2014 Was a Hot Year for STAY COOL – a Highlight of our Accomplishments

While we’re not happy to hear that 2014 may have been the hottest year on record, STAY COOL is proud to boast about own 2014 “hot” accomplishments.

STAY COOL was founded just two years ago and since kicking off the organization with a small group of founding members, we have recruited more than 115 members in the San Diego region with several others from outside our region.

In 2014 we drafted our first member declaration, and for those who have made the commitment, we provided a free STAY COOL t-shirt (see photo below). If you haven’t signed the declaration yet, find it here: http://www.staycool4grandkids.org/declaration

March 21, 2014 - San Diego People's Climate March (from left to right: Sarah Benson, Peg Engel, David Engel)

March 21, 2014 – San Diego People’s Climate March (from left to right: Sarah Benson, Peg Engel, David Engel)

Today, we also have a growing audience of Facebook followers, with 162 friends. Following our Facebook feed is a great way to stay abreast of our events, action alerts and local climate change hot topics. Not connected to us on Facebook yet? Find us here: https://www.facebook.com/StayCool

Our bi-monthly STAY COOL member meetings in 2014 had a combined attendance of more than 120. In the past year, we heard from Nancy Bragado, the Deputy Planning Director with the City of San Diego on the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan draft. Charles F. Kennel shared insights from his May trip to the Vatican. In July, we heard from Jim Stone of Circulate San Diego and Laura Schumacher about the San Diego Unified PTA Council’s update on climate change education. Our May speakers was Dr. Dan Cayan, a Research Meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And in March, we welcomed Brendan Reed from the City of Chula Vista to learn about their model sustainability programs and CAP. Our events helps to advance member understanding of climate science and climate polices, stimulate new ideas and reach agreement on effective advocacy activities. The meetings also foster a spirit of community, mutual trust, friendship, collaboration and empowerment amongst STAY COOL members.

This past summer, we hired a stellar intern, Ana Reyes. Under Ana’s guidance, we created informational STAY COOL videos featuring interviews with our members. In this two-minute video, she did a wonderful job of getting our members to explain why they got involved with STAY COOL and why we exist:

Ana was also able to kick start our Climate Action Plan tracking project. She created online documents for analyzing CAP progress in San Diego’s communities. Since then, we have partnered with the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, The San Diego Foundation and other non-profits to continue our CAP tracking efforts. We have met with this group several times and are mapping out a plan to track CAPs and engage our members in advocacy. Ana also helped with outreach to South County / Hispanic communities and met with the Climate Collaborative.

Stay Cool Member Meetings

Our March 6, 2014 meeting focused on Climate Action Plans and featured Brendan Reed from Chula Vista.

In 2014, we participated in several outreach and advocacy actions, such as sending Letters to the editor (UT San Diego), which were published four times by STAY COOL members. At one of our educational events, we collected 19 hand written letters urging for political action on climate change and sent them to Congressional Representatives and San Diego City Council Members. We submitted a letter in support of a measurable and enforceable Climate Action Plan to the San Diego City Council Environment Committee in advance of a new draft CAP. Members attended the SANDAG San Diego Forward public participation workshops on Transportation. This past fall, we submitted five letters to the SANDAG board of directors requesting they don’t appeal a challenge to the Regional Transportation Plan.

Additionally, along with launching this blog, the STAY COOL website was enhanced in 2014. We’d love to know what you think! Send your thoughts for what you’d like to read from us, and what you want to learn about from STAY COOL in 2015: sarah@staycool4grandkids.org.

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