Los Gatos is a leader among cities on environmental issues as evidenced by many awards and commendations. The Town recently adopted the Silicon Valley Clean Energy recommendations for Reach Codes which will gradually move residential and commercial power sourcing toward electric over gas. Councilman Rob Rennie previously served on the board of directors for Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Councilwoman Marico Sayoc currently serves on their board.
However, the Sustainability Plan was adopted in 2012 and needs to be revisited. We have not re-calculated our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHE) since that time when they were estimated at 381,640 MTCO2e/Year. Development of the North 40 removed an orchard which previously improved the GHE numbers, so there is catch-up work to be done. The Town needs to invest in electric vehicles and adopt a goal to become all-electric by 2030. Additionally, the Town has invested significantly in solar energy but should have a goal of solar installations at 100% of facilities where feasible and with an estimated positive ROI.
Town staff indicates that there is sustainability work happening in each Town department. However, since environmentalism is so critical to the future of the planet, Heidi Owens will advocate for better aggregation of data, regular reporting of total spending on sustainability, and detailed reports on progress against GHE goals.
While transportation is the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, ranching is also a notable source of methane production. To reduce this emission, we all need to eat less meat. Heidi supports efforts by the Town's public outreach team to encourage residents to adopt "Meatless Monday", as well as collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce to create vegan and vegetarian awareness in the Town's restaurant menu options and through special promotions.
Heidi Owens participated in the Youth Climate Strike, is a member of Go Green Los Gatos, is a member of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, served as a Town of Los Gatos Commissioner on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, and is an inaugural member of the newly forming Los Gatos chapter of 350 Silicon Valley. Please contact Kira Barsten if you're interested in joining. She has been endorsed by the Silicon Valley League of Conservation Voters and the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club.