Candidate’s name: Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
Candidate’s contact (email and phone): firstname.lastname@example.org; 510-523-3138
1. Transportation: As a city council member or mayor, what specific early actions will you take to get people out of single occupancy vehicles?
As Mayor,pursuing funding for a wide range of viable alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles will be among my top priorities. These alternatives include frequent, reliable public transit – busses, ferries, and emission-free shuttles to BART and our ferry terminals, improved bicycle infrastructure – bike lanes, cycle tracks, bike parking, and funding to build a bicycle-pedestrian bridge from West Alameda to Jack London Square – an exciting, innovative way to reduce automobile traffic, especially through the Tube.
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?
Sustainable development seeks to meet human development goals while sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. Sustainable development can be classified as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. (United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/1, September 2015)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of global goals set by the United Nations Development Programme that encompass social and economic development issues. As applied to Alameda, I believe the following three goals or measures are imperative.
● Ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and ending homelessness.
● Addressing climate change.
● Responsible consumption and production using eco-friendly production methods, reducing waste and increasing recycling rates.
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 means planning and preparing for tomorrow – how to accommodate population growth, address climate change, and withstand a disaster.
I look forward to the introduction of the Emergency Management Plan currently being prepared by Alameda Fire Department personnel. I also encourage all residents to complete the CERT program. (Community Emergency Response Training). More information available at https://alamedaca.gov/emergency-info/cert
Three measures I would strongly support are:
● Earthquake and other disaster planning and preparedness.
● Assuring that our critical infrastructure – roads, water and sewer lines, buildings, bridges – are capable of withstanding an earthquake or other significant event.
● Addressing climate changing and sea level rise (See response to Question #4.)
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?
The real question about protecting Alameda from sea level rise (SLR) is about leadership. Who is best suited to recognize the unique challenges we face as an island community, and what can we expect in the way of leadership from our Mayor? Addressing SLR requires strong leadership and regional solutions, which is why I’m the right choice for Mayor. As Alameda’s representative to the League of California Cities, I work with my counterparts around the Bay Area and the state to find regional solutions to our most critical challenges, including SLR.
The threat to Alameda from SLR is so great and so pervasive that we should not limit ourselves to one approach or another, but should instead be looking at an “all of the above” strategy. There are credible arguments for barriers (seawalls, further hardening Alameda’s perimeter, etc.) and for softer, more natural, wildlife-friendly solutions. A particular solution should result from careful study of the facts and circumstances each type of threat presents and be selected from a full toolbox of options.
SLR will not be limited to 18″ or 36″ or even 72″ (and these numbers never include king tides or storm surges, when flooding will actually begin to happen). Mean sea level is going to keep rising well above that. Shoreline communities like Alameda must take action to protect against near term effects – the next 30 years to 2050. (San Francisco and Foster City are doing that now.)
On the bright side, Alameda is located between two significant regional assets – Oakland International Airport and the Port of Oakland – whose infrastructure will need to be protected from the long term effects of SLR. Addressing the threat of SLR requires strong leadership, advocacy and concurrent dialogue now because regional solutions will be more extensive and take longer to identify, fund and implement.
If we miss this opportunity to assert bold leadership in our response to SLR, locally and regionally, it will end up being too late. That would mean dealing with flooding after it happens, not before. We can do much better if we rally together and act now. As Mayor, I will vigorously advocate for planning and implementing a wide range of measures to protect Alameda from SLR.
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?
I would support an ordinance similar to the City of Los Angeles’s Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program that requires existing buildings to undergo energy and water efficiency audits, retrocommissioning and annual benchmarking of energy and water consumption. Upgrading building systems to reduce energy and water consumption will lower the use of energy and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide.
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)?
Enforcement of our mandatory recycling ordinance first through education, then communication to those not in compliance, and finally, a fine for non-compliance.
If the appropriate location for a center similar to El Cerrito’s Recycling Center can be found I would support it.
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?
Hope Spots are an impressive, inspiring concept to protect and restore a healthy ocean, introduced by marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle in a 2009 TED talk. While I am not currently knowledgeable about specific actions Alameda can take to protect and restore our bay and waterways, I would look to groups like CASA to provide guidance in this important area.
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?
By seeking all available funding sources – local, regional and state – and assuring that implementation of measures identified in the updated Climate Action Plan is a high City Council priority.