K.J.’s green cred

Read SN&R's interview with the mayor at http://tinyurl.com/mayorSNR.

In last week’s SN&R interview (“K.J.’s next act” by Nick Miller, Feature Story, December 6), Mayor Kevin Johnson said his vision for Sacramento as an “Emerald Valley” will be one of his top second-term priorities. We embrace this. But we also urge him to be more progressive and aggressive when it comes to environmental policy. This is the only way to give said proclamation teeth to make it green and mean.

For instance: In January, the city council’s Law and Legislation Committee will discuss banning plastic bags at major grocery outlets. The pitch is to implement policy not unlike laws that already exist in counties such as Marin and San Jose, and Johnson should take a hard look at this.

Because if Sacto’s really going to be this so-called Emerald Valley, it needs to green up. This means a mayor who embraces policy and advocates on behalf of composting and proactive recycling of food waste, elimination of plastic waste (no more Evian on the fifth-floor conference table), implementation of the city’s Green Building Program in 2014, mandatory energy-conservation requirements for commercial and residential housing, more bike lanes, the activation of streetcars downtown, and big-time outreach to promote the new Property Assessed Clean Energy program (see “Unsexy but brilliant,” below).

You’ve heard it before, and it’s really true: It’s not easy being green. Decisions will irk big business. But—as New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg might attest on the heels of Hurricane Sandy—these choices need to be made now for the mayor’s next four years.