Electricity use is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area. Therefore, improving energy efficiency and transitioning to cleaner sources of energy can help mitigate the inequitable effects of climate change and pollution in the Bay Area. Community Choice Aggregation or CCA—a system which allows cities and counties in California to aggregate the buying power of individuals in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts—is one tool that can help achieve these objectives. Advocates claim that a CCA, if structured properly, can reduce green house gas emissions and pollution in the region and create quality jobs locally by retaining the billions of dollars Bay Area residents spend on electricity every year. In this session, we brought together elected officials, government staff, energy policy experts, labor groups and environmental justice advocates from around the region to examine the potential benefits of CCA, the challenges communities face in creating such networks, and the strategies low-income communities and communities of color can utilize to overcome them.
Paul Fenn is CEO of Local Power Inc., an energy services bureau helping America's cities and counties accelerate the deployment of competitively-priced, utility-scale, privately-operated clean energy projects. Fenn is the author of California's 2002 Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) law (AB 117), which allows cities to develop local, utility-scale clean energy infrastructure, financed with tax-free municipal bonds. Fenn was co-author and consultant on similar Community Choice energy laws in Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Most recently, Fenn was primary author of San Francisco's Community Choice Draft Implementation Plan and H Bond Program, which established a framework to provide competitive energy supply for 360 megawatts of solar, wind, efficiency and conservation technologies to make San Francisco 51% clean-powered by 2017.
Shawn Marshall was elected to the Mill Valley City Council in 2005 and served as the City’s mayor in 2008. Prior to her term on the Council, Shawn worked as a consultant to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and as a community investment advisor and public affairs manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Shawn is president of the League of California Cities North Bay Division, which represents the interests of 31 bay area cities in Sacramento. She is incoming vice-chair of Marin County Council of Mayors and Council members (MCCMC) and serves on MCCMC’s Legislative Committee as well. She is an alternate executive board member of the Association of Bay Area Governments and was recently appointed vice chair of Marin’s newest joint powers agency, Marin Energy Authority. Shawn was born and raised in Southern Marin and is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and a Class 36 graduate of the Environmental Forum’s Sustainable Earth program.
John Rizzo is a technology writer and author, and currently serves as the Vice President of the San Francisco Community College District Board of Trustees, where he chairs the Board's Facilities, Infrastructure, and Technology Committee and serves as a member of the Budget Committee. Rizzo is a leader of several environmental initiatives, including a District-wide Sustainability Plan that sets green standards District operations and building projects, including one of San Francisco’s first LEED Gold-certified green buildings. Rizzo also led an effort to create a green-jobs training program for disadvantaged communities and at-risk youth. In 2008, John won a commendation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his work in environmental advocacy in keeping fossil fuel power plants out of low-income neighborhoods and for promoting clean energy technologies. John is former chair of the Sierra Club’s Bay Area chapter, currently serves on the chapter’s Executive Board, and is the political chair. For over ten years, John was a commissioner on the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority. Rizzo holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Rutgers University.
Joshua Arce is the Executive Director of Brightline Defense Project, an advocacy organization that promotes sustainability and opportunity in traditionally underserved communities. Brightline’s key areas of focus are in advancing environmental justice, ensuring job creation and retention, and advocating for the development of fair, affordable, and sustainable housing. Josh has done a lot of work on local hire in San Francisco and recently co-published the report “The Failure of Good Faith: Local Hiring Policy Analysis and Recommendations for San Francisco,” which documents San Francisco’s failure in meeting its goal of 50% local resident hiring on public works projects paid for by the City. Josh is an attorney by training and holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science from U.C.L.A.