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July 17, 2013 Meeting Notes from Technical Q&A Call


Staff: Desiree Williams-Rajee (BPS), Michele Crim (BPS), Steve Cohen (Food Policy Program Manager, BPS)

EQWG: Rose High Bear (Wisdom Council of the Elders), Linda Nettekoven (CAP Steering Committee, Claudia Arana-Colen (Upstream Public Health), Bill Beamer (BPS), Rachael Hoy (BPS).




  • What is food waste? Any food that is not consumed. The EPA has a hierarchy of action to prevent food waste: was noted that both objectives in the Food and Agriculture section (5) address consumption, but are separate from the Consumption and Solid Waste section (3). The actions within the food chapter are more focused on food waste prevention than diversion and management, but the separation of the two topics was acknowledged to be confusing.  
  • Food caterers and food waste: are there are new strategies to address capturing food waste from catered events Metro is most likely to turn over the Fork it Over program to PSU.
  • How much should the CAP Updates inform our analysis? The CAP Update documents are not comprehensive documents. They are highlights of information that have happened since the plan was adopted, but do not effectively tell the whole story. They can give some context in terms of what has been done in the past and the focus of policies and programs. This project is more focused on the future actions and whether or not we are setting ourselves up for success particularly around equity.
  •  Where are we starting from with our current baseline metrics? For carbon metrics, some sections did a better job; like in buildings and energy, metrics were more explicit. In Urban Forestry and Food and Agriculture, metrics have not been clear in the past. Towards October, staff will bring the narratives to the group for review which will have new proposed ideas for metrics.
  •  Can we review various geographies for which areas need support? Rentership, Low-income communities, density, and demographic maps will be made available to the group. We can create maps that currently show things like urban forest canopy. One of our challenges is to figure out where it’s ok to have a broad citywide statement versus a more specific statement to highlight addressing a specific a need within the plan. One option is considering how we can use the narratives to provide more specificity about how to implement the actions.
  •  Can the City purchase specific properties for natural lands? Actions in the plan may not necessarily identify a specific plot of land, but may include an action that includes land acquisition. If there are priorities that we can identify, that can help to direct the implementation of the action.
  •  Question for BES: How does equity currently factor into the acquisition of natural areas? Do Communities of Color/Low-income Populations have access to these areas, and is that a consideration?
  •  Are we mapping what space for trees we are losing as we get more dense?Are there maps available that show trends of heat island and opportunity for tree planting? This may let us know if there needs to be a strategy focused on creating additional space for trees based on whether or not there is enough space available in areas of need. Some of this might be available from what was done in the creation of the tree code. Roberta Jortner and Morgan Tracy at BPS may have this information. (Michele and Desiree to follow-up). Can the updates include specific tracking of outcomes for equity related goals? Yes, looking for ideas from the EQWG on what are some things that we should be tracking, both at a high-level, but also at the implementation level.
  •  Does 16,000 trees get us to the one-third goal?  Does it allow for some overplanting to improve success rates? Not sure. This will be a good question to ask BES.
  •  Could there another action in Urban Forestry directed towards partnerships? This seems like a reasonable addition, and another good question to pose to BES in the next EQWG meeting.
  •  Is there a need to add an action to review existing local gov't service locations?  While this section focuses on improving city/county operations to reduce carbon emissions, is there a risk of consolidating services that would require some communities to have to travel further to obtain necessary services?  This is currently not addressed and an important equity consideration.
  • Are there structures in place to hold government accountable to fulfill these actions? What is the monitoring and accountability system? There is a system, but it doesn’t show up specifically in the actions. In the resolution that adopted the plan it directed the bureaus to fulfill their responsibilities in the plan, and then the progress report documents which actions have been completed or not yet completed. This report goes to council. So far this has been an effective tool to document what is and is not being done. This process will continue, but it will be important to consider whether or not there or other systems of accountability, particularly with additional partners and stakeholders that will need to be considered.