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Grassroots Group Marks Win for Clean Energy

First published in the Feb. 9 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Pasadena 100 celebrated a milestone when the Pasadena City Council unanimously approved the resolution for a 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. The resolution authored by the grassroots group proclaims a climate crisis and directs Pasadena Water and Power to create and implement the path toward this goal.
There is a “policy goal to source 100% of Pasadena’s electricity from carbon-free sources by the end of 2030,” according to city spokesperson Lisa Derderian. “The IRP [Power Integrated Resource Plan] process will be utilized to plan multiple approaches while optimizing affordability, rate equity, stability and reliability of electricity while achieving this goal.”
A coalition of 24 nonprofits with many unaffiliated allies in the community, Pasadena 100 brought the weight of Pasadena public opinion to bear by organizing residents, stakeholders and public entities through a successful outreach campaign.
Pasadena 100 gained traction in its advocacy for a unified response to the warnings of the U.N. Intercontinental Panel on Climate Change through multiple outreach campaigns that distributed fact sheets and sought supporters.
Volunteers canvassed door-to-door and at public events to gather more than 1,300 signed postcards in support of the resolution. Pasadena 100 solicited and compiled letters from individuals and organizations, including from esteemed scientists and engineers, among them a Nobel Prize-winning chemist. High school and college students, doctors and public health officials, and testimony on the moral imperative for this action from faith leaders — all added to the momentum that impelled action. The concern of K-12 parents and teachers moved the Pasadena Unified School District board to adopt unanimously the resolution later brought to the City Council. The Pasadena City College Board of Trustees followed suit, as did the PCC Associated Students.
Cynthia Cannady, chair of the Pasadena 100 Coalition, reflected on this hard-won achievement and reminded the community: “While we are elated to celebrate this major milestone, there remains much effort to define and implement the plan to reach the finish line of 100% carbon-free energy by 2030,” she said. “We cannot reduce our vigilance and commitment.”
Sam Berndt, an organizer with Pasadena 100, added: “We’re in a climate crisis, and the people of Pasadena have united in solidarity to demand action. For our kids, our families, our communities and our species, as a city we stood together and decided to take the steps necessary to preserve our future. Now, let’s get to work.”
Said Derderian: “PWP is seeking community input to help shape the Power Integrated Resource Plan. The IRP is the long-range blueprint for supplying reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy at competitive rates. To ensure that the priorities of the community are represented in the IRP process, a virtual community meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m.”
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