QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES TO ALBANY CITY COUNCIL
On October 2nd we invited all the candidates for Albany City Council to our Potluck with a Purpose and asked them to address the questions below. Nick Pilch, Todd Abbott, Peter Maass, Sheri Spellwoman and Ulan McKnight accepted our invitation and you can hear the entire evening’s discussion recorded here. (We apologize that you might have to guess at times who is speaking!)
The TRANSITION MOVEMENT began as a community response to climate change, resource depletion and increasing economic instability. We believe in reducing consumption to levels that create an even playing field worldwide and drastically reduce individual and community-wide carbon footprints. It is said humans have at most two years to turn around our production of greenhouse gases and avoid a vicious cycle of increased global warming.
- Which of your past achievements and/or actions would persuade voters that you are committed to a near-future for Albany that uses far fewer non-renewable resources and emits less greenhouse gases?
- What plans do you have within your four-year term to strengthen and implement Albany’s Climate Action Plan? Which items do you see as most important or pressing?
The TRANSITION movement believes that it is the people who live in a community and experience its challenges firsthand that can have the insight and genius to come up with the most appropriate solutions. In contrast, previous city councils have spent thousands of dollars, when the budget was already tight, on hiring outside consultants.
- How do you propose to tap into the genius of the community and also incorporate meaningful community input into the more important decisions you have to make on the community’s behalf?
The TRANSITION movement has the goal of creating resilient communities that produce a significant percentage of their essentials (food, energy, healthcare, housing etc.) locally. In addition, it is notable that local retailers/ suppliers return at least 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14% for national chain retailers. (See study)
- What is your position regarding the environmentally superior alternative for the mixed use development at Monroe and San Pablo that includes a smaller, locally owned grocery store, affordable housing for our seniors, and generates 70% less carbon emissions than the one currently proposed by UC?
- How will you support local business owners?
- In what ways will you encourage increased local production of essentials (food, energy, healthcare, housing etc.)?
TWO FINAL QUESTIONS
- How would you balance doing what the majority of the community wants with what you think is the right thing, if the two don’t coincide?
- In many cities throughout the world, city councils partner with representatives from their Transition initiative. How would you feel about incorporating a Transition town task force to help address the challenges Albany will be facing in the coming years and create a more resilient community?