The Climate Emergency is global. We must respond at all levels including local.

That’s why Climate Action is a key part of my promise to Takoma Park residents, with an approach that values community input and ensures climate equity and inclusion.

Other mayoral candidates have not made the same commitment. I will surface a difference that came out at the October 11 Fulfillery green forum for mayoral candidates.

Candidate Talisha Searcy reinforced that she voted against the city’s 2020 Climate Emergency Response Framework, because the city was unable to quantify the cost of the climate action steps outlined in the resolution, and because she saw insufficient outreach to residents of her ward and other community segments. Jarrett Smith also voted against the framework.

Kai with a Seth Grimes for Mayor sign -- and Mikel Ann says Vote!
Kai with a Seth Grimes for Mayor sign — and Mikel Ann says Vote!

I thought about this post-forum. The framework was merely a statement of intent and had $0 cost itself, beyond implied time and dollar investment in further planning and in advocacy with other jurisdictions. The city will estimate costs (and assess programmatic and equity impact) when we develop actual plans, budgets, and ordinances.

OK, Talisha and Jarrett didn’t vote for the framework, but neither has proposed any city climate legislation outside of the framework. And Talisha hasn’t done any environment-linked outreach to remediate the short-comings she lamented nor pushed for climate-action cost estimates she saw as lacking.

MY COMMITMENT

I am committed to implementing the steps in the Climate Emergency Response Framework and more.

More includes pursuing a city Zero Waste Initiative. As a Committee on the Environment member, I drafted a proposal in 2019-20. Food waste, in particular, contributes 8%-10% of global GHG emissions, and we should be reducing the amount of other waste we produce as well. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get city council buy-in back then, but I hope the next council will move this initiative and other climate action forward.

And more includes stormwater modeling, pilot programs, education, and studies, with development of solutions for both private and public property, as recommended by Takoma Stormwater Solutions.

More includes expanded tree planting, especially planting native trees and other native plants in order to protect biodiversity as advocated by Friends of Native Trees in Takoma, particularly in neighborhoods with less canopy cover and where trees can mitigate stormwater runoff and provide shade to lower street temperatures and air conditioning costs in summer.

More is intensifying and expanding city support and resources for electrification, with a special focus on equity, tapping funding sources such as the Inflation Reduction Act.

And I would bring back a model where the city calls on community knowledge, expertise, and energy in formulating policy and plans. We need to reach out to and work systematically and intensively with tenant and condo associations, congregations and community groups, and residents and businesses city-wide.

A KEY CLIMATE ENDORSEMENT

My climate position earned me a key endorsement from author and Takoma Park climate advocate Mike Tidwell —

“Seth understands environmental challenges, and he knows how to make local government work. As mayor, he will make Climate Action a top city priority. That is why I’m backing Seth Grimes for Mayor of Takoma Park.”

I hope my climate position will earn your support for my mayoral campaign.

If you’re on board, please let me and your neighbors and Takoma Park friends know, and please consider a campaign contribution.

Thank you!

Seth signature


Author and Takoma Park climate advocate Mike Tidwell
Author and Takoma Park climate advocate Mike Tidwell

Here’s the rest of Mike Tidwell’s endorsement quote —

“Seth drafted Takoma Park’s polystyrene food serviceware ban and wrote a bill expanding recycling. He worked with activists to ban cosmetic lawncare pesticide use and helped pass a countywide ban. He promoted curbside food-waste pickup for composting and advanced Takoma Park’s environmental sustainability agenda. He has spoken out for fossil-fuels divestment, solar expansion, and watershed and the urban forest protections. My vote is for Seth Grimes for Mayor of Takoma Park.”