Head of climate action group to also speak
By Linda Armacost
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will welcome Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos as the keynote speaker on the evening of Wednesday, April 1. We will also be honored to hear Nicole Capretz, San Diego’s leading climate action planning expert, speak to our membership.
Mr. Castellanos, who chairs the Environmental Advisory Committee of the Board of Port Commissioners, will talk at length about the port’s climate action plan and other environmental initiatives, including bay water remediation. He’ll also address airport issues as part the port’s integrated planning efforts and its master plan update.
Do you wonder what is going on with the airport’s rental car complex being built on Pacific Highway and how that might affect traffic and emissions at our bayfront? How about the ongoing construction in the Embarcadero area? What about the Navy Complex and future plans for the Broadway Pier corridor? Will parkland be a priority and bay views preserved? Or will we find a future of more high-rise development, snarled traffic, little parking and reduced access to our waterfront? Bring these and any other questions regarding our valuable tidelands for Commissioner Castellanos. He may also have an important announcement regarding his political future in San Diego and the 2016 elections.
The second half of our program should be every bit as interesting as we have Nicole Capretz, an environmental policy expert who, for the last 15 years, has worked as a key policy advisor for local governments and elected officials, including Todd Gloria when he served as San Diego’s acting mayor and Councilmember Ed Harris when he represented District 2. Nicole was the primary author of the Climate Action Plan for the City of San Diego.
She is now executive director of the Climate Action Campaign, and works daily to implement sustainable climate directives for the City and other county municipalities. She’ll give us an update on the progress of these efforts and what we can all do as activists to help protect our local air and water quality, meet California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve our area’s livable neighborhoods for generations to come.
We were thrilled with our March meeting presenters. John Loughlin taught the uninitiated about social media and the tools we can use to maximize our personal and club political actions. We all viewed our new club website that John designed and implemented. We learned that it’s not so hard to link our web entries with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Most everyone at the meeting learned something from John and it will be interesting going forward to see how the membership uses our newfound social media know-how.
La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis not only taught us how to pronounce his name, but also really impressed the partisan membership with his goals for the city under his stewardship. Although he’s a longtime La Mesa resident and councilmember, I think it shocked everyone how much he cares about our common issues: schools, climate change and environmental planning, the homeless, parks and open space, careful development, supporting small independent businesses, and preserving the La Mesa small town atmosphere and middle class values. I think we left with the impression that Dr. A isn’t so far from the bulk of our membership in his core beliefs. We hope to work with the mayor’s office on common objectives going forward.
Our April 1 meeting will be held at our usual spot, the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just off University Avenue in La Mesa. We start things off with our social half hour at 6:30 p.m. and welcome any and all guests. Refreshments and beverages are provided. Visit our website at LaMesaFoothillsDemocraticClub.com or like us on Facebook.
—Linda Armacost is president of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.