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July 9, 2013 Meeting Summary

Demi Espinoza, Coalition of Communities of Color
Claudia Arana-Colen, Upstream Public Health
Rose High Bear,Wisdom Council of the Elders
Kristey Nguyen, APANO
Duncan Hwang , APANO
Les Shannon, Groundwork Portland
Vivian Satterfield, OPAL
Bill Beamer, BPS
Faduma Ahmed-Ali, CAP Steering Committee Member
Kari Lyons-Eubanks, Multnomah County Health Department

Project Staff:
Tim Lynch –MultnomahCounty, Program Coordinator
Michele Crim – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Program Manager
Ingrid Fish – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Policy & Research Analyst
Desiree Williams-Rajee – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Equity Specialist

Meeting Logistics: 
The group decided to change the routine meeting date to every other Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 PM at the Multnomah County Building. The Q&A conference calls will also take place every other Wednesday on the weeks in which there are no in-person meetings.  

Project Assumptions Discussion:
The Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a joint City of Portland and Multnomah County plan. The primary audience for the CAP is City and County staff, elected officials & decision makers.  The CAP includes a list of actions that are intended to be accomplished over the next three years. 

The actions included in the CAP either align with the work of the City or County or relate to areas in which the City and County have influence. For example, the City and County have some ability to influence a State decision to change the building codes.

The CAP is predominately focused on reducing local carbon emissions. The plan also includes a chapter about climate adaptation/preparation. This section of the plan discusses the things we need to do to prepare for Climate change. 

There are opportunities to achieve more equitable outcomes from the CAP actions. We would like this group to help identity ways to achieve more equitable outcomes.

City and County Staff initially had a long laundry list of actions we could do to achieve carbon emission reductions. Staff is currently working to prioritize the actions and to shorten the laundry list.  It is fine for the Equity Work Group to come up with new actions and/or new ideas. If the action or idea is not a good fit for the CAP Plan we will hold on to the idea even if we can’t move forward with it this time around.

Work Plan/Timeline:
Desiree distributed an Equity Group work plan for the next two months that includes major benchmarks. The Equity Work Group meetings are highlighted in green, pink indicates the work that will need to be done between meetings, blue represents Steering Committee meetings, the date the Equity Scan will be available from the consultant is in light blue, purple shows the dates that we are going to try to get meeting notes back to you. The pink section of the work plan indicates Equity Group work and the yellow is staff work.  We are also setting up a question & answer phone call to answer questions folks may have between the in-person meetings.  This is an opportunity for Equity Work Group members to get answers to technical questions, etc. This is not a mandatory meeting it is resource for you.  If possible we prefer for you to email your question prior to the Q&A session so that we can get information from the technical experts before the Q&A session.

Review Homework Template:
We have created a worksheet to help Equity Work Group members review the climate plan actions. These worksheets will be collected after each discussion and the worksheet content will inform the 50% draft that is due in September. The 50% draft will include a complete list of CAP actions and will go to Steering Committee members for review.   

The Equity Work Group will see the 50% draft prior to the Steering Committee. Therefore, we will have two meetings in a row in September to ensure there is enough time to review the entire list of actions. Next there will be a week break between in-person meetings. The next meetings (post-September) will focus on the narrative for the CAP document.

There is a typo in the work plan. The 50% draft meeting will be on Wed. instead of Tues. The next Equity group meeting, after the 50% draft meeting, will be Oct. 9.  Desiree will update the work plan and send it to everyone.

Equity Work Group members will be expected to work through various CAP sections on the worksheet in order to prepare for the meeting discussion. The group will discuss a few sections of the CAP at each meeting. 

Desiree presented an example of the worksheet which lists actions from several sections of the CAP and includes areas to comment on each action as it relates to a variety of equity questions.

A member of the Equity Work Group said that it would be helpful to see the existing action versus the proposed action on the worksheet. Staff agreed to include the existing actions on the worksheets.  

The goal of the worksheet is not to fill in every square. The group is asked to please complete the ones they feel are most relevant. Staff hopes the group will comment on as many actions as possible because the input from these worksheets will help the CAP to become better finished product.

The group was asked to please let us know if they would like to make adjustments to the categories. The Wednesday phone call would be a good time to let us know.

Take Away Messages from the Community Organization Grantee Orientation Meeting on June 20th:

  • The group would like the option to attend Steering Committee Meetings.
  • The group would like to make sure that the information that is being translated from the Equity Work Group to the Steering Committee is either delivered by an Equity Work Group member or reviewed by the group prior to going to the Steering Committee.
  • The group would like to know how the CAP will influence other jurisdictions.

Discussion of Equity/4P Exercise:
Desiree and Tim led the group through the 4Ps exercise to help the group start thinking about the type of questions they will be asking through out this process.

The 4 Ps represent: People, Place, Process and Power  – Within a justice framework People and Place represent distributive justice (who is getting resources, and where are they going?), Process represents Procedural Justice (what opportunities do those who are impacted have to engage in decision-making?), and Power represents restorative justice (How are resources distributed? What does accountability and responsibility look like?). When we understand these different types of Justice we understand what we seek to achieve with equity.

Equity Work Group members split into small groups and each group was asked to identify equity related questions about people, place, process, and power for a specific objective in the CAP.  For example, Implement the Urban Tree Plan is an objective from the CAP.  This objective is a carbon reduction action as well as a metric. The groups where asked: What are the questions you would ask to ensure equitable outcomes of this action?

Group Comments from the Exercise

  • Who is already doing the work? 
  • Who is getting the resources?
  • What is the importance of farming, green space, or land to different cultures? 
  • What is the historical tree trauma? 
    • Where has tree canopy been lost due to development? 
    • Understanding the history is going to be really important. 
  • The average citywide tree canopy is 33% but the tree canopy differs by neighborhood.  We need to look at the tree canopy distribution in individual neighborhoods.
    • Create GIS maps so we can see where the tree cover is and look at the relationship to asthma etc.
  • What existing trees are at risk and where are they? 
  • Community Based Participatory Research:
    • How do we shift funding from the government to the community so that the community is the convener?
    • How do we involve the community early in the process?
  • How do we define success? 
  • How do we engage community in the green space design? 
  • What is the community relationship to the land?
  • How are we reaching out to people in a way that is culturally competent?
  • What does the tree cover mean when we talk about issues of equity?  Who does it impact?
  • What opportunities exist to create urban canopy and who could do that work? 
    • Have community based organizations involved in working with the City to make sure that this work is happening and to ensure that the community is connected.
    • Opportunity to employ MWESBs.
    • Who will maintain the trees?
  • Have a “the chain is only as strong as its weakest link” accountability goal. 
    • Create performance measurements to look at the areas with the greatest disparities and look at how we are progressing to reach our goals.
  • Prioritize trees in areas that underserved communities can access.
  • Mandate that organizations that cut down trees plant trees in an underrepresented neighborhood.
  • What is the criteria and process for deciding where to plant trees?
  • How is tree planting funded?
  • How do organizations that plant trees choose where they are going to plant, (ie. Friends of Trees)?
  • How is the community involved in the decision making?
  • How comfortable are City and County agencies with change?
    • BPS spent a dozen years trying to convince the City that it needs to be more sustainable, we’ve done it before and we will do it again. 

Introduction to Upcoming CAP Sections to be Reviewed:
Michele outlined the first group of CAP sections that the group will focus on over the next two weeks:

  • Urban Forestry & Natural Systems
    • Examples in this section include: tree planting, restoration of natural areas, removal of invasive species, protected areas, etc.
  • Food & Agriculture
    • High carbon food = red meat.
    • Food access/local food.
  • Local Government Operations
    • Are the City & County walking the talk in terms of our own buildings and operations? 

The Objectives will not change at this time but if you have feedback regarding the objectives please let us know.

A member of the group requested an overview on why certain sections were included in the CAP.  Staff will work to address this question.

Equity Work Group Roles/Responsibilities/Logistics:
Please come to the next meeting with the worksheet completed.  We will have a mid-term check-in so you can see how your feedback has been incorporated into the draft. 

The timeline for the Equity Work Group commitment goes until the beginning of November.   The final draft of the CAP will not be completed by November.  We will make the final draft available to the group and keep you in the loop.

After you receive the template and read through the actions, feel free to ask us questions that will help you provide input.  Your input will be considered by staff as they finalize the CAP document.  Your job is to ask challenging questions to help us work through equity related issues.  You do not need to solve the issues.  Technical staff will also attend future meetings so they are available to answer questions and hear input from the group.

We would like to hear about general CAP equity issues through out the County but most of the plan focuses on issues within Portland. 

General Logistics:
Amanda Kelly Lopez will be a member of the Equity Work Group and will represent Wisdom of Elders along with Rose High Bear.

Please let staff know if there is a need for maps.

A member of the group requested a map of the most current poverty census data. Staff committed to give the group a few baseline maps.

Tim and Desiree are going to create a Google Group so that everyone can see resources, articles, etc. at one time. 

Grant Logistics:
We’d like to have a 15 min check-in with Grantees after each meeting to talk about grant logistics.

Tim Lynch is the point of contact for APANO, Upstream Public Health and OPAL.

Desiree Williams-Rajee is the point of contact for Wisdom of Elders, CCC and Groundwork Portland.

CAP Steering Committee:
The next Steering Committee meeting is on Thursday, July 11th. Equity Work Group members are welcome to attend and we will make notes available to the group. 

There maybe additional Steering Committee members attending Equity Group meetings depending on the topic.