By Pavan Potti
DAVIS — Cool Davis, an educational organization aimed at promoting environmental sustainability in Davis, celebrated their 10-year anniversary during the Jan. 19 City Council meeting.
In a presentation to the City Council, Michael McCormick, Cool Davis board president, and Chris Granger, a board member, detailed the growth of the organization over the previous decade and where they project to be after the next.
McCormick and Granger shared how Cool Davis initially formed from the Climate Adaptation Plan in 2010. Since then, the group has been engaged in the community through campaigns and coalitions.
According to McCormick, the main goal of Cool Davis has been to reduce household emissions from the 27,000 plus homes in Davis by 75 percent. McCormick said the process is moving in the right direction. McCormick additionally said that 43 percent of residential emissions are from individual transportation and 25 percent are from building energy.
Granger shared how Cool Davis started off a decade ago by arranging a series of festivals, all of which were filled with music, food and creative arts. The focus of the festivals was on greenhouse gas reductions. Cool Davis put the festivals on in partnership with Davis staff, and after the festivals were over, 150 volunteers joined the organization.
Granger stated how Cool Davis currently has six working groups and 1,500 members. They also have coalitions where interfaith conferences, advocacy activity, and almost 30 meeting workshops per year have occurred. Additionally, Granger said this strong coalition allowed Cool Davis to have at its highest point 80 partnerships.
Granger then moved on to the campaigns run by Cool Davis. These campaigns allow citizens to register their eco-friendly items with the organization and get information on them. Granger detailed three campaigns in particular: the Rooftop Solar Campaign, the Electric Vehicle Campaign, and the Make a Plan (Home Heating and Cooling) Campaign.
The Rooftop Solar Campaign, designed to advocate using renewable energy sources, has been a big success. As of Oct. 31, 2020, Cool Davis had 4,102 rooftop solar systems in service, a number very close to the group’s goal of 4,500.
The Electric Vehicle Campaign, according to Granger, has seen signs of progress as well. After hosting 23 show and tell events as well as five ride and drive events, 1,857 vehicles have been registered. Granger added that while the group had aimed at 2,500 vehicle registrations by the end of 2020, COVID-19 delayed their goal.
Campaign work had been the biggest expenditure for Cool Davis over the past decade andGranger assured the Council that she only sees more local participation moving forward.
Concluding their presentation, both board members said they were optimistic for the group’s future. They said they also now aim to connect more with climate youth and support Yolo climate emergency coalition work. Furthermore, both board members were excited to connect with current and emerging regional partners about collective action opportunities.
Cool Davis signed off by stating that there continues to be a sense of urgency in their purpose as climate impact has continued to grow. Seeking members who are also passionate about the environment, McCormick and Granger encouraged people to reach out to the group to become a part of their expanding movement.