Happy Earth Day!

What is Earth Day? The first one took place in 1970 to bring attention to the dreadful pollution in our water and air, promote environmental legislation and action. It quickly led to the passage of the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act which are cornerstones of our nation’s environmental protections. Since 1970, celebrating Earth Day on April 22 has become part of our cycle of holidays. Earth Day fairs are fun and a great way to celebrate what our planet provides for us. This Earth Day focuses on how to protect the planet from climate change.

There are many ways to celebrate. Plan a personal celebration by visiting one of our many area parks. Or go to a community Earth Day event and take part in the fun while learning about what each of us can do. Sign up for Mountain View’s April 22nd event which starts at 6pm.

An important way to celebrate is by making a personal commitment. There are so many things each of us can do to help the planet that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Instead focus on one or two things that you can accomplish. It’s easier if they are fun, good for you and save money. For instance, substituting a few bike trips for car trips on a regular basis makes an important impact. This year my commitment is finally getting solar panels installed on our roof. This will save money on our electric bill and allow us to add a high voltage plug to charge an electric vehicle which we hope to buy in the next few years.

A Few Notes About Recent City Council Accomplishments

  • New Development — In March, Council received two proposals from Google for new neighborhoods; one in the East Whisman Area called Middlefield Park and one for the North Bayshore. Together, they could add up to 11,000 housing units to Mountain View in well-planned complete neighborhoods that include office, housing, commercial, parks and schools. Although, it will be several years until anyone gets to sleep in these units, these approvals mark a huge step forward. This kind of infill development is being cited as one of the most important things that can be done to promote climate resilience.
  • Safe Parking — The safe parking lot at Shoreline will continue for at least another calendar year and maybe for several more based on a new contract with Live Nation.
  • Appointments — In March, the City Council interviewed candidates for the new Public Safety Advisory Board as well as reappointments for the Rental Housing Committee. As usual, impressive and dedicated Mountain View citizens stepped up to serve. I enjoyed talking to each one of them before the 5-minute Council interviews to get to know them better.
  • Sustainability — We can all be proud of Mountain View’s track record on sustainability. We should also be grateful to all the members of Mountain View’s two Sustainability Task Forces who met in 2008 and 2018. Their findings function as blueprints for City actions. On May 11 the City Council will get an update on our Sustainability Action Plan 4. In June, an updated report will come to Council on the City’s plan to protect our shores from sea level rise.

Please reach out if you have ideas or concerns to share.

Thank you.

Pat Showalter
City of Mountain View