Advancing Sustainability and Responding to Climate Change

One of Takoma Park’s hallmarks is a commitment to preservation of the environment. And in the face of the massive worldwide challenge posed by climate change, it’s vital for us to take action. When I ran in 2017, I called for us to set a timeline for achieving a carbon neutrality goal for the City. We’ve now passed a detailed climate change framework that gives us the tools to move much of the way in that direction in the next couple of decades. We’ve been a leader in showing how a small community can advance toward this goal, whether it’s through our tree ordinance, our sustainability office, our recycling efforts, and other initiatives. Now we have to work together to reach the next level, and the climate framework gives us a map to get there.

  • Climate Emergency Resolution -- I was a strong supporter of this measure which helped pave the way for adoption of the Climate Framework.
  • Climate Emergency Response Framework -- I added language clarifying the need for stakeholder engagement; underlining the importance of working closely with Montgomery County and other levels of government; requiring more detailed cost information before votes on specific ordinances to implement the Framework; coordination with other City efforts like the racial equity policy, the Housing Strategic Plan, the tree legislation and the Open Space Plan; emphasizing adaptation and resilience; and calling for sustainable financial investments.
  • Tree Legislation -- I was a member of the Council working group that drafted the Tree Ordinance revisions and the Urban Forest Policy/Tree Canopy Goal Resolution, which together shift tree planting from a largely permit-based process to one focused on shared community responsibility, give residents more flexibility on removal of unhealthy trees, and call for tree planting in underserved areas of the City to promote racial equity.
  • State Climate Legislation -- I supported and spoke in favor of the amendment that included various climate proposals on the list of State initiatives the City is recommending as priorities for the Maryland Municipal League in next year’s legislative session in Annapolis.
  • Plastic Bag Ban -- I successfully offered an amendment to clarify use of compostable bags at farmers markets and in bulk food sales.
  • Plastic Straw Ban -- I added a provision to help ensure restaurant patrons with disabilities could have access to straws.
  • LED Streetlights -- I helped ensure residents can request shielding to avoid glare into their homes from the new lights.
  • Open Space Plan -- I support adoption of this plan to help manage open and public spaces in a more coordinated manner.

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  • Paula Kowalczuk
    published this page 2020-08-06 13:53:37 -0400