The Santa Monica Community College District board of trustees endorsed the Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan Monday, May 9th.
Trustees also agreed to support efforts by the City of Santa Monica Sustainable City Task Force to implement the goals of the plan.
“We have a number of environmental initiatives and classes,” said Nancy Greenstein, vice chair of the board of trustees. “The city has a lot of resources and we have a lot of resources.
“This is something we are committed to and we are doing our share.”
The plan was adopted in 1994 and updated in 2003 by the Santa Monica City Council.
The plan includes eight goals for city government and community groups to reach.
Sustainability does not just focus on the environment.
According to the plan, sustainability means “to conserve and enhance our local resources, safeguard human health and the environment, maintain a healthy and diverse economy, and improve the livability and quality of life for all community members in Santa Monica.”
The eight goals are:
n resource conservation;
n environmental and public health;
n economic development;
n open space and land use;
n community education and civic participation; and
n human dignity.
The City Council established the Sustainable City Task Force last year to implement the plan by bringing together various community groups to talk about what people can do to achieve the eight goals.
“We must protect our environment because it is the foundation of biological life,” said Sandy Grant, chair of the task force. “We don’t want to do it [protect the environment] at the expense of having a prosperous economy.
“Things should be integrated and that is what the idea of sustainability is all about.”
Task force members have also discussed the plan with the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Environmental Affairs Committee.
Grant noted that all power in the City of Santa Monica is derived from “green” sources and that Santa Monica has become famous for its environmental programs. Grant complimented Santa Monica College for using a parking lot-to-campus shuttle bus service and encouraging the use of bicycles.
Trustees unanimously endorsed the plan and in the future may appoint two representatives from Santa Monica College to join a task force committee.
“My personal favorite in the plan’s list of goals is the economic development goal of nurturing a diverse and stable local economy,” said trustee Rob Rader. “This goal ties in nicely with the workforce mission of community colleges.
“Small and local businesses are where our graduates often end up working.”
Grant said the economic development goal is a target for the first phase of implementing the plan.
“We have already been talking to businesses and business organizations about their resource conservation and pollution prevention methods,” Grant said.
“The soil is ripe here in Santa Monica and in Santa Monica College to implement these sustainable goals,” said trustee Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison.