Candidate’s name: Jim Oddie
Candidate’s contact (email and phone): firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 509-1964
1. Transportation: As a city council member or mayor, what specific early actions will you take to get people out of single occupancy vehicles?
The council during my term, approved a transportation choices plan, with aggressive goals for reducing single occupancy vehicle trips in and within Alameda, which will reduce traffic and reduce CO2 emissions. The plan had 2 overarching goals:
- Goal 1: Estuary crossings/decrease drive alone trips at estuary crossings, especially during peak periods
- Expand transit, bicycling and walking to/from Oakland and BART
- Expand transit and carpools to/from SF
- Goal 2: Alameda trips/increase the share of walking, bicycling, transit, and carpooling trips within Alameda
- Expand transit and achieve a low-cost or “free” rider experience within Alameda
- Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety within Alameda
- Improve mobility for all modes within Alameda I am supportive of the projects identified in the plan, but wanted to highlight a few that I support:
- Alameda Shuttle
- Bicycle Master Plan – Central Ave. bikeway § I did the original Bike Share referral.
- Vision Zero safety plan o Ferry access, parking improvements, and service expansion
- Alameda Point BRT and bus frequency increases (19 line brought back during my time on council, with AC Transit service to the west end ferry stations a top priority for the next expansion)
- Long term: Bike/pedestrian bridge, BART to Alameda
I’ve supported the Broadway Jackson project to help alleviate traffic congestion through the Posey Tube.
I’ve worked on RM3 through my day job to help bring transit funding to Alameda/Northern Alameda County, specifically $300M for ferry capital enhancements, $100M for AC Transit capital projects, and $35M/year for ferry operating expenses.
I’ve also led the effort to improve pedestrian safety and traffic congestion on Bay Farm Island by pushing for:
- Crosswalk beacon Mecartney and Belmont (near Leydecker Park)
- Extended left-hand turn lane onto Robert Davey Drive to alleviate morning traffic backups (decreasing engine idle time and GHG emissions)
- Stop light at Mecartney and Island Drive • Just announced – crosswalk beacon at Island Drive/Mecartney – completed by end of Sept.
2. Sustainable Development: What does sustainable development mean to you as applied to Alameda? What are three specific measures that the City can undertake that you would endorse?
To me, sustainable development is that when we revise our general plan, or approve new development projects, we promote the following in the design and planning process:
- Encourage activities that conserve resources
- Encourage activities that reduce energy consumption
- Encourage activities that reduce greenhouse gases
Development around transit corridors such as ferry stations and bus lines (including the proposed Alameda Point BRT) supports these three goals. Development of future projects using Alameda Point, which was LEED Gold certified, as a model, also supports these goals.
3. Resilience: What does resilience mean to you as applied to Alameda? What are three specific measures that the City can undertake that you would endorse?
Resilience to me is more mitigation actions vs. adaptation actions. Three specific actions I would endorse are:
- Reducing SOV trips using the projects outlined in the city’s transportation plan, especially increasing the uptake of sustainable transportation options such as ferries and buses.
- Increasing the uptake of renewable energy (AMP does a good job today) – with SB100, California (including Alameda) would have a target of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
- Enhancing energy efficiency at a personal level through conservation.
4. Sea Level Rise: In order to protect Alameda from sea level rise, are you more in favor of further hardening or armoring the perimeter of Alameda or a soft living edges approach?
I still believe in the idea of a wetlands mitigation bank at Alameda Point. Preserving wetlands at the point is a critical resilience element in the fight against climate change.
We’ve done a few things in advance of our climate action plan.
- Alameda Point MIP (Master infrastructure Plan) o Flood protection measures against 24” of sea level rise and 100-year tidal event (in fact, this is our standard for new waterfront development projects) o Perimeter levee system – account for sea level rise until the end of the century
- Transportation Choices plan – reduce single vehicle occupancy trips. I support the projects listed in this plan.
We just adopted policy amendments in 2017 to the General Plan to address sea level rise, including:
- Continue the City’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Continue to review and publish for public discussion the latest and most up-to-date flood hazard and sea level rise forecasts from regional, state and federal agencies.
- Advocate for a permanent seat for City of Alameda representation and active participation in regional discussions on sea level rise mitigation, infrastructure improvements and adaptation strategies.
- Identify public transportation, open space, and stormwater and wastewater facilities, shoreline assets, and other public assets vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding hazards, and begin planning for adaptation and protection. a. Implement a program for Resilient Shoreline Facilities, including performing appropriate seismic, storm, flooding and other safety analyses based on current and future use for all City-owned shoreline facilities, including dikes, shore protection (rip rap), lagoon sea walls, storm water outfalls, marinas and protective marshlands.
- Develop sea level rise adaptive strategies for different areas of the City for public discussion and evaluation, including but not limited to: avoidance/planned retreat, enhanced levees, setback levees to accommodate habitat transition zones, buffer zones, beaches, expanded tidal prisms for enhanced natural scouring of channel sediments, raising and floodproofing structures, and/or provisions for additional floodwater pumping stations, and inland detention basins to reduce peak discharges. (Develop for public discussion and evaluation potential financing strategies and partnership opportunities with regional and state agencies such as the Oakland International Airport, and other agencies to fund and build selected adaptive strategies.)
- Protect and upgrade public infrastructure, including but not limited to streets, wastewater systems and pump stations, stormwater systems and pump stations, and electric systems and facilities, to ensure capacity and resilience during storm events, high tides, and sea level rise, and to decrease the chance of flooding of nearby streets, utilities, and private property.
- Reduce the risk of tsunami inundation through public tsunami education, with special emphasis in low-lying shoreline properties, including the maritime communities and marinas.
- Design street rights-of-way, parks, other public spaces, street trees and landscaping to be resilient to temporary flooding.
- Require new development adjacent to the shoreline, lagoons and low elevations to plan for 50 years of sea level rise. Ensure that the design of future developments incorporate flood protection measures to protect improvements from a 100-year storm event and anticipated sea level rise. (Require new development to provide adequate setbacks along waterfront areas for the future expansion of seawalls and levees to adapt to sea level rise.)
- Require the creation and maintenance of easements along drainage ways necessary for adequate drainage of normal or increased surface runoff due to storms.
- Require and enforce stringent groundwater management programs to prevent subsidence.
- Require the use of “Green Infrastructure”, landscaping, pervious surfaces, green roofs, and on-site stormwater retention facilities to reduce surface runoff and storm drain flooding during storm events.
I supported Mayor Spencer’s straws on demand referral, which has started to trend! I also expanded this to require all take-out containers from restaurants be compostable.
I voted against delaying 2020 goals for GHG emissions.
I’d also like to see sea-level rise infrastructure be a priority in a future city infrastructure bond, including focusing on:
- Flooding and adaptation measures
- Pump station renovations
- Storm drain repairs, lagoon upgrades
5. Energy: Would you support a city ordinance that requires new construction to include electric vehicle charging facilities or be EV ready, and comply with solar net Zero Building Standards? Would you support energy efficiency standards beyond those required by CalGreen? How would you address our existing buildings to reduce their carbon impact?
Local jurisdictions are required to enforce the mandatory 2016 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) as of January 1, 2017, which includes requirements for electronic vehicle charging stations in new commercial and multi-family residential housing construction. I support AMP’s program to provide rebates for the installation of commercial and residential EV charging stations. While new construction is covered, I would support expanded incentives for owners of existing multi-family housing units for installation of EV charging stations for their tenants.
Other cities are discussing ways to reduce the carbon impact of existing buildings. San Leandro, for example, is looking at a “ZipPower” project to create a micro-grid of rooftop power generators across the city. AMP’s micro-grid concept could also be expanded city-wide.
6. Zero Waste: How would you enforce the City of Alameda’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance (Alameda Municipal Code Section 21-2.1(b)) ? Would you support siting a Center for Hard to Recycle Materials/Education Center in Alameda (similar to the El Cerrito Recycling Center)?
Given my position on the Stop Waste Board and Recycling Board, I work to find ways to increase compliance with our mandatory recycling ordinance. I’ve supported and pushed for an expansion of the plastic bag ban. We’ve also pushed to reduce food waste.
In the future, we need to improve multi-family and commercial diversion rates. I would like to pursue policies to incentivize developers to design new projects in a way that does this.
Education is also critical for multi-family units. We have to continue to fund our existing enforcement regime to ensure compliance.
There is a facility offered by Alameda County just over the Park Street Bridge in Oakland to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste that accepts most of the items listed as “Hard to Recycle Items” accepted in El Cerrito. If the County wanted to relocate this to Alameda, or add an additional facility in Alameda, I would be supportive.
7. SF Bay Ecosystem: Alameda may soon be designated as a HOPE spot by Mission Blue. What specific actions can Alameda take to protect and restore the life of our bay and waterways?
The San Francisco Bay is under consideration as a HOPE spot. I think one of the most immediate risks to our surrounding water areas is pollution. That’s why I’m proud to have supported Mayor Spencer’s plastic straw ban – and moved to expand the referral to ban noncompostable take out containers from restaurants. In addition, through my position on the Stop Waste board, we expanded the plastic ban in Alameda County (and the City of Alameda) to retail stores and restaurants, resulting in fewer bags in waterways.
8. Climate Action Plan: Given the recent California wildfires, extreme weather events and rising global temperatures how will you support the increasingly urgent funding and implementation of the measures identified in the Climate Action Plan update?
I eagerly await the Climate Action Plan update and supported working on it sooner rather than later when Councilmember Matarrese brought a referral to accelerate the process. Before committing funding resources, I’d like to see what the recommendations are, what the costs are for the specific recommendations, and what the city’s budget priorities are at the time. I would anticipate there would be some “low hanging fruit” that could be addressed immediately. As I mentioned earlier, I’d support an infrastructure bond to fund sea-level rise adaptability projects