California Policy Corner: Out of ashes, hope | U.S. Green Building Council
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See the latest in California policy news.

The recent wildfires in Northern California give us a lot to think about, as we live on the western edge of this North American continent. Disasters challenge us to think holistically about sustainability, livability, preparedness and recovery. They compel us to care for our neighbors and urge our elected leaders to act.

Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency in nine California counties due to wildfire this month, and secured both additional federal aid for impacted residents and unemployment assistance benefits for workers affected by the fires. We rely on federal, state and local governments to help support homeowners and businesses through the recovery and expect measures to prevent or limit the damage these disasters can do.

USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through our work in green buildings and communities. We stand by affected communities and offer our support for a more sustainable recovery.

New laws and what’s next

Gov. Brown had until October 15 to sign or veto bills that came to his desk from the legislature. Of the 977 bills, Brown vetoed 118, less than in previous years. All in all, green building fared well—see last month’s update for our win count (9 out of 14) and more details.

A number of topics will spring back to life in 2018 for a chance at earning Brown’s signature before he leaves office at the beginning of 2019.  Housing affordability, and whether or not that housing is sufficient, healthy and green will be high on the list. We also expect further efforts to address California’s electric grid—to boost clean energy, safety, resilience, reliability and affordability. Water efficiency and water reuse will also reemerge on the legislative agenda.

We look forward to being a part of all of these discussions and more, and doing our best to keep USGBC, our members and our community’s issues well represented in Sacramento.

To Boston and back

Greenbuild 2017 is nearly here—will you join us? Even as we compete with Massachusetts for top rank for energy efficiency policy, California projects and professionals are on prominent display throughout the Greenbuild program. See this year’s guide to advocacy and policy at Greenbuild for details.

Because of our collective work, we’ve made it very difficult to thumb through the Greenbuild program and not come across California leadership. There are dozens of California companies on the expo floor, dozens of education sessions with California content and forthcoming program announcements that will feature our California marketplace. We thrive on the common belief that true sustainability is possible here.

I hope you’ll join us at Greenbuild, get re-inspired, and come right back to continue creating tomorrow’s clean, green and resilient economy today.

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