Local Climate Leadership: Davia Rivka

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Davia Rivka is a certified life coach, author of Up to Something Big: Stories That Inspire Change, and a climate change warrior working with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). CCL is a nonpartisan nonprofit grassroots organization working on advocating national policies to address climate change.

How did you get started in climate work?

In 1985, I started working for RESULTS, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that focuses on ending poverty. RESULTS is the organization on which CCL was modeled, training volunteers how to use their voices in our democracy. In 2007, Marshall Saunders, also a RESULTS volunteer, founded Citizens’ Climate Lobby. I joined CCL in 2011, bringing fifteen years of experience from my work with RESULTS.

When I first started working with CCL, talking to members of Congress about climate change was challenging. There was a lot of denial and disinterest. Much has changed for the better since 2011. CCL is single issue focused. Our goal is the enactment of revenue neutral federal legislation that puts a fee on carbon. To insure success, CCL volunteers around the country network and form alliances with community, big and small business, and religious leaders from left, right and center. After doing so, CCL communicates these buy-ins to Congress members.

What is the scope of your work at Temple Israel of Hollywood?

Temple Israel has a very strong and focused social justice task force, led by Rabbi Jocee Hudson and Heidi Siegel. The three primary areas of focus are: hunger and homelessness, gun violence, and prison reform. When I joined the task force, I started making noise about how we needed to also focus on climate change. We held a participatory, informative, action event last May. I look forward to even greater focus on this work.

What are you working on now?

I am currently writing a book about how climate change has become my spiritual practice. Until the book launches, you’ll find great stories on my blog.

How do Jewish values connect to climate change?

That’s a big question. Check out a recent blogpost that I wrote in September during the Jewish High Holydays.

The short answer is: repair the Earth (world), give back to your communities, and make the world a better place by making yourself a better person.

How are you reaching out to Jewish communities?

CCL has a Jewish Action Team that focuses on developing Jewish climate leadership with lay and clergy across the country. Jews played a very central role during the civil rights movement. We want to see that same courageous commitment around climate change action. Rabbis are busy. Lay people in congregations need to take the lead, making it impossible for rabbis to ignore this conversation. Ask your rabbi to give a sermon on climate change. To hold an event. Their voices have power and can reach a wider audience.

Do you find your work challenging?

I am a relationship person. I enjoy communicating to people in person, looking at them in the eyes and understanding that we are all working toward building a better future. A few years ago, five of us met with the staffer in Washington D.C. Her boss was a member of Congress from Kentucky. We could have had a fight on our hands. But we were curious and respectful, completely disarming the staffer. A thoughtful and exploratory conversation left us all feeling hopeful.

What would make your job easier?

If we all learned how to listen with open hearts! And were better able to recognize that we’re all in this together.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  1. A carbon fee and dividend piece of legislation that is introduced to Congress by very powerful Democrat and Republican members, in the exact same language that CCL has been working toward.
  2. 100 members of Congress join the Climate Solutions Caucus.
  3. I go to a writing retreat in a beautiful setting, with a gaggle of other interesting writers—and someone else cooks amazing food!
Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

12/7 P2PLA Quarterly Meeting Recap

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On December 7th, Climate Resolve hosted the first Path to Positive Los Angeles (P2PLA) Quarterly Meeting. The convening included participants from various sectors of the community — health, local government, business, and faith. This allowed for a fruitful discussion and networking opportunity across sectors, as participants shared their experiences on implementing climate solutions in their work.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Rhoades from the LA County Department of Public Health, presented on the nexus between public health and climate change. Dr. Rhoades provided attendees with an exclusive preview of the department’s Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan — the County’s comprehensive strategy to alleviate health issues triggered by climate change. One element of the strategy includes installing cool roofs and implementing cool streets, two initiatives that the City of LA has already been implementing with the key support of Climate Resolve.

Climate Resolve’s Kristina von Hoffmann presented a climate communications training, giving participants tips from ecoAmerica’s “15 Steps” and “Let’s Talk Climate” guides. The training focused on research-based methods for starting conversations on climate impacts and solutions within the community.

Thank you to all participants (both in-person and through webinar) for joining us in successfully closing off this quarter. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to help us improve your experience for next time! We hope you can join us at our next Quarterly Meeting in February 2018.

Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge

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What does it take to become a Food Waste Warrior? Our interview with Clare Fox, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, may come to mind. To broaden the scope, the City of LA is taking the lead on answering that question by offering the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge. Composting experts, urban farmers, nonprofit organizations, and beyond can all rejoice at this grant opportunity. Supporter and Climate Day LA Keynote Speaker, Mayor Eric Garcetti, is starting this challenge to raise public awareness for food waste prevention and recovery, and to catalyze innovation and resources to help Angelenos reduce food waste, recover food surplus, and turn waste into a resource. Although the challenge is expected to last a little over 60 days, the City intends for all projects to become replicable models on various scales (big and small) and sustainable beyond the length of the challenge.

Who can participate?

There are two types of grant opportunities available: an administrative grant and a project grant. Three grantees will be selected for the administrative grant category at $15,000 each. Non-profit organizations and neighborhood councils are invited to apply for this grant, serving as technical assistants and facilitators for project grantees. Administrator grantees work closely with project grantees to garner public engagement and networking–in person and through social media–to promote #FreeTheFood challenge for individuals living and working in Los Angeles. Another caveat for being eligible for the administrative grant is for the organization to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the four food waste challenge categories: food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting.

The City will allocate $7,500 to each of the seven project grants available (one project for each of the seven City planning areas). Any organization or business is eligible as long as the project serves a defined geographic community and encourages public participation. The four food waste challenge categories (food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting) apply to project grantees as well to divert food waste from landfills. Project deliverables include: measuring impacts in pounds of food diverted from landfills and number of Angelenos who participated through online pledges, events, and education efforts. At the end of the challenge, the City will showcase these metrics to set an example for future community efforts. The Bureau of Sanitation will use data for future pilot programs to reduce food from the waste stream.

Where can my organization apply?

The application is available on the City’s Department of Public Works blog. Applications can be submitted to Wendy Renteria (wendy.renteria@lacity.org; 213-978-0333). The deadline to submit your application is Friday, December 15, 2017. Projects are anticipated to start early next year on January 22, 2018. 

The City Sustainability pLAn Connection

In the Mayor’s Sustainability pLAn, the City sets an ambitious goal to achieve at least 90% landfill diversion rate by 2025 and 95% by 2035. Diverting food from the waste stream not only reduces methane gas emissions in landfills and encourages upstream food waste prevention, but it also addresses food insecurity issues in Los Angeles. Project grantees can take part in helping the city achieve its waste diversion goal through innovation and public engagement. Help LA become the modern zero-waste city you envision it to be.

Learn more about the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge here: dpw.lacity.org/blog/los-angeles-food-waste-grant-challenge.  

Posted on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Path To Positive Los Angeles