CAP Update: Sweetwater Community Meeting
As part of the public involvement process for the Climate Action Plan Update (CAP Update), the County of San Diego (County) is conducting intentional engagement within Environmental Justice Communities (EJCs) to gather input and recommendations for the Climate Action Plan. EJCs are designated and defined in the San Diego County’s Environmental Justice Element.
On October 26, 2021, the County hosted a meeting in the Sweetwater community, the first of multiple meetings to reach EJCs in San Diego County.
The meeting was organized and conducted to accomplish the following objectives:
- Create a comfortable, engaging environment where all participants have an opportunity to provide meaningful input.
- Promote dialogue and build connections with stakeholders to explore climate change in their community.
- Obtain input, with a focus on the Sweetwater community, to be used in helping to develop the Climate Action Plan Update and identify any concerns and additional ideas.
- Provide an overview of the Climate Action Plan Update in a clear and easy to understand way, including the purpose, process, outcomes, timeline, and future opportunities to provide input.
- Explore opportunities and challenges related to greenhouse gas reduction measures that may be considered for the Climate Action Plan Update.
The meeting was a “drop-in” event where community members could arrive at any time during the two-hour event to participate in the activities.
The activities took place in a series of five booths staffed by County project team members, including Welcome & Orientation; Tell Us About Your Community; Climate Change in San Diego County; What is the Climate Action Plan?; and What would work in your community?
At these booths, community members spoke with project team members and were invited to share their perspectives.
The activities were designed to help the County learn more about the Sweetwater community and to hear community members’ perspectives about climate change and potential actions to reduce greenhouse gases.
Interpreters were in attendance for community members whose primary language is Spanish and Tagalog. The meeting materials were also offered in Spanish and Tagalog.
Major themes from the input received from participants are listed below.
- A number of participants shared that education on sustainability related topics such as community power, sustainability, and waste management are among their top priorities.
- Many participants emphasized the importance of improving transportation: from the widespread adoption of electric vehicles to enhancements in public transportation and safety to aligning greenhouse gas emission goals with toll roads.
- Some participants expressed changing current zoning designations for their community.
- Multiple participants identified climate change impacts affecting their community, including water conservation and illnesses from air pollution.
- Some participants identified potential ideas for the Climate Action Plan Update, including electric vehicles, reducing tolls, increasing bike safety, and moving towards a carbon-free county.
- Strategies related to solid waste, water and wastewater, and agriculture and conservation were all identified as potential solutions to address climate change in Sweetwater. Several participants highlighted regenerative agriculture, desalination, and the use of greywater, composting, and bringing back a County recycling center.
You can find the full summary of the Sweetwater Community Meeting here.
Would you like to learn more about the County’s Climate Action Plan Update?
We are offering presentations to community groups, residents, business owners, employees, and other stakeholders in the unincorporated county who would like to learn about the CAP Update and provide feedback.