When the history of USGBC California is written, (calling Kevin Starr…) Wednesday, April 25th will prove to be a very significant day. In the year of the California Greenbuild, we turned out our largest Advocacy Day group yet with good representation from every chapter across the state. Advocates blanketed the Capital with their cheerful, informed demeanors, their USGBC California information packets and their colorful square pins. Our morning “Top10” press conference featured the debut of USGBC’s top California state and local policies and the dynamic and inspiring Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson accepting a Green Hard Hat Award on behalf of the Greenwise Regional Action Plan. Distinguished USGBC visitors Jason Hartke (VP, National Policy) and Kimberly Lewis (Sr. VP, Chapters and Greenbuild) and Campaign Specialist Extraordinaire Matt Pearce enlivened the proceedings and were the featured speakers during our group lunch.
In between afternoon sessions, word spread of Governor Brown’s issuance of Executive Order B-18-12, which significantly raises the bar for new and existing state building performance and sets a clear example for building owners around the world. Much more to come about the new EO and its implementation details in subsequent posts.
Needless to say, the “Top10” Reception at the LEED Platinum Cal/EPA Building was a joyous affair. An overflow crowd enjoyed a local and sustainable Magpie Catering hors d’oeuvre menu paired with wines from Rominger West Winery of Davis and Sierra Nevada beer from Chico. Northern California Executive Director Dan Geiger MC’d a short program that included Jason Hartke on the California State and Local Top10 lists and California’s history of innovation and Kimberly Lewis, as a “preacher’s daughter,” raising the roof on Greenbuild and the worldwide gathering of the tribe November in San Francisco. In between, our Guests of Honor, Governor Brown, Senator Fran Pavley, and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, accepted USGBC California Green Hard Hat Awards from Secretary Jennifer Ward, Vice Chair Scott Bruce and Chair Dennis Murphy for their “transformational leadership building a sustainable California.”
Governor Brown’s remarks were typically unique, expansive and insightful, encompassing a survey of local buildings and their sometimes wayward attempts at energy efficiency, the importance of experimentation, a comparison between Rand Corp’s Herman Kahn and RMI’s Amory Lovins, and observations on the terms “efficiency” and “elegance.” The Governor placed the release of his Executive Order B-18-12 squarely within the storied history of Californian (as well as Brownian) innovation and leadership, and jokingly pointed to Department of General Services Director Fred Klass and State and Consumer Services Agency Secretary Anna Caballero as the Administration’s key implementers of these “Big, Bold” goals.
In the wake of the Governor’s presence, Green Hard Hat Award winner Senator Pavley reflected on AB32 and the years of steady progress afterwards culminating in the debut of California’s carbon marketplace. Assemblymember Skinner recounted her UC Berkeley days as an Art Rosenfeld student, how she came to become a leader in energy efficiency financing through AB758 and how she is updating her “knob and tube, lathe and plaster” Berkeley bungalow mechanical system by repurposing a water heater tank and a heat recovery ventilator. Lastly, Liz Salmi of Greenwise Joint Venture thanked USGBC California on behalf of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and described the goals of the Greenwise Regional Action Plan.
With an exhortation to celebrate, eat drink and merrily schmooze, the Top10 Reception continued into the stormy Sacramento night, with USGBC Advocates thinking of next steps and wondering how to top for next year.