Perhaps the greatest justice issue of all is intergenerational theft. The Eighth Commandment says "Thou shall not steal," but every day we live unsustainably we steal from our children and their children. When we speak of community, we must understand that community occurs not merely in space, but also in time, extending backward through memory and tradition and forward through vision and legacy…
The same compassion that moved the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of a stranger not of his tribe must today move us to care for future generations. – Rev. Fred Small
Promote Healthy Sustainable Communities and Climate Justice
Unitarian Universalists faced the climate crisis and began a journey toward climate justice with the UUA Statement of Conscience in 2006. Our congregations became Green Sanctuaries, raising consciousness and greening our buildings. Now we have the opportunity to influence the investment of billions of dollars in transportation and housing funding that can significantly reduce greenhouse gases and improve our health.
Less time in cars means healthier communities
Our legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006. But how do we reduce dirty emissions that foul our air and threaten our climate when our population is expanding by millions? By planning communities that get us out of our cars and into our communities. Not only do we help to solve the climate crisis, we reduce asthma and obesity and create affordable communities where we live more sustainable lives.
UUs are joining with allies to ensure that Environmental Justice is an essential component of this planning. New investments in transportation and housing must improve affordable access to transit, housing and jobs for low-income communities and communities of color in both our cities and agricultural regions.
Stand Up for an Environmentally Just Plan Bay Area
On May 17, regional agencies passed a preliminary Sustainable Community Strategy, entitled Plan Bay Area. While this plan expected to lower the region’s emission of greenhouse gases—a major contributor to global warming—UUs and their Six Wins Network gave the plan a “D” grade in its Equity Report Card from the Six Wins coalition because it lowers GHG by spending on big infrastructure projects and high-density housing development near transit that will only be accessible to those with money.
Although advocates were disappointed with the approval of the plan, they did the agreement of several key regional agency commissioners to reconsider the plan’s lack of affordable housing requirements and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of bus service needs for low-income communities. As the Plan Bay Area moves through the state-mandated environmental review process, UUs will have opportunities to speak up for equity at public meetings and in one-on-one conversations with key decision makers this summer.
Plan Bay Area : a comprehensive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by integrating landuse/transportation and affordable housing.
101 Cities and Towns
Four Regional Agencies:
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Association of Bay Area Governments
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Unitarian Universalists have greened our sanctuaries. It is time to step into the Public Square. Plan Bay Area will direct billions of dollars, impacting our health, multi-cultural inclusion, transit, jobs, and affordable housing for generations to come.
Watch the One Bay Area video
Be part of the PLAN. Raise a UU voice for Environmental Justice:
Reliable, rapid and affordable public transit, not expanded highways and suburban sprawl
Affordable, inclusive housing near jobs in walkable, bike-friendly communities
Equitable, inclusive and affordable access for low-income communities and communities of color
Protection of parks, natural spaces and agricultural lands
Unitarian Universalists have greened our sanctuaries. Let California set an example for the nation and help create truly Sustainable Communities. Billions of dollars and the future of community health, multi-cultural community, transit, jobs and housing will be shaped for generations to come.
UU Legislative Ministry, CA is part of the Six Wins Coalition, working to advance Environmental Justice in the Bay Area. Read the Six Wins Platform.
ABAG: The Association of Bay Area Governments is the regional planning agency for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region. ABAG’s planning and service programs work to address regional economic, social, and environmental challenges.
Please be in touch with Amy Petré Hill if you would like to join with UUs to attend a meeting and/or join an in-person visit to your local Commissioner.