A Look into the Land Use Sessions!
February 4th, 2021
Displacement: The Achilles heel of “Smart Growth” Advocacy
9:00 am – 10:30 am
PCL and so many other environmental organizations have long been advocating for infill and densification of our communities, to protect our natural and working lands, and to meet our climate goals. But in recent years there is a growing recognition of the gentrification and displacement pressures that this infill investment puts on low-income families in these communities. If our infill investments are not inclusionary and protect against displacement, we not only undercut our ability to meet our climate goals by forcing low-wage workers into long commutes, we perpetuate, rather than disrupt, historic patterns of segregation.
Sacramento Area Congregations Together (SacACT)
Gabby Trejo is a proud organizer of Sacramento ACT, a powerful multi-racial, multi-faith organization advocating a transformation of their community rooted in our shared faith values. They equip ordinary people to effectively identify and change conditions to create justice and equity. She views her experience working with community members as a key asset in her new role as co-chair of the Sacramento County Community Steering Committee for the 2020 Census.
Chair and Professor of City and Regional Planning
University of California, Berkeley
Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she holds the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on economic development and housing. Since 2006, she has served as faculty director of the UC Berkeley Center for Community Innovation, which has provided over $2 million in technical assistance to community-based organizations and government agencies.
Housing Justice Coordinator
Housing Is a Human Right
Susan Hunter has been active in tenant advocacy since 2010. Currently, she is working with both Housing is a Human Right, a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation; and as a case-worker for the Los Angeles Tenants Union – Hollywood Local. Her organizing helps link the current difficulties tenants face to policy, and how the rules we shape hurt or help our working-class families. Moving forward into 2021, she hopes to help re-shape the narrative that we must build housing into making sure people are actually housed.
Senior Policy Advocate
Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Grecia Elenes is a Regional Policy Manager in Fresno County. Having grown up near Fresno City’s downtown in Southeast Fresno, she is privileged to work in the same neighborhoods that she grew up in. Grecia received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and Masters in Executive Urban Planning from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining Leadership Counsel, Grecia worked at the State Water Project for the California Department of Water Resources at the California State Water Project.
Planning and Conservation League
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Matt began working locally with the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) in 2008. Focused initially on biodiversity preservation, Matt became ECOS’s Land Use and Conservation Policy Director, engaging on the broad spectrum of issues at the nexus of land use, transportation, housing, and climate policy. As PCL’s statewide Policy Director since 2017, he continues his focus on planning policy development that seeks to provide joint-solutions to California’s environmental and social equity challenges.
Before and After: Planning for the Growing Wildfire Threat
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
With the ever-increasing severity and frequency of wildfires, we have significant ongoing challenges with our Wildland Urban Interface regions and wildfire zones throughout California. We need a whole-of-government approach to dealing with our disasters, and this session will address those current and future challenges of wildfires and the regions that are the most threatened.
Additionally, how we recover after a wildfire or other disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, sea-level rise, and pandemics is as important as how we prepare for and prevent disasters. This session will also focus on a Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning solution that will identify policy and protocol recommendations to address the challenges of land use planning for community needs before a disaster hits, in turn, enabling accelerated rebuilding after a disaster that is both sustainable and equitable.
Recovery from our current health pandemic does not have the physical rebuilding considerations that a fire or flood would entail, yet, Covid has laid bare the stark inequalities of our society, and our lack of preparedness to protect those most in need in a disaster. Covid has demonstrated that, when the time does come to rebuild, it will be all the more important to plan for that development to be environmentally sustainable for the long term, while providing for the needs of our most vulnerable, first.
California Chaparral Institute
Besides being the Chaparral Institute’s director for the past 17 years, Richard is also a writer, photographer, and a guide to help others reconnect with Nature and their wild, inner selves. Richard has given hundreds of presentations and authored numerous publications concerning chaparral ecology and the importance of reestablishing our connection with Nature. He also works with the San Diego Museum of Natural History and continues to teach natural history throughout the state. He founded and has been leading the innovative Chaparral Naturalist Certification Program for the past six years.
Program Manager, Planning & Community Development
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)
As Program Manager for Planning and Community Development, Erik leads, coordinates, and supports the team’s efforts on policy development and developing local and regional planning guidance in furtherance of the State’s planning priorities and climate goals. Erik has over 20 years of public, private and non-profit sector planning experience. Prior to joining OPR, he worked as a senior project manager for seven years with Ascent Environmental Inc., and he served as a public-sector planner for nine years at the City of Sacramento.
California Coalition for Rural Housing
Veronica joined CCRH in February 2019 as the Research Manager. She supports CCRH’s advocacy, programmatic, and technical assistance work by researching and promoting effective housing solutions.
Through her work as Policy Director at the Sacramento Housing Alliance, Veronica has been an advocate for affordable homes and healthy communities in the Sacramento region for more than 7 years. Veronica has worked to understand the intricacies of the full range of housing justice issues, from development financing to tenants’ rights and from transportation access to sustainable community practices.
Former California State Fire Marshal
California Fire Safe Council
Kate Dargan has been a firefighter, fire chief and the former State Fire Marshal (CAL FIRE) for California. She has responded to emergencies and disasters around the state and worked on boards, committees, councils, and task forces to advance wildland-urban interface fire safety. She has worked at the community, public agency, industry, and policy levels of the California fire service and is widely recognized for her consensus-building style and innovative approaches to old problems. She founded Intterra in 2010, a successful situational awareness and analytics software company for firefighters.
Planning and Conservation League
Howard is a Philanthropreneur combining his for-profit experiences of 30+ years in the financial, technology, and hospitality fields with his non-profit consulting and board experiences. Between starting businesses and co-founding non-profits, he has helped develop pathways for private sector businesses to integrate with value-based strategies and partner with NGO’s of all types to promote sustainable economic, cultural and environmental solutions. Howard is honored to have the opportunity to lead PCL, with its diverse and successful history, into another decade of accomplishments.