During these final days of 2022, we’re gratefully taking stock of all the strides we’ve made this year, in partnership with a growing number of supporters who share our commitment to making San Leandro a more sustainable, livable, and equitable community.
It all started with the biggest grant we’ve ever received: nearly $300,000 from the California Air Resources Board, which helped us to reach a bigger, broader, and more diverse cross section of people in our outreach about local air quality problems and solutions.
Here’s what we found:
San Leandrans are most concerned about …
Wildfire and smoke
Dirty air from cars and diesel trucks
Asthma and other lung diseases
Flooding and rising sea levels
... and ranked these as the solutions they’d most like to see:
More safe walking and biking
Affordable solar for homes
More community activities like nearby gardens
More and better housing that I can afford
Other climate change solutions on San Leandrans’ minds: more affordable and convenient bus and BART, more green space and parks for everyone, all electric homes, affordable electric vehicles, affordable home insulation, rerouting polluting trucks off city streets.
In all, we surveyed nearly 700 residents. We worked hardest to reach people who least often show up to speak up at city council meetings, many of whom live in areas with the lowest air quality — neighborhoods closest to Interstate 880, which have fewer trees to soak up carbon that cars and trucks spew into the air. Spanish and Chinese translators helped us reach residents whose input we otherwise couldn’t have gathered because of language barriers. We're just getting started and look forward to doing even more to ensure that we are inclusive of all of our residents, no matter what language they speak.
All this outreach aligns with one of the core beliefs that fuels everything we do at SL2050.
Climate solutions that are equitable and work for all must be rooted in the community.
We built our first community garden in 2022, in partnership with Bethel Community, and will be offering nearly 40 garden beds to San Leandrans in the coming year — giving preference to households closest to Bethel and those who live in multi-family homes, where where they can’t have a garden of their own.
If you’re wondering how much (or little) of an impact a community garden can have on air quality, remember this: Any green you add to the landscape absorbs carbon and improves biodiversity. A lot of people love to garden, and doing it this way builds community at the same time.
We’re looking forward to seeing this community garden grow in 2023.
Thirteen beds are already in place. We’ll set up several more once Bethel installs several tiny homes as transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
Interested in applying for a community garden plot? We’ll be sending out an invite in late January to our email subscribers. (If you're not a subscriber yet, sign up on our Get Involved page!)
We’re also excited about the air quality measurements we’re going to get in 2023, in partnership with Aclima, which has technology that will give us extremely precise and timely data about air quality — even block-by-block comparisons. That data — gathered and rooted in our community — will prove invaluable as we make the case for community climate solutions in the years to come.
At San Leandro 2050, we envision a city that eliminates its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, to reverse the negative effects of climate change that are increasingly felt everywhere. Thank you for standing with us in our work to empower all San Leandro residents to be community leaders for climate resilience and quality of life in our city.