With the change in power in Washington, DC, we are in a new era. Many of us are justifiably scared and are wondering what we should do. I am scared myself, but I have also never been more proud to be the CEO of Greenbelt Alliance. It is the kind of work we do at Greenbelt Alliance that will show our nation and the world that—despite the rhetoric out of Washington—the communities we live, work, and play in can be environmentally sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive.
The Trump Administration has not been at all shy about its disdain for rules and programs that protect our nation’s environment. When the Trump Administration is combined with the 115th Congress, it is fair to say that our current federal government is more hostile to the environment and efforts to make our communities more sustainable, vibrant places than any US government we have ever seen.
So, what do we do?
We start by recognizing that across the nation more people voted against Donald Trump than for him. Right now, there is no mandate to roll back efforts to protect the environment and make our communities amazing places. Nevertheless, at the federal level, the Trump Administration is in charge. So the solutions that will move us toward a world where the environment is respected and our communities are places we can proudly call home, solutions that so many Americans hunger for, will have to come from somewhere other than Washington. Those solutions will come from places like the Bay Area.
“…we have the power to create the kinds of communities we want to see, and in doing so, we can be a beacon of light for the nation and the world.”
Here in the Bay Area, Greenbelt Alliance shapes how our region grows in order to make where we live a model of sustainability, prosperity, and inclusiveness. In Silicon Valley, we are ensuring that the building of new homes brings vitality and affordability to existing cities like San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara while fighting against sprawl that threatens to consume the farmland and natural areas from Coyote Valley to Gilroy. In the East Bay, in places like Walnut Creek and Concord, we’re advocating that new development happens near BART so residents can choose to drive less and the rolling hills on the edge of the county can remain just that, hills instead of housing developments. And in the North Bay, we are safeguarding growth boundaries that protect everything from redwood forests in Sonoma County to the fertile farms of Solano County.
Right now, when it comes to creating a sustainable future that we can all be proud of, the powers that be in DC are a problem, not part of the solution. But here in the Bay Area, we have the power to create the kinds of communities we want to see, and in doing so, we can be a beacon of light for the nation and the world.
I am excited that Greenbelt Alliance is creating those solutions, and I encourage you to join us in our fight for an environmentally sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive Bay Area. Donate now to support our work.
Photo: Michael Pham