Green Neighbors meeting notes 12/12/16

Attending: Nick, Belinda, Basav, Kavitha, David, Paul, Rubin, Catherine

Our next meeting will be on Monday, January 9 from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Petworth Library, downstairs in the conference room. Rubin will facilitate.

CCAN Polar Bear Plunge – Dec. 28

Nick, Catherine and Simon are taking the plunge. Everyone is encouraged to help fundraise. The fundraising website is here:

A sample fundraising email will be sent to the Green Neighbors internal listserve.

GN website

Annette is in the process of updating the website. Everyone take a look when you can! At the meeting we discussed several questions that she had for the group, with these results:

-We need a rights statement for non-stock images used on the website. We decided that personal pictures that are submitted to the website by Green Neighbors members will have a CC with attribution to Green Neighbors DC. If anyone wants personal attribution please let Annette know.

-Send events for the Events page to Annette at kusimanse(at)yahoo(dot)com.

-Our official name is Green Neighbors DC but our logo still has the name Green Neighbors. We will check with the person who designed our logo to see if she can add DC to the logo. If she can’t then we will keep it as is.

-We need a new tag line. Annette’s ideas for a tag line will be sent over the GN internal listserve for people’s comments and suggestions.

Lead in our Water

There is ongoing work in DC on the issue of lead in our drinking water. Green Neighbors has decided to continue to support these efforts. We will work on doing events in our neighborhoods and will support events in other neighborhoods if the organizers would like our support.

Grid Alternatives

-They did a presentation for us at our meeting in October. They would like us to volunteer and also help find people to have solar panels installed on their homes free of charge if they meet income eligibility requirements.

-A concern was raised about the number of jobs provided to DC residents following Grid Alternatives’ training program. However it was also pointed out that they may not have any control over who gets hired following their training. We will follow up to try to get more information about this.

-There are DC-based solar installers who hire mostly local residents. One example is Kenergy, which installed solar panels on the roof of one member’s condo building.

-On February 1 the DOE is supposed to issue a report on its “Solar for All” program, to try and get more solar into low income DC neighborhoods.

-This is the beginning of a bigger discussion about green jobs in DC.

-We did not reach a final decision about working with Grid Alternatives.

CCAN Carbon Tax Campaign

-We are still trying to decide whether to support this and have some concerns:

-Is the premise correct that low income people actually consumer fewer fossil fuels and therefore will get net money back?

-In a rental situation the landlord often controls the source of heat and electricity, so tenants would get taxed for something they have no control over.

-70% of our workforce lives outside DC – they would be paying part of the tax and not getting any benefit.

-It would be best if this campaign included information about how to switch to wind and solar, and how to conserve energy, so people can avoid the tax and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

-Traffic congestion charging could work better to finance our regional transit system.

-The carbon fee might not be the most productive use of our time. For example SRECs are far more lucrative.

Nick reported about a training for this campaign he attended a few months ago, in answer to some of our concerns:

-At the training there were lots of low income organizations in favor of the campaign.

-2/3 of DC residents would receive more money in rebates than they would pay in taxes.

-CCAN  has two asks of groups that sign on: 1) petition people to get the issue on the radar of the DC City Council and 2) help build a base for the campaign.

-The actual net carbon that would be saved in DC wouldn’t be much but it could be used as a model for the rest of the country.

-The rebates will go to all DC residents, not just US citizens.

We haven’t made a decision yet about whether to support this campaign. Nick can reach out to CCAN to find out what is the current state of the campaign and whether their asks have changed.

Future plans

At our meeting on January 9 we will prioritize a discussion about what the Trump presidency means for our work, and what the focus of the group should be going forward. Please bring any ideas you would like to share. If you would like to propose a specific project that would require a substantial amount of time and/or cost at least $500, Green Neighbors has a formal proposal procedure, as outlined in the GN proposal procedures PDF document: green-neighbors-proposal-procedures

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