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April Updates from Mayor Ashcraft

April is Earth Month, and April 22 is Earth Day, a time to increase our awareness about how to protect our planet, so I asked four of Alameda’s “environmental champions” to suggest the most impactful things Alameda residents can do—or not do—to address climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. Following is advice from City of Alameda Sustainability and Resilience Manager Danielle Mieler; Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) steering committee members Ruth Abbe and Joyce Mercado; and CASA Vice President and AUSD PTA Council Climate & Sustainability Co-chair Debi Ryan. Here are some of their suggestions:

Alameda Post - tree roots

Danielle Mieler: “Think about making small changes in your daily routine; they add up over time.”

  • Switch one of your normal trips in town from driving to walking, biking, or transit. Debi Ryan added: “Let’s get out of our cars and jointly help reduce our local emissions and footprint! Walk, bike, bus, ferry, and enjoy Alameda‘s wealth of transportation options (see Get Around Alameda), including bikeways that run across town, some right along the water.”
  • Help keep our neighborhoods and waterways clean by picking up one piece of trash every time you go for a walk.
  • Cut out some of the meat in your diet.
  • Bring your own grocery and produce bags to the store, and try to choose plastic-free packaging.
  • Danielle referenced an article about the “tyranny of convenience,” which notes that easy-to-use products and services—such as Amazon, DoorDash, and pre-packaged meals—create huge environmental problems, from a proliferation of packaging materials to traffic and pollution. “So, try to avoid unnecessary purchases, choose slower delivery times, and walk to a local restaurant to pick up your dinner. Slow down the pace of life a bit!”

Joyce Mercado: “Take advantage of Alameda Municipal Power’s (AMP) zero-emissions electricity by converting gas appliances to electric and making your next vehicle purchase an electric one.” Many helpful rebates and incentives are available to support this transition.

Request a street tree in the curb strip in front of your home with See Click Fix and plant trees on your property, too.

Debi Ryan: “Help us achieve the goal of a Zero Waste Alameda!”

Ruth Abbe shared some encouraging data to underscore Danielle’s observation that Alamedans are increasingly working to make changes in their daily lives to help slow climate change.

What climate-friendly practices will YOU adopt this month?

Alameda Post - a screenshot of ten people on a zoom call
The City of Alameda Transportation Commission discusses the Lincoln Avenue/Marshall Way/Pacific Avenue Corridor Improvements Project over Zoom during a meeting on February 15, 2023. Still frame from meeting video.

Interested in local transportation? There’s an opening on the Transportation Commission.

The Transportation Commission (TC) reviews and provides input to City staff and the City Council on citywide transportation priorities, street design concepts, transportation plans, and more.

Recent TC recommendations include design concepts for the Clement Avenue extension, a roundabout at Clement Avenue and Tilden Way, traffic calming measures on the Lincoln Avenue/Marshall Way/Pacific Avenue corridor, and a raised bikeway and pedestrian improvements on Grand Street, all of which were approved by the City Council.

Upcoming TC items include converting Slow Streets to Neighborhood Greenways, proposed concepts for the Fernside Boulevard Traffic Calming & Bikeways Project, and sea level rise adaptation plans that protect roadways.

For more information about the TC, and to submit an online application, visit the City’s Transportation Commission web page.

Alameda Post - volunteers pack and transport food in hot bags
Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver food. Photo Jenn Heflin.

Neighbors helping neighbors—Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Last month, to recognize “March For Meals,” I helped deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound Alamedans. What a great way to start the day!

Since 1973, Alameda Meals on Wheels (AMOW), a local nonprofit, has delivered a hot meal and bag lunch—365 days a year—to residents who aren’t able to shop for and prepare their own meals. Recipients pay a small amount on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay, and deliveries are made by local volunteers who are assigned specific geographical routes. For some residents, this daily contact with an AMOW volunteer is their only in-person interaction.

AMOW needs more volunteers, on a regular basis or occasionally, to cover absences and holidays. For more information call 510-865-6131 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and noon.

You can also help sustain this vital program with a tax-deductible financial contribution. Donate online at Alameda Meals on Wheels or mail a check made payable to Alameda Meals on Wheels to Alameda Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 2534, Alameda, CA 94501.

Protect our planet! Serve your city! Deliver meals! Be Alameda Strong!

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is the Mayor of the City of Alameda. Reach her at [email protected].

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