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Currently viewing: Veronica Jacobi » Issues

“I’m running for election to create and strengthen Safe, Healthy, and Thriving Communities throughout our area. I would love to have your support!”

Issues Affecting Us:

Roni's Climate New Deal - Safety, Good Jobs, Housing & Climate Plan

Responsive and Transparent Government

Protecting Our Coast

Protecting Our Environment & Encouraging Local Agriculture

Saving Our Parks & Increasing Open Spaces

Infrastructure Maintenance

Reforming and protecting Pensions & Open Bidding

In Depth:

Jobs, Economic & Climate Security: The “Cause for Change”

"These next few months and years are critical. We need to make important changes now, both large and small, to help create resiliency and emergency preparedness and recover and protect our climate and environment and support net for our children, future generations and ourselves.

More than just politics, I want to bring us all together to create optimal solutions. We CAN take action for a better future. Solutions are all around us. WE ARE the ones we are waiting for!" – Veronica "Roni" Jacobi

"It would be immoral to leave our grandchildren with a climate system spiraling out of control." - James Hansen

Roni Jacobi is in a unique position to analyze our environmental, transportation and housing challenges and offer solutions. Roni is a professional mechanical engineer specializing in energy and environmental management. She’s worked on environmental problems and transportation solutions at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and on energy management solutions at PG&E and at her own energy conservation consulting firm. Her clients included Lawrence Berkeley Labs and Oakland Unified School District as well as colleges, hospitals, large and small businesses and individual homeowners.

She has won numerous awards for community building and environmental action for her many years of service to the community on the Santa Rosa City Council and with non profits. As always, the more community input the better, suggestions welcome to:

Veronica "Roni" Jacobi's Safety, Good Jobs, Housing & Climate Plan

"Until we have reversed climate disruption, we need to face our new normal and be prepared for the worst. Underestimating our challenges is foolish and irresponsible. There is a problem, there are solutions, I do listen and I do care deeply! I am committed to action at the speed and scale needed to stop and reverse climate disruption and adapt to the added challenges until we get our carbon levels back down to safer levels. I welcome you addressing the challenges with me. Together we can create a better future!" - Roni Jacobi

Housing is a basic human right, not a privilege.
Housing policy is climate policy. Where we build and how we build is critical to solving our climate challenges.
Neighborhoods should welcome newcomers. New housing should allow for a diversity of all income levels.
Neighborhoods should be walkable, and feature amenities such as protected bikeways and frequent public transit. In an age of rapid warming, no one should be forced to drive because of poor alternatives.

Local Green Jobs & Economy: Work to attract and grow local “green” businesses and industries in Santa Rosa and California. These are technology companies in a fast-growing global market for “green” solutions such as PV (solar) cells, wind conversion and geothermal, architectural and engineering services, cleansers, recycled building products, etc. With the right planning and leadership, California will continue being a center for emerging Green-tech, just as the peninsula has become a center for bio-tech in the past decade, other areas in California, and especially our city and counties can expand. New technology means new skills and new good paying jobs that head us to a better present AND a better future!

Affordable, Clean Energy, Efficient, Well Placed and Planned Housing: Create affordable, very fire resistant, electric only housing, with solar pv requirements, and superior energy efficiency, that has smaller square footages, including tiny homes ideally, and is walkable, bicycle friendly and concentrated near transit, while respecting existing neighborhoods. Also have some interior sprinklers and extensive exterior fire protecting sprinkler systems for the homes. Also edible forest garden landscaping with extensive sprinklers for creating a fire resisting perimeter and drip irrigation off of water catchment systems for water conservation and drought readiness. Greywater or purple plumbing reuse may be important in many locations.

Clean Renewable Energy & Community Choice Aggregation (CCA): Evergreen, the City of Santa Rosa should commit to using 100% renewable energy. We need to shift our energy sources from fossil fuels, oil and natural gas to clean, renewable sources like geothermal, solar, wind and other alternative technologies. Allow private development of renewable energy projects on public property in exchange for a long term power purchase agreement. Sonoma Clean Power is already letting other locations in California join them! Santa Rosa was a Solar America City partnering with Solar Sonoma County. National leadership is here and now. Our City and City districts leadership can be taken to the rest of California!

Sonoma Clean Power can continue being developed and all our California Counties and Cities could leverage the leading examples here and use our Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) model programs. CCA enables local control over our energy sources to ensure they’re climate-friendly, safe, price-stable and renewable. Local power can mean significant local jobs development and money circulating in our communities instead of leaving to a corporate utility office. CCA is a energy supply model that allows citizens to use local resources to reduce our carbon footprint, and generate local “green” energy jobs.

Lower Our Collective Carbon Footprint Through Improved Transportation Planning and Options: In 2009 and also in 2017, approximately 60 percent of our areas greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation. We can reduce our carbon footprint in part by switch­ing government vehicles from ones that run on gasoline to electric vehicles or to hybrids or to ones that run on sustainable and efficient bio-fuels (from algae or waste products not corn etc). There are now all electric buses that are less expensive than fossil fuel vehicles and have a range of many miles per charge. There are also rapid chargers currently available and the technology will very likely continue to rapidly improve in the next few years.

Increased service and effective connections for multi-modal transit options interlinking connections for alternative transportation. Also buses, rail, car-shares, walk & bike paths can reduce our carbon footprint, and give people better alternatives to single occupancy car trips as well as alternatives to volatile gasoline prices. Optimizing programs that help people walk and bicycle safely, participate in car share programs, carpool easily, and take pleasant and affordable buses and trains are all win - win - wins, for increasing our overall quality of life, individuals quality of life, and for a better future. Especially for our youth and our older residents, effective mass transit to increase/retain independent mobility has so many advantages. There are many models for these systems that we can replicate, start­ing with examples like Marin County’s pilot program Go Geron­imo and Ithaca, New York's delightfully extensive transit system for a city with a population around the size of Santa Rosa's. Making the small but vital investments to walk and bike paths especially for Safe Routes to School, will pay dividends for decades to come.

Lower Our Collective Footprint Through Improved Agricultural Practices, Soil, Carbon Se­questration, Offsetting, and Other Measures:

We should also support rapid expansion and additional programs of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) special carbon-reducing plantings like no- till, no-spray, edible food forest gardens of perennials for carbon sequestration or carbon farming in the soil. The carbon is taken out of the air by the plants and pulled down into the soil for increased soil health, water retention and productivity. We can also add to our food security by supporting carbon farming on public lands, encourage and support community gardens, and we can impose traffic impact fees on new developments to offset their negative effects.

Drought Preparedness, Water Conservation & Re-Use: Continue to roll-out conservation guide­lines for new building and home improvement projects that will in­centivise gray water and purple plumbing solutions for business­es and residences. Support rainwater harvesting and reduce the regulatory red tape surrounding these emerging technologies for those who want to use them responsibly. In the long run, we won’t just save water—we will also save energy and money.

Fire Preparedness: We need a thorough wildfire preparedness plan for Santa Rosa as a whole and for every district, county and between cities ever improving cooperation. We need to design and plan for wildfire breaks that are robust enough to deal with our changing climate. This can be combined with plantings and water storage for food and water security as well.

Zero Waste Initiative: Encouraging our city, county and the state to head to Zero Waste more quickly, to sharply reduce and eventually eliminate landfill waste disposal through recycling and composting, combined with requirements for producer responsibility for toxic products, in the next 2-15 years. Some areas are doing amazing things with waste reduction. Let's learn from the programs that are working best and incentivise.

Move Towards 100 Percent Local Food Self Sufficiency For Every Area: Let’s expand our opportunities for localized production throughout our district, city, county and California for com­munity gardens, community vineyards, community pastures, and the support of locally-owned small farms and groceries. In addi­tion, I support expanding opportunities for worker-owned cooper­atives. Already there are models for these enterprises. Sonoma County is home to the worker-owned Alvarado Bakery, and in nearby Richmond, California, former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin explored worker-owned cooperative models in Mondragon, Spain.

Work for the ongoing passage of State laws to Streamline Creation of Municipal State and County Banks and increasingly utilize public banking for our City: The existence of the State Bank of North Dakota, the first state run bank in the country, helped that state weather the recession. Climate resiliency and financial resiliency can and should go hand in hand.

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Additional Detailed Information and Additional Issues

JOBS & Clean Renewable Energy

As a professional engineer and energy conservation consultant, I know that renewable energy options like solar and wind power are the future of our city's energy planning. We are gaining greater energy independence, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and decreasing our carbon footprint. I am strongly in favor of expanding the best of Sonoma Clean Power (based on the Community Choice Aggregation - CCA model) which allows cities and counties to choose our own energy sources. Santa Rosa is a Solar America City partnering with Solar Sonoma County.
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Water, Forest & Coastal Protection

As a founding member and former Chair of the Sonoma County Water Coalition, I have been a long-time advocate for water conservation and safeguarding our future local water sources. Drought conditions can have very serious consequences. Science gives us a crystal ball for projecting future risks. Drought preparedness, conservation, reuse and protecting adequate water supplies for wildlife are all important. I support Greywater and “Purple Plumbing” (treated water re-use) solutions and rainwater harvesting for businesses and residences. We need to clean up the red tape surrounding these issues and get these systems operational for those who want to use them responsibly. I will be a champion for creative solutions and help including solutions to reduce the risks of flooding. Additionally, I served many years as a Board Member with Sierra Club and the Sonoma County Conservation Council and I will strongly protect our parks and natural spaces and open spaces.
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Better Health Care

I am a long term early supporter of single payer health care. Quality, affordable healthcare is essential to our continued success. We cannot have “Safe, Healthy and Sustainable Communities” if our hospitals and health centers are closing or limiting access, reducing locations for women’s reproductive services, or decreasing mental health services. We need to look at how we can best ensure that our emergency and preventive care needs are being met, while not breaking the bank. At the same time as we fix the safety net, we should also be striving to offer the best healthcare options for all our citizens.
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Responsive, Available, Efficient and Open Government

The state, county and cities have been very challenged in recent years trying to cope with unfunded pension liabilities. I was a strong advocate for pension protection and reform while serving on the Santa Rosa City Council. In 2010 I was the first Councilmember to propose a cap on pensions. A cap could start at a set amount near $100,000, which is more than enough to retire on comfortably in most circumstances. Or the cap could be something like twice the average County resident's salary. Reductions could also be percentage based. It is very important to get reform right so government employees can know they can depend on their retirement money being there for them. We also need OPEN BIDDING on contracts to get the best deal for our ratepayers, while also respecting benefits from local providers. By listening, being creative, efficient, responsive and cost-conscious local government can provide programs which enrich our lives. I will continue to promote creative and smart policies and management of government resources to maintain critical services and protect rate payer dollars. I know we need to have all levels of our goverment continually striving for greater efficiency and effectiveness and doing more with less, just like the rest of us have to at times.
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I am committed to our youth and our future. Quality schools and affordable, accessible higher education are very important investments for our children and future. Smaller class sizes, safe and nurturing learning environments, enriching and varied class choices are all a top priority. I will also advocate for healthy food choices, supporting school gardens, community gardens and solving hunger challenges while increasing wildfire preparedness around schools.
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Public Safety and Crime Prevention

I am committed to public safety, and will continue to work hard to achieve and maintain effective law enforcement, fire and emergency services in every part of the city and especially our district. I will continue to work with community and area groups to address neighborhood and community problems as well.

These crimes we hear about - mothers being attacked in our shopping centers and shootings on our streets and in our communities - disturb me greatly. These incidents are horrifying and completely unacceptable. When confronting crime, I continue to advocate a two-pronged solution: 1) we must protect our communities from criminals; and 2) we need to increase the effectiveness of community-based programs working with our young people to help them resist being recruited by gangs or lured by hard drugs or violence to prevent problems before they start.
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I continue to strongly advocate for more comprehensive planning in the area of affordable housing, ensuring that we build near schools, shopping and transit. In our outlying coastal, river and more rural communities we need to protect local businesses that provide services, to keep our areas serving residents.
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Parks, Open Space, Agriculture & the Environment

Our area is noted for natural beauty. I will continue to work tirelessly to keep public access to Parks & Open Spaces, and protect our water resources and watersheds, water and air quality, habitat and greenbelts. It is critical to protect farmers and farmlands for food production. I want to develop incentives for crop diversity and organic agriculture, to improve our economy and create greater resiliency to deal with any economic or natural emergencies. Also, listening to, and cutting red tape for small farmers to increase their chances of success and help small farms thrive again in this fertile and rather temperate city. I want to preserve our precious ridges, hilltops, vernal pools, wetlands, and wild areas for future generations of people and wildlife. I initiated and spearheaded the Santa Rosa City Council putting the successful measure for continuing funding for our Open Space district on the ballot.
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I tirelessly work to maintain and improve services for children, older persons, people with disabilities, and those with limited incomes. It is a difficult challenge in these times. I work with individuals, advocacy groups, organizations and businesses that provide a better quality of life for those who need assistance.
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Maintenance & Transportation

I support money-wise responsible maintenance of our roadways, improved public transportation, comprehensive links to the SMART train and sensible rail, and more and safer pedestrian and bicycle routes. Increased evening and weekend buses should serve people working second shifts, people with disabilities, youths, students with late classes, and those seeking social or other activities around town.

Many more of our neighborhoods' and regional roadway conditions, transit, traffic and parking issues can be resolved by bringing together state, county and city agencies and members of the impacted communities to develop solutions. I will continue to facilitate and encourage greater communication between all concerned, especially during the planning process, and continue to fight for optimal funding priorities and increased state and federal sources.

Rebuilding our deteriorated city roadways cost 7 to 15 times more than doing optimal maintenance. I would make optimal maintenance of roadways a TOP funding priority. Many roadways have been neglected too long and need to be rebuilt. I would evaluate these roadways treatment based on usage and level of “bang per buck” on repairs. I would support research and testing of new methods on roads that are too deteriorated for effective low cost maintenance, to figure out what will give us the best return on our money invested.

On a parallel track, in addition to the model of Sonoma County's current Ad Hoc committee, I am supportive of a Volunteer Roadways Task Force with representation from EVERY community in the District, welcoming input, to work as a team to address local roads and improve the approach and funding methods. Possible tasks: a- to help prioritize which roads should be rebuilt first and b- how to get it done as quickly as possible. We would explore using social media to make it easier for us all to work together: residents, office holders, government workers as needed, businesses, non-profits. I would work to secure matching funds from Measure M and additional sources, and welcome Task Force support in this. There are liability issues to address for volunteer pothole brigades, but it MIGHT work, please see an older article in the Sonoma County Gazette.

I support getting extra funding from businesses that have heavy truck traffic that wears our roads excessively.

I want to empower communities to create matching funds to speed their highest priority road rebuilding desires.

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Supporting Local Businesses & "Big Box" Limits

Many of us appreciate the convenience of some existing "Big Box" stores, where we can go to one store, or a series of them in the same center, and get a wide array of choices at competitive prices.

Many of us also want smaller locally owned businesses to survive and thrive. These smaller businesses are often located even closer to us, and we may have a pleasant history of superior personal service and attention with these older businesses. There are many small and medium sized businesses spread throughout our state and counties that add to the character and uniqueness of our neighborhoods. Also, on a dollar for dollar basis these locally owned stores provide greater economic benefit to the area because the dollars they take in from sales usually get recirculated in the community, whereas the "Big Box" stores send their profits to corporate headquarters in another state. I believe it is important that we protect local small and medium sized businesses from unbearable pressure from "Big Box" stores. I believe it is time to put some limits on "Big Box" sprawl with Community Impact Reports and more incentives and support for local small and medium sized businesses.
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Your Tax Dollars at Work

The Santa Rosa Junior College's parking garage is a good example of a project where community and student input, the JC, and city and county agencies could have united to provide for the needs of the students, nearby residents, and the commercial interests in the neighborhood to a higher degree. Also, the strings attached to State funding should be updated for emphasizing carbon footprint lowering uses.
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Additional Climate Details:

This section addresses jobs and global warming and climate disruption. Members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the co- recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, have stressed the critical nature of what is facing us, and that significant and increasing action must be taken now. The longer we delay, the more damage will be done. There is much that can be accomplished to address our local challenges and Greenhouse Gases at the same time.

Roni Jacobi is widely acknowledged as an environmental expert. She’s running for election to most effectively continue creating the changes we need to make to preserve our quality of life for ourselves and future generations. She is committed to Job Creation while and THROUGH addressing Climate Adaptation, Resiliency, Security and Recovery. It is important that we do not sacrifice the future in our solutions for the present. That has been tried, and it has contributed enormously to our current problems.

Changes We Can Make Right NOW as individuals, as families, and in groups to save money immediately and make a difference for the future also!

  • Walk, Bike, Ride Buses and Trains, Combine Trips & Carpool
  • Use Electric, Hybrid, High miles per gallon (mpg) & Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Vehicles
  • Drive 55 mph or at the Lower Speed Limit
  • Eat Mainly Plant Based, try Meatless Mondays and Expand From There
  • Eat Local, Organic, Fair Trade & Home Garden Grown
  • Promote, Encourage, and Support No Till, No Spray, Permaculture Type Agriculture
  • Turn Off Unused Lights & Appliances
  • Monitor & Reduce Heating & Cooling Equipment
  • Vacation Locally and/or Use Alternative Transportation
  • Use Renewable Energy
  • Reduce Consumption & Waste, Reuse, Recycle, Rot/Compost
  • Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs & Appliances

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National Organizations works on getting Co2 or Carbon equivalent levels back down to 350 ppm. This is the level of emmissions that is considered a safe level. Unfortunately we went above 350 ppm and our levels are even up above 410 ppm. Roni organized many climate rally's throughout Santa Rosa and one in downtown Santa Rosa had over 100 participants. Please check out this inspiring group and join Roni in participating and/or planning for future actions in conjunction with them!

The Campus Climate Challenge is a project of more than 30 leading youth organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Challenge leverages the power of young people to organize on college campuses and high schools across Canada and the U.S. to win 100% Clean Energy policies at their schools. The Challenge is growing a generation-wide movement to stop global warming by reducing pollution from our high schools and colleges to zero, and leading our society to a clean energy future.

The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the United States.

Green Facts - facts on health and the environment
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Local Organizations

There are many more wonderful organizations in our city and area.

The Center for Climate Protection supports and accelerates the work of Sonoma County, cities and towns within the County, and other partners in measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Many individuals participate with the Center - local elected officials, County and city staff, teachers, students, business people, activists, and concerned citizens.

Daily Acts is a Sonoma County organization that publishes Ripples journal and does sustainability tours that are informative, educational and inspiring.

Lite Initiatives is a Sonoma County organization with the mission to motivate individuals, groups, businesses, and whole communities, to live lightly and more efficiently. Their programs include Community Bikes, Car-Lite, Green Mentor, and Zero Waste. Community Bikes is a Santa Rosa used bike shop that refurbishes bikes for reuse and teaches people to fix their own bikes.
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Laguna Farms is a “beyond organic” farm in Sebastopol that has a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program that provides members a weekly box of seasonal produce.

Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA practices no-till, no-spray with wonderful results!
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Energy Audits

The Home Energy Saver is designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, and find the resources to make the savings happen. The Home Energy Saver was the first Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings. The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the national ENERGY STAR Program for improving energy efficiency in homes.

"Our areas leadership groups and projects are many, and I am very excited about getting to learn about more of them and to meet the amazing people involved. I welcome links and a brief description for future website additions. Thank you."

- Veronica "Roni" Jacobi
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From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. You will learn, you will laugh, and you just might change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
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