org/petition.html or: http://publicbanksantarosa.weebly.com/petition.html
These requests are urgent due to the fact that the Santa Rosa City Council will be conducting their annual Public Hearing for 2018/2019 Budget Priorities at their regularly scheduled city council meeting this Tuesday, January 9th at 5:00pm at City Hall on 100 Santa Rosa Ave.
We would like to present a long list of supporters of both individuals and organizations for the Proposal at this meeting. It would be excellent if you could attend this meeting in solidarity to show resounding support in the request to fund the feasibility study this year. The more people who attend and speak to this request, the more likely it is that the council will approve the feasibility study. If you can attend, wear green and speak to the items in the Proposal that resonate most strongly with you. You can find the full city council meeting agenda at the following link for the January 9th meeting item #16.1 https://santa-rosa.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
May 2018 be the year that the City of Santa Rosa takes strong and direct action to establish a Bank of Santa Rosa.
To our collective best always,
Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa
"The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground." ~ Unknown