"The Cool Cities campaign is alive
and well in Texas. As the US Conference of Mayors (see
http://www.usmayors.org/) Climate Protection Agreement
(called CPA below) enters its 4th year (it began in Feb
2005) there are now over 780 mayors listed as having
signed, and the number goes up almost daily. This represents
over 77 million US citizens.
And the two newest Texas cities are still too new to be shown yet on the US Conference of Mayors web site with the 20 others from Texas. The mayors of the City of College Station and the City of Hutto both officially signed the CPA in January 2008.
The story of the College Station campaign followed the "classic" process of the Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign. The local environmental group Brazos Environmental Action Network (BEAN) got in touch with the Lone Star Sierra Club to request help and information about Cool Cities in mid-2007. Ann Drumm, our Cool Cities "guru",
set up her standard half-day Training session which took
place in October 2007, and the BEANers put together their
City Team that same day, starting to plan their next steps.
In November, about 5 of the team attended a monthly "open mike" session at the city council where the team leader spoke - the first approach to the city. That same evening we were approached by Assistant City Manager Terry Childers who expressed his support, saying it aligned well with his recently proposed "Green College Station Initiative".
They crafted their messages together via email and a dialog with Mr Childers ensued, The city set up a Green Workshop for December to gather public input, The BEAN team presented to Mr Childers and the city Water expert in December.
Meanwhile, Dr Andrew Dressler, Professor of Atmospheric Science
at Texas A&M, together with other faculty signed a Statement
on Climate Change http://www.met.tamu.edu/climatechange.phpWe got in touch with Dr Dressler and he joined our effort,
offering to join the cities new Green Advisory Committee.
On January 24th the city council formally voted in favor
of a Resolution to support the US Mayors CPA, and he mayor
later signed. Just this week, after a presentation of a 15-minute
video demo of ICLEI's software, Mr Childers decided to join
ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability (see http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=391)
On the other hand, Sierra Club had nothing to do with the
City of Hutto's decision. Some guy called Al Gore did it
all. A Planner employed by City of Hutto named Will Guerin
saw Al Gore speak about the US Conference of Mayors Climate
Protection Agreement and thought to himself "I wonder
if the City of Hutto would do support that ?" He went
to his boss, Community Development Director Matthew Lewis,
who readily agreed to take up the idea.
Mr Lewis arranged
for a Resolution to be considered by the city council, who
in December 2007 voted unanimously in favor of supporting
the mayor's signing of the CPA and in January 2008 the mayor
signed. After we heard about that in the press, we helped
by showing Will and his colleagues the 15-minute video demo
of ICLEI's software to help them get started with ICLEI
And there is even action on the horizon in Austin. The
city has hired Jake Stewart to work on implementation
of the Austin Climate Protection Plan and Jake has already
started doing Outreach work with Austin residents. He
tells me that once he formally starts in the new job in
March, we can begin discussing ways Austin Cool Cities
volunteers can participate with the implementation of
So come join us as we help more of the smaller cities
around central Texas jump on this ever-growing band wagon
! To join a City Team, phone Terry Moore on 214-608-0314
or email at
All over America, communities are taking action to help solve global warming.
From hybrid vehicle fleets in Charlotte, to green buildings in Austin, and homes powered with renewable energy in Seattle, local governments are moving forward with innovative energy solutions that curb global warming, save taxpayer dollars, and create healthier cities.
At a time when the federal government is failing to act, these local leaders are moving America toward a safer and more secure future.
So what is a "CoolCity"? These are cities that
have made a commitment to stopping global warming by signing
the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement.
The CoolCities campaign helps cities turn their commitments into action by pushing for smart energy solutions.