Santa Clara County to create sustainability commission

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — In Santa Clara County, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to create a new commission focused on sustainability. 

The board voted Tuesday to adopt Supervisor Otto Lee’s recommendation to establish a sustainability commission in an effort to advise the board on climate change, environmental conservation and sustainability. 

“The issue of climate change has been something that has been around for a long time,” said Lee. 

“But clearly that issue if anything has gone even more urgent.”

Lee says while the county has several committees related to environmental issues like waste reductions, there is no direct body to advise the board on ways the county can reduce negative environmental impacts. 

“We have a county sustainability master plan that has been developed and we want to make sure that our commissioners is doing a good oversight to make that it’s being carried out,”

“And in addition to looking at other ideas and best practices that are being used in other jurisdictions, other cities, other counties, or even other states that we potentially should adopt.” 

Lee tells KRON4 News his motivation to push for the county’s first sustainability commission began years ago when he was on the Sunnyvale City Council and continued when he became mayor of Sunnyvale. 

“I formed the Mayoral Green Ribbon Committee when I became the mayor to basically start looking at the things the city itself can do,” said Lee.

“That’s what also led, for example, our plastic bag ban at the time and putting more solar panels on government buildings.”

Lee hopes with the growing support among the youth on addressing climate change, that the county is able to encourage residents of all ages to apply to be a part of the sustainability commission. 

“Many young people have actually been extremely active in this movement,” said Lee. 

“One of the suggestions is that at least two commissioner positions are to be designated as youth to serve,” Lee added. 

“And there is no age limit, so young people certainly can and will be strongly encouraged to serve on this commission.”

The referral calls on county administration to report back in 90 days on potential courses of action to create the sustainability commission. 

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