Re: Climate … Where do Austin's Best Ideas Come From?

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About one year ago, super-talented reporter Katherine Gregor wrote a short for the Austin Chronicle on how Mayor Wynn could get his Climate Program on track. The program at that time was turning 2 and moving slowly. I discovered this short a couple of weeks ago (a sidebar from a larger article) – and was struck by how powerful Katherine's ideas are today, one year later…

Distilled from her points:

Wynn did:

• (Help) Get council to support a city sustainability director position in the 2010-2011 budget.

• Express official council support for a climate-friendly city purchasing policy.

• Ask Mayor Leffingwell to continue climate protection efforts.

Wynn didn't:

• Instigate a comprehensive council review of progress toward meeting Austin Climate policy goals.

• Formally link the city's land-use and transportation policy to its greenhouse-gas reduction goals.

• Bring the climate protection office more fully into the city organization.

• Direct that council receive a quantitative ACPP report at least biannually.

• Express council support for making greenhouse-gas emission reductions and energy efficiency a performance measure for all city departments.

• Direct staff to utilize long-range, life-cycle costing in evaluating all proposed initiatives that can lower the city's greenhouse-gas emissions.

• Establish clear regional leadership by starting an intergovernmental climate protection group.


No doubt Mayor Wynn and staff did a lot for Austin. A very sincere big thanks to them and all city employees for millions of hours of hard work on many, many fronts. But, today the City treats climate protection as a third or fourth tier priority. Perhaps a good way to get focused is for Mayor Leffingwell to state his 10 objectives for how he will lead and help “make Austin the leading city in the nation in the fight against climate change.”



  • To get more involved in the community discussion on Austin's climate protection, check out Bang The Table or this successful, ongoing petition for more leadership.

    Bang the Table:…

    Climate Petition:…

  • Katherine Gregor's original article: “Securing Climate Protection: 10 things Mayor Wynn could do now” Austin Chronicle, April 17, 2009.…
  • On Feb 15, 2007, Austin City Council stated, “Austin will become the leading city in the nation…” in resolution 20070215-023.


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