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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities

Infinite Earth Radio is a weekly podcast produced by Skeo and the Local Government Commission and hosted by Mike Hancox and Vernice Miller-Travis. Each week they interview visionary leaders, dedicated government officials, savvy businesses and forward thinking individuals who are working to build smarter, more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous communities through social and economic inclusion that values the contribution of all citizens and seeks meaningful lives for everyone. You will discover new leading edge strategies for lifting up and building great 21st century communities, along with cutting edge strategies for revitalizing under resourced communities and empowering excluded populations. Smart Growth, Prosperity and Sustainability are not possible without social, civic, and economic inclusion for people of all economic, social, and racial backgrounds.
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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 26, 2018

Topic:
Providing local food to the local community


Guests:
Stacey Givens is the farmer, chef and owner of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen in Northeast Portland, Oregon’s Cully Neighborhood. Givens grows diverse organic produce for Portland’s top restaurants and provides food, education and opportunity to her community. Givens was raised the youngest of seven children in a large Greek family in Redondo Beach, California where she was instilled with do-it-yourself values from a young age, farming in their backyard garden and small orchard, foraging with her mom, picking and brining olives and helping prepare large Greek family-style suppers. Givens has been in the food industry since age 15. She worked her way up the West Coast, including at the nationally acclaimed Millennium in San Francisco, before landing in Portland in 2006. Givens established The Side Yard Farm in 2009. The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen currently consists of several urban farm lots maintained by Givens and her team, a farm-to-table private catering company, and the ‘Nomadic Chef’ supper club where she features her urban-grown goods. Givens also organizes invaluable community services at The Side Yard like DIY workshops, grief support groups and kids camps. While The Side Yard has a hyperlocal focus, Givens’ drive to build a strong community and make lasting connections with talented and passionate people is globally-minded, traveling around the world to meet fellow organic farmers and chefs. In 2014, Givens was the recipient of Portland’s Local Hero award in the chef category, and continues to give back to the community she loves through volunteerism and her indispensable work at The Side Yard. In 2015, she competed on the Foodnetwork’s ‘Chopped’ and brought home the win for Portland.

Stacey Givens Twitter
https://twitter.com/thesideyardpdx

Organization:
The Side Yard is an urban farm, supper club and catering company located in the NE Cully Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Since 2009 they have provided local restaurants with creative organic produce and the community with food, education and opportunity. The farm is largely operated by volunteers and interns who gain hands on experience with the urban seed to plate movement. The Side Yard offers urban farm suppers & brunches, private catering, nomadic pop-ups, educational DIY workshops, farm tours and grief groups. Their focus is to provide local food for the local community, from the seeds they sow, animals they raise, and to the craftsmanship they embrace.

 

Take Away Quotes:
“It’s all about the experience of seed to plate. All of that was harvested the day before, the day of. You can just taste the freshness and that connection of hyper local.”

“After I lost my father I decided I’m done with going to grief groups in hospitals- why not have one at the farm. It’s such a beautiful place and I think it’d be easier for people to share the loss of their loved one…and we just become this big ole family.”

“I hope that what we’re doing is we’re teaching people that being local is really important, being organic is extremely important, and I guess that’s what I would hope for is that we’re doing our job educating people and bringing them closer to their food.”


Resources:
The Side Yard
http://www.thesideyardpdx.com/

Presidio Graduate School
http://www.presidio.edu

Apr 19, 2018
Topic:
Urban Resilience Series – Addressing public health disparities
 
Guest & Organization:
Suzanne Bohan covered health and science for 12 years with the Bay Area News Group, a 650,000-circulation newspaper chain which includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, and Oakland Tribune. She previously worked for the Sacramento Bee, and her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, and other newspapers nationwide.
 
Bohan has won nearly 20 journalism awards, including the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association Edgar A. Poe award for the series “Shortened Lives: Where You Live Matters” on why life expectancies vary so dramatically between nearby neighborhoods, and initiatives to shrink this unjust gap. Her earlier book, 50 Simple Ways to Live a Longer Life: Everyday Techniques from the Forefront of Science, won a National Health Information Award for health promotion/disease prevention. Bohan has a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from San Francisco State University. She interned at CNN and worked in radio, but decided to focus her
career on print media. She lives in Northern California with her husband.
 
In Twenty Years of Life, award-winning health journalist Suzanne Bohan exposes the disturbing flip side of the American dream: your health is largely determined by your zip code. The strain of living in a poor neighborhood, with sub-par schools, lack of parks, fear of violence, few to no healthy food options, and the stress of unpaid bills is literally taking years off people’s lives.
 
Residents living in distressed communities die upwards of 20 years earlier than those living in wealthier neighborhoods often just miles away. But there is another way. In Twenty Years of Life, Bohan tells a success story that has resulted in the passage of more than 500 new policies and laws that are improving millions of resident’s lives. 
 
Resources:
Download
the Island Press APP! Learn more about the APP here,
and find it on Google
Play and Apple
Apr 12, 2018
Topic:
The arts and community engagement as highly effective community and economic development strategies
 
Guest & Organization:
Juanita Hardy is the Senior Visiting Fellow (SVF) for Creative Placemaking at the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Her work supports the Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative by deepening and broadening ULI’s focus on creative placemaking through content, the ULIDistrict Council network, and the HealthyCorridors grant program.
 
Hardy has a passion for making business and cultural connections that foster healthy,thriving, and culturally rich places to work, live, and enjoy. 
 
She founded Tiger Management Consulting Group, a global training and business consulting services firm, after retiring from IBM in 2005.  Hardy has over 43 years of business experience, including 31 years with IBM, and over 35 years in the arts as a nonprofit leader, trustee, collector, and patron of the arts.  For IBM, she led many client transformational leadership initiatives and frequently coached leaders on making change at the individual and organizational level.  Her work with Tiger Management included helping clients build successful relationships with businesses in other countries and cultures.
 
As SVF for ULI, Hardy has done extensive research and identified best practices, conducted an assessment on the presence of creative placemaking at ULI, worked with ULI District Councils on programming and capacity building activities, and authored a guide on implementing creative placemaking in real estate development.
 
Hardy is the former Executive Director of CulturalDC,
a nonprofit committed to making space for artists and art organizations and fostering cultural and economic vibrancy in communities through its creative placemaking services. While at CulturalDC, she worked closely with area developers to integrate arts and culture into development projects across the Washington, D.C., area. She served as an awards program juror for the ULI Washington District Council’s Real
Estate Trends Conference for three years, 2015-2017. Since
2006, Hardy has served as an executive coach with Right Management, a global human capital development firm, and has served on many nonprofit art boards dating to the 1980s. She co-founded Millennium
Arts Salon, an art education initiative, in 2000. Hardy is an accomplished writer and public speaker.  Her recent writing includes a trilogy of creative placemaking articles in Urban Land magazine.
 
Resources:
Apr 5, 2018
Topic:
Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Environmental Justice and Equitable Development Series – Advancing environmental justice and equity at the state and local levels
 
Guest & Organization:
Dr. Adrienne L. Hollis is the Director of Federal Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, in the Washington, DC office. Dr. Hollis is an experienced environmental toxicologist as well as an environmental attorney. She has worked with a number of community organizations and has a wealth of experience in community-based participatory research around environmental justice issues.
 
It is well-documented that some of the most polluted environments in America are where people of color live, work, play, and pray. WE ACT was started in 1988 when three fearless community leaders saw that environmental racism was rampant in their West Harlem neighborhood, and they demanded community-driven, political change. Today, the organization has grown to over 16 staff members and 2 locations in NYC and Washington, D.C., and is considered an active and respected participant in the national Environmental Justice Movement.
 
WE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.
 
WE ACT envisions a community that has:
 
  • informed and engaged residents who participate fully in decision-making on key issues that impact their health and community.
  • strong and equal environmental protections. 
  • increased environmental health through community-based participatory research and evidence-based campaigns.
 
Resources:
Mar 29, 2018
Topic:
Adaptation and Livable Communities Series – Issues Facing Coastal Communities
 
Guest & Organization:
Liz Williams Russell is the Coastal Community Resilience Director at the Foundation for Louisiana where she designs strategies to support communities influenced by land loss and relative sea-level rise across coastal Louisiana. With a background and training in architectural design, landscape systems, and urban planning, Liz incorporates the complexities of the developed urban ecosystem to promote equitable opportunities in areas altered and affected by land change. Liz manages coastal grant-making areas with an advisory committee and relevant partners that work to help communities face a range of issues and challenges that range in scale from mega-regional networks and hydrologic basins to stormwater management and flood insurance.
 
Risk mitigation and resilience-based programs require an awareness of and participation with these transitioning watersheds. In order to better provide opportunities, establish and cultivate partnerships, and advocate for informed and diverse public engagement, Liz supports fundraising initiatives and guides the common campaign and funding plan across Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resiliency Leverage Fund.
 
Liz previously has worked as a Research Fellow and Affiliate with the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University. In this role she led and collaborated with cohorts of civil engineers, urban planners, coastal scientists, and landscape architects alongside economic, legal, and cultural advisors. Each project engaged a set of unique conditions within the coastal landscape and proposed developments through which residents and communities might advance and thrive in a future with evolving challenges.
 
The mission of the Foundation for Louisiana is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide.
 
Resources:
Mar 22, 2018
Topic:
Adaptation and Livable Communities – An Introduction to Adaptation Professionals
 
Guest & Organization:
Beth Gibbons is the Executive Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). In this role, she is responsible for strengthening ASAP as an emerging nonprofit organization, managing relationships with its members, board and donors, and bringing adaptation best practices into the broader urban conversation. Beth brings a decade of experience in sustainable development and climate adaptation to her role. Additionally, she has nonprofit management and governance experience and is highly skilled in climate communications, research and outreach, collaborative project management, and stakeholder management. Previously, Beth was Director of the University of Michigan Climate Center and managed NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center. She also worked for the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute as a research specialist, helping develop and implement the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities. Previously, Beth worked for the International Forestry and Research Institute and the General Federation oF Women’s Clubs supporting organization operations and communications. She served in the Peace Corps in Agodopke, Togo. Beth earned her undergraduate degree in Comparative Politics from the Catholic University of America and holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.
ASAP connects and supports climate adaptation professionals, while advancing innovation in the field of climate change adaptation. Through ASAP’s website, affinity groups, webinars and meetings climate adaptation leaders interact, share what’s working, collaborate with their colleagues and build essential climate resilience for communities across the country.
 
Resources:
Mar 15, 2018
Topic:
Autonomous vehicles, shared vehicle services and electric vehicles
 
Guest & Organization:
Dr. Daniel Sperling is the Blue Planet Prize Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, which oversees the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program.
He has held the transportation seat on the California Air Resources Board since 2007 (appointed by Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown) and served as Chair of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies in 2015-16. Among his many prizes are the 2013 Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation for being "a pioneer in opening up new fields of study to create more efficient, low-carbon, and environmentally beneficial transportation systems."
He served twice as lead author for the IPCC (sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), has testified 7 times to the U.S. Congress, and provided 40 keynote presentations in the past five years. He has authored or coauthored over 250 technical papers and 12 books; is widely cited in leading newspapers; has been interviewed many times on NPR, including Science Friday, Talk of the Nation, and Fresh Air; and in 2009 was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In Three Revolutions, transportation expert Dan Sperling, along with seven other leaders in the field, share research–based insights on potential public benefits and impacts of the three transportation revolutions. They describe innovative ideas and partnerships, and explore the role government policy can play in steering the new transportation paradigm toward the public interest—toward our dream scenario of social equity, environmental sustainability, and urban livability.
 
Resources:
Mar 8, 2018
Topic:
Urban revitalization and land regeneration
 
Guest & Organization:
Dekonti Mends-Cole serves as the Director of Policy for the Center for Community Progress. Prior to joining Center for Community Progress in September 2015, Dekonti worked in Detroit as the Deputy Director of Dispositions for the Detroit Land Bank Authority overseeing disposition, property management and compliance programs.  In addition, she served as a fellow with the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative embedded in the City of Detroit’s Law Department.
Dekonti brings international experience and best practice having previously worked on local economic development projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa including infrastructure investment strategies in Iraq and Zambia for the United Nations and community development projects tied to the 2012 London Olympics. She holds an MSc from London School of Economics in Urban Regeneration and Affordable Housing, a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law Center, and a BA from University of Miami in International Studies and Economics.
 
Resources:
Mar 1, 2018
Topic:
The relationship between tax and land use policies
 
Guest & Organization:
 
Joe Minicozzi is an urban planner imagining new ways to think about and visualize land use, urban design and economics. Joe founded Urban3 to break down and visualize the market dynamics created by tax and land use policies. Urban3's work is establishing new conversations across multiple sectors, policy makers, and the public to creatively address the challenges of urbanization. Urban3’s extensive studies have ranged geographically from over 30 states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
 
Joe holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami and Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University. In 2017, Joe was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists of all time.
 
 
Resources:
 
Feb 22, 2018
Topic:
Post-disaster relief efforts to rebuild and revitalize Puerto Rico
 
Guest & Organization:
Elizabeth Yeampierre is a internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. A national leader in climate justice movement, Elizabeth is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn's oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University.  She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University.
 
Resources:
Download the Island Press APP! Learn more about the APP here, and find it on Google Play and Apple App Store!
Feb 15, 2018
Topic:
Smart growth and the real estate industry
 
Guest & Organization:
Hugh Morris has practiced urban planning for twenty-five years with a focus on transportation issues.  After graduating from UCLA with a Masters in Planning, he spent five years with a transportation consulting firm working on transit plans, travel demand forecasting models, and travel surveys.  He spent the next two years working for an energy efficiency think tank where he focused on transportation issues, including investigating the real cost of our transportation system.  The next ten years were spent working with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy helping communities convert abandoned railroad corridors into hiking/biking trails.  His principle area of focus was urban trails that were used for trip making as well as recreation.  He has spent the last twelve years with the Smart Growth Program at the National Association of Realtors where he helps local Realtor associations around the country to become advocates for smart growth style development in their communities.
He has had two papers presented at and published by the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board.  Additionally, he has contributed to the American Planning Association’s publication titled “Planning and Urban Design Standards” as well as “Trails for the 21st Century: a planning, design, and management manual” published by Island Press.
 
Resources:
Feb 8, 2018

Topic:

Holistic Approaches to Climate Challenges

Guest & Organization:

Senator Bob Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District in the California State Legislature. The district stretches from southern Alameda County into Santa Clara County and shares the member’s focus on job creation, clean technologies, protecting our environment and reducing unnecessary regulations.

Mr. Wieckowski chairs the Environmental Quality Committee and Budget Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  He is also a member of the Senate committees on Judiciary; Budget and Fiscal Review; Transportation and Housing; and Ethics.  He was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem to serve on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments West and in 2017 became the first Californian to chair the committee. The Senator is a state leader in advocating for climate adaptation programs and has participated on state and regional panels examining green infrastructure investments.

A strong voice in the Legislature for consumers and low-income earners, he received the “Champion of Justice” Award from the East Bay Community Law Center for fighting against abusive debt collectors and oppressive wage garnishments.  Statewide organizations have selected him Legislator of the Year and the California Judges Association gave him its “Scales of Justice Award” for his steadfast support for increased court funding. Tech America also named him “Legislator of the Year.”

Mr. Wieckowski is a small business owner and a bankruptcy attorney.  He has helped hundreds of families and seniors persevere through economic hardship, keep their homes and live with dignity.  He received his B.A. from the University of California and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. Senator Wieckowski lives in Fremont with his wife, Sue.

Resources:

California Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Quality

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research – Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP)

California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy – January 2018 – Safeguarding California Plan

Local Government Commission 

 

Feb 1, 2018

Topic:

Wildfire recovery in wine country

Guest & Organization:

Chris Coursey grew up in a military family, and by the time he graduated from college had never lived in any city for more than three years. He came to Santa Rosa in 1980 to take a job that he thought would be a brief stop in his rising journalism career. Instead, he found a community that has sustained him for 37 years, and a city that has become his home town. He worked for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for 27 years, covering a variety of subjects and writing a column sharing his personal thoughts on a wide range of community issues. In 2007, he was hired by the SMART rail district to manage communications and community outreach in advance of the successful 2008 sales tax election. He left SMART in 2011 to establish a consulting business focusing on freelance writing and public relations. 

He was elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2014. In December 2016, he was selected by his fellow Council members to serve as Mayor. His term expires in December 2018. 

Tennis Wick has served as Sonoma County’s Permit & Resource Management Department Director since November 2013.  The agency balances environmental protection and sustainable development of Sonoma County’s natural resources through the agency’s planning, engineering, building, well and septic, code enforcement and customer service authority.   

Before joining the County of Sonoma, Wick worked as a principal at Berg Holdings responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and entitlement.  Previously, Tennis practiced as a partner at the engineering and planning consulting firm CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, Inc.  He began his career with the County of Marin where he led current planning as Development Chief.   

Wick is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (10447) and the American Planning Association.  Tennis Wick holds a Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Public Service Emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A long-time Petaluma resident, Tennis Wick has been civically active twice serving as a City Planning Commissioner and as Board President of the Friends of the Petaluma River, Petaluma Peoples Service Center and the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce.  Wick is also a member of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau and the Sonoma County Alliance. Tennis is part owner of Hen House Brewing Co.  He and his wife Holly have four grown daughters and are active in endurance sports, cooking and gardening. 

Resources:

Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Fire Recovery: www.sonomacountyrecovers.org 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Jan 25, 2018

Topic:

Supporting the next generation of young leaders

Guest & Organization:

Danielle Metzinger is a Learning and Development Specialist at CalSTRS, and serves as Membership Lead for NxtGov including administering the new NxtGov Ambassador Program. Danielle’s interest in public service led her from the nonprofit to the public sector in 2013 when she began her career at the State of California. Since then she’s collaborated on several initiatives to develop the state workforce and improve civil service. Danielle is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Organization Development from University of San Francisco.

Angelica Quirarte, “Angie,” is the Assistant Secretary for Digital Engagement at the CA Government Operations Agency (GovOps) and the founder of NxtGov. She started her career in public service as an Executive Fellow in 2013 and has been leading efforts in open data and web user-centered design through the management of data.ca.gov and ca.gov. She was part of the team that launched the Lean Academy,  partially project managed the Civil Service Improvement Initiative, and most recently helped coordinate the creation of the new Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Angie was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and migrated to the Bay Area with her parents and two younger brothers when she was 10 years old. She has a BA in History of Public Policy from UC Santa Barbara.

Resources:

NxtGov

Local Government Commission

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Topic:

Homelessness and water resource protection

Guest & Organization:

Mike Antos is a Senior Watershed Manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, facilitating the One Water One Watershed program and leading engagement with members of disadvantaged communities for collaborative watershed management. Mike holds a PhD in Geography from UCLA where he remains a member of the Water Resources Group of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is on the advisory board of the Loyola-Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience, a founding board member of the Mediterranean Cities Climate Change Consortium, and is a Fellow of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation. Mike serves as co-chair of the American Water Resources Association Integrated Water Resources Management technical committee, and sits on the Technical Advisory Council of California’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program.

Resources:

Infinite Earth Radio Episode 106: Water and Homelessness with Mike Antos 

One Water One Watershed 

Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Jan 11, 2018

The intersection of homelessness and water management 

Guest & Organization:

Mike Antos is a Senior Watershed Manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, facilitating the One Water One Watershed program and leading engagement with members of disadvantaged communities for collaborative watershed management. Mike holds a PhD in Geography from UCLA where he remains a member of the Water Resources Group of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is on the advisory board of the Loyola-Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience, a founding board member of the Mediterranean Cities Climate Change Consortium, and is a Fellow of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation. Mike serves as co-chair of the American Water Resources Association Integrated Water Resources Management technical committee, and sits on the Technical Advisory Council of California’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program.

Resources:

One Water One Watershed 

Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Local Government Commission 

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

Jan 4, 2018

Yes in my back yard (YIMBY)

Guest & Organization:

Sonja Trauss is the founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation – an unincorporated club of pro-building, pro-density renters. Born and raised by a labor and delivery nurse and legal aid attorney in Philadelphia, PA, Trauss learned at an early age the importance of representing the city's most vulnerable populations. 

As an undergraduate at Temple University, she worked for the local Neighborhood Advisory Committee, where she first learned about the mechanics of municipal government. During the financial crisis, she worked as a paralegal for Philadelphia Legal Assistance, helping to defend low income homeowners from foreclosure. She earned her master’s degree in economics in 2011 at Washington University in St. Louis where she then relocated to the Bay Area. As a renter – in El Cerrito and West Oakland, and now in Soma (South of Mission) – she has experienced the Bay Area's housing and transit issues. 

Trauss started the San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation (SFBARF) in 2014 as a response to the anti-growth, anti-newcomer mindset driving housing prices higher in the Bay. Higher housing prices displace many of the most vulnerable long-term residents, making it harder for people to move there, and increase the cost of living for everyone. SFBARF has been nationally recognized as a pioneer in the YIMBY movement to densify our cities, and drive housing prices lower by increasing the number of available houses. 

Trauss is currently running for supervisor and aims to raise her son in a neighborhood that's greener, denser, more pedestrian-friendly, inclusive and more welcoming for everyone, regardless of their origins or present condition.

Resources:

YIMBY Action 

California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA) 

Sonja Trauss for Supervisor 2018 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Dec 28, 2017

The dignifying power of design

Guest & Organization:

An architect by training, John Cary has devoted his career to expanding the practice of design for the public good. John's first book was The Power of Pro Bono and his writing on design, philanthropy, and fatherhood has appeared in The New York Times, CNN, and numerous other publications. John works as an advisor to an array of foundations and nonprofits around the world and frequently curates and hosts events for TED, The Aspen Institute, and other entities. Deeply committed to diversifying the public stage, he is a founding partner in FRESH, a next-generation speaker’s bureau that represents young women and people of color. For seven years, John served as executive director of nonprofit Public Architecture, building the largest pro bono design program in the world, pledging tens of millions of dollars in donated services annually. 

Resources:

Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone by John Cary 

Island Press Urban Resilience Project 

Download the Island Press APP! Learn more about the APP here, and find it on Google Play and Apple App Store

Dec 21, 2017

Topic:

Adapting to a changing climate 

Guest & Organization:

Ellie Cohen, President and CEO of Point Blue Conservation Science since 1999, is a leader in catalyzing collaborative, nature-based solutions to climate change, habitat loss and other environmental challenges. She and Point Blue’s 160 scientists work with natural resource managers, ranchers, farmers, local governments and others to reduce the impacts of environmental change and develop climate-smart conservation approaches to benefit wildlife and people.  

Ellie is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Observer Organization representative for Point Blue. She is Immediate Past Chair and Steering Committee member of the CA Landscape Conservation Cooperative, an invited member of the SF Bay Area's Resilient by Design Research Advisory Committee, and co-founder of the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium.  Ellie was honored with the Bay Nature 2012 Environmental Hero Award for her climate change leadership.  

Ellie received her undergraduate degree in Botany with honors at Duke University and an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she was honored with the first Robert F. Kennedy Public Service Award. She speaks regularly on the urgent need to include nature-based approaches in the climate change solutions toolbox. 

Learn More about Ellie and her work here.  

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts. 

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts. 

Resources:

Infinite Earth Radio Episode 096: Bonn Chance with Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists 

City Climate Planner from the World Bank 

City Climate Planner Certificate Program 

Carbon-Free City Handbook (a publication released at COP23 at the UN 2017 climate conference in Bonn, Germany that helps city staff implement climate policies and actions that resolutely place their communities on an aggressive path toward sustainable, low-carbon economies)  

Point Blue Conservation Science 

Climate Resolve 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Dec 13, 2017

Dwayne S. Marsh serves as Vice President of Institutional and Sectoral Change at the new Race Forward. The new Race Forward is the union of two leading racial justice non-profit organizations: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI). He also serves Deputy Director of Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE), a core program of the new Race Forward. 

Prior to GARE/Race Forward, Marsh was, for six years, a senior advisor in the Office of Economic Resilience (OER) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he helped advance sustainable planning and development through interagency partnerships, departmental transformation, and funding initiatives managed through OER. He was OER’s principal coordinator for a $250 million grant program and led the development of capacity building resources that reinforced the work of pioneering grantees in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Under his leadership, OER prioritized equity as a foundational principal for its planning and investment initiatives. 

Marsh brings to GARE/Race Forward his expertise and considerable experience in coalition building for regional equity and leadership development for policy change. He provides technical assistance and capacity building knowledge to equitable development initiatives that address continuing disparities in affordable housing, transportation investment, and environmental justice. 

Before HUD, Marsh spent a decade at PolicyLink, the national organization committed to economic and social equity. Before PolicyLink, he directed the FAITHS Initiative for eight years at The San Francisco Foundation, building a nationally renowned community development and capacity building program that continues to this day. 

Resources:

Race Forward  

Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) 

Local Government Commission  

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018 

Dec 7, 2017

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.

Resources:

Infinite Earth Radio – Climate Adaptation Series with Steve Frisch and Jonathan Parfrey

  •  Episode 36 – Part 1
  •  Episode 37 – Part 2
  •  Episode 38 – Part 3
  •  Episode 39 – Part 4

Sierra Business Council

Local Government Commission

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

Nov 30, 2017

Celebrating our 100th episode by kicking off the conversation about the upcoming New Partners for Smart Conference

Guest & Organization:

Matthew Dalbey is the Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities. The Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC) supports locally led, community-driven efforts to revitalize local economies and attain better environmental and human health outcomes. OSC collaborates with other EPA programs; federal agencies; regional, state, and local governments; and a broad array of nongovernmental and private-sector partners to help communities become stronger, healthier, and more livable. OSC helps to meet communities at their needs by collaborating with other agencies and programs to use federal resources effectively and efficiently and better leverage public and private investment. This work directly supports EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, contributing to clean air, clean water and other important goals in communities all across the country.

To help communities learn about and implement development strategies that protect human health and the environment, create economic opportunities, and provide attractive and affordable neighborhoods, the Office of Sustainable Communities:

Resources:

EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities

Local Government Commission

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

Nov 23, 2017

How wildfires will shape our future

Guest & Organization:

Edward Struzik is an award-winning writer and photographer. His previous books include Firestorm, Future Arctic, Arctic Icons, and The Big Thaw, among others. A fellow at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, his numerous accolades include the prestigious Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and the Sir Sandford Fleming Medal, awarded for outstanding contributions to the understanding of science. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Learn More About Ed

In Firestorm, journalist Edward Struzik visits scorched earth from Alaska to Maine, and introduces the scientists, firefighters, and resource managers making the case for a radically different approach to managing wildfire in the 21st century. Wildfires can no longer be treated as avoidable events because the risk and dangers are becoming too great and costly. Struzik weaves a heart-pumping narrative of science, economics, politics, and human determination and points to the ways that we, and the wilder inhabitants of the forests around our cities and towns, might yet flourish in an age of growing megafires.

Resources:

“Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future”

Island Press Urban Resilience Project

Download the Island Press APP! Learn more about the APP here, and find it on Google Play and Apple App Store!

Nov 16, 2017

Topic:

The role of sports in increasing social mobility and improving communities

Guest & Organization:

Lisa Wrightsman is the Regional Program Manager of Street Soccer USA Sacramento and the Founder and Coach of Sacramento Lady Salamanders. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a concentration in Digital Video from California State University, Sacramento. She was a member of the University's NCAA Division I Women's Soccer team and currently holds multiple program records as well as recognition as a member of the All-Decade team. After college she played over five years of semi professional soccer for the Elk Grove Pride.

Today her passion for soccer is seen in her social entrepreneurship initiatives with Street Soccer USA; a nationwide non-profit that uses soccer to break the cycle of homelessness and domestic abuse. Lisa is the founder and current Director and Coach of Street Soccer USA’s Sacramento Lady Salamanders. She started this program in 2010 and has since seen tremendous results and growth of the program as it has proven to successfully reverse the effects of addiction and domestic violence in 92% of team participants. Street Soccer USA uses this team platform to create a training curriculum of job preparation, life skills, and other specialized services, ultimately connecting participants directly to jobs, education, and housing.

Lisa was recognized in 2015, as one of Sacramento Business Journal’s top 40 Under 40 young professionals. She is a Senior Fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leader’s Program. Since 2010 Lisa has coached the USA Women’s Street Soccer team at the Homeless World Cup and in 2016 was selected as Women's Coach of the Tournament. Most recently Lisa was selected as a 2016 Change-Maker by TEDx Sacramento where she shared her story of resilience, hope, and how to be a catalyst for change

Resources:

Street Soccer USA

Local Government Commission

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

Nov 9, 2017

Topic:

Making the connection between planning and public health

Guest & Organization:

Anna Ricklin, AICP is the Manager of the Planning and Community Health Center at the American Planning Association (APA) in Washington, D.C. Anna works with APA members and partners to research, educate, and promote planning practice that improves public health through increased physical activity, healthy eating, and access to health and human services. With a background in public health, transportation planning, and nutrition, Anna is an emerging leader in applied research, strategic planning, and coalition building for healthy communities. She has worked in the fields of health impact assessment, community outreach and active transportation, including transit and bicycle planning. She has a MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in Anthropology from American University.

The Planning and Community Health Center leads the first nationwide program linking public health and planning practice. Community design directly effects human health. Development patterns, zoning, and land use impact walkability and transportation options, access to services, the availability of healthy foods, and vulnerability to hazards. Planners can help create places that offer choices for everyone to be healthy and safe. APA’s Planning and Community Health Center provides tools and technical support to members so they can integrate health into planning practice at all levels. Areas of focus include active living, healthy eating, and health in all planning policies. They implement their aims through applied research, place-based investment, and education.

Resources:

American Planning Association’s Planning and Community Health Center

Local Government Commission

2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference– February 1-3, 2018

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