City Climate Corner

Tacoma WA: Declaring a Climate Emergency

Episode Summary

In December 2019, Tacoma Washington declared a climate emergency. We examine why they did it and how it has been a springboard for more aggressive climate goals and an increased focus on climate justice. We interview Patrick Babbitt from the City of Tacoma and Emma Keese from Citizens for a Healthy Bay which has coordinated much of the community outreach for Tacoma.

Episode Notes

In December 2019, Tacoma Washington, in coordination with the Puyallup Tribe, declared a climate emergency. We examine why they did it and how it has been a springboard for more aggressive climate goals and an increased focus on climate justice. We interview Patrick Babbitt from the City of Tacoma and Emma Keese from Citizens for a Healthy Bay which has led much of the community outreach for Tacoma.


Episode Transcription


Abby Finis  00:02

Cities produce more than sixty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Big cities get a lot of attention but, most household emissions in the US actually come from communities outside urban cores, making them critical players in climate mitigation and climate justice. City Climate Corner explores how these small and mid-sized cities are tackling climate change and moving toward an equitable and sustainable future. 

Abby Finis  00:21

I'm Abby Finis.

Larry Kraft  00:23

And I'm Larry Kraft. We're co hosts for City Climate Corner. 

Larry Kraft  00:29

Hey, Abby!

Abby Finis  00:30

Hey, Larry. What are you doing to beat the heat?

Larry Kraft  00:35

I don't know. Have an ice cream.

Abby Finis  00:38

Ice cream ice cream. Yeah, we are on day, I guess only three above ninety, but it is above ninety-ninety five. We're approaching triple digits for a good like nine days in a row by the time this is done.

Larry Kraft  00:55

About twenty degrees above normal, I think.

Abby Finis  00:58

It's hot. We're Minnesotans. We can only handle like three, four days max above ninety.

Larry Kraft  01:07

Give us a minus twenty for a while. We're good with that, right?

Abby Finis  01:10

Yeah. But you know, this is in the context of more accelerated climate hazards and activity that we're starting to see, and it's kind of US centric, right? There's pretty extreme drought happening for half of the country. We're under a moderate, drought dry season. I was looking at the US drought map and parts of Arizona, California, and New Mexico have what they call "exceptional" drought. I'm not sure if there's a higher category than that, but it's a pretty deep, dark red. 

Larry Kraft  01:43

Getting pretty concerned about the wildfire season coming up.

Abby Finis  01:46

Yeah, especially after last year. I think most people can kind of remember those very apocalyptic images coming out of those western cities and states. Just from the smoke and the proximity of the wildfire to urban areas and it just being so much everywhere from Washington on down.

Larry Kraft  02:06

Sounds like an emergency. 

Abby Finis  02:08

Yeah. We're in it, right? Things are happening the way scientists said they would happen, perhaps, probably sooner than scientists said they would happen. We've got a heat wave here, which, you know, heat waves happen, but they're more likely to occur with accelerated climate change. It's been reported that we're gonna have a much more active hurricane season this year. Buckle up for those coastal communities in the Gulf and Atlantic.

Larry Kraft  02:41


Abby Finis  02:41

I'm too excited. There's growing voices in declaring a climate emergency. A number of people are already declaring a climate emergency and asking governments, federal governments, state governments, local governments, everybody, individual action to act as though there's a sense of urgency, because there is.

Larry Kraft  03:04

Yeah. Our city that we're talking to, Tacoma, a city of a bit over 200,000 people about thirty miles south of Seattle, declared a climate emergency.

Abby Finis  03:16

They did, so we're going to hear from them. We did record this a couple of weeks ago before we were stuck with the heat wave. That seems pretty appropriate now, so let's give it a listen.

Start of Interview

Larry Kraft  03:30

We are speaking with Pat Babbitt from the City of Tacoma and Emma Keese from Citizens for Healthy Bay. Can you two each introduce yourselves and tell us your role in Tacoma climate action? And we'll start with Emma.

Emma Keese  03:44

I'm Emma Keese, I use she/her pronouns, and I am the Climate Action Coordinator with Citizens for Healthy Bay, which is a Tacoma based nonprofit that brings people together to protect the waters surrounding Tacoma. We are partnering with the City to support strong community member participation in this climate process. My role is really to engage and work with community members, especially centering frontline and BIPOC community voices.

Pat Babbitt  04:13

Yeah, hi, thanks for having me. I'm Pat Babbitt. I work for the City of Tacoma Sustainability Office. I've worked in Tacoma for the City for about seven years now. I'm excited to talk to you today about Tacoma's climate action planning process.

Larry Kraft  04:25


Declaring a Climate Emergency

Larry Kraft  04:27

In December of 2019, Tacoma adopted a resolution declaring a climate emergency. We'd love to get some context for that. What had Tacoma done leading up to the declaration and why did the City pursue such a climate emergency declaration? 

Pat Babbitt  04:46

Tacoma at that time had had two Climate Action Plans and we were approaching actually having to develop our third when there was a lot of community activism from  BIPOC communities and youth, including climate strikes in Tacoma calling for more bold and socially just action from the City of Tacoma. Essentially, that resolution declared a climate emergency, set us on a path to reduce our emissions more boldly. It also asked for city staff to establish a community centered process for developing our new Climate Action Plan as well as some internal changes to the way that we did our climate work, such as training department directors up on the latest climate science and how to implement climate action to be more socially just.

Larry Kraft  05:34

I'm a City Council member in a suburb of Minneapolis, and we have a Climate Action Plan, but we haven't yet declared a climate emergency. What should we be thinking about? Is it something we should do? What's the benefit of declaring the emergency? Have you seen that help in the community engagement sort of way? 

Pat Babbitt  05:52

Yeah, I think it could. I think there are multiple kinds of policies and all of them can be valuable. Part of what a policy can do is be symbolic and unite the community around a change in direction and a new vision. 

Pat Babbitt  06:04

While Tacoma had already wanted to move pretty boldly on climate, with a previous goal of an eighty percent emissions reduction by 2050, City Council and staff were really acknowledging what we had heard from the community. People felt heard and felt that we needed a bolder direction to our climate action. I think that that had value by itself, but beyond kind of recognizing that the science and the circumstances were in a new place, and that the city needed to act more quickly and aggressively, our climate emergency declaration also directed staff to develop a list of green, socially just shovel ready jobs that might be available for future city funding, and potential federal funding. For example, working with partners, but it also directed staff to develop our new Climate Action Plan in a way that was grassroots in its approach. It was more than a statement and a symbol, but it also gave marching orders to staff in terms of how we wanted to approach our next plan and taking climate action in the future.

Abby Finis  07:05

The climate emergency was announced in coordination with the Puyallup Tribe. Can you discuss the collaboration that happens there and how that came about?

Pat Babbitt  07:14

That actually went mainly between the Tacoma City Council and the Puyallup Tribal Council. That was based on a relationship between one of our former City Council members and other members of the Tribal Council, who were having discussions with local stakeholders and local climate advocates and social justice advocates were realizing that they essentially wanted to chart a new, bolder, and more aggressive course for climate action in Tacoma, Kind of since the emergency resolution, staff have been coordinating with staff at the Tribe to develop out a list of actions and opportunities for us to coordinate action as two organizations and a shared community.

Abby Finis  07:58

What is a climate emergency? What did you declare? 

Pat Babbitt  08:01

Essentially, Tacoma City Council, in collaboration with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, determined that things had changed really significantly since we developed our first Climate Action Plan. We set initial goals for emissions reductions. We're seeing, like everyone, that the science is suggesting that we're on a dangerous trajectory with our climate emissions. We needed to take a new policy approach and set higher goals, more challenging goals, to head that off, making our community more resilient to the impacts we're already experiencing or could experience and in trying to avoid the worst risks with our emissions.

Abby Finis  08:40

What then does that mean for the difference between the two plans and where the original plan fell short and what this one is trying to remedy?

Pat Babbitt  08:51

There are two things that I would point to. I think, whereas our last plan, the Environmental Action Plan, was effective. It was very implementation focused, we had about seventy actions that were very implementable to reducing our emissions and making our community more resilient in Tacoma. It just didn't go far enough, fast enough. It's kind of a scope, a scale, a pace thing. And we upped our climate goals in terms of our emissions reductions. For our current planning process, we're aiming at a one hundred percent reduction in local emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Accord. We're also in line with Washington state, aiming more ambitiously for a 2030 goal of a fifty percent reduction in emissions.

Abby Finis  09:39

I think that cities are realizing that they did plans earlier and we got to ramp up, we got to move faster, and make bigger dents. 

Abby Finis  09:50

Great. Can you tell us a little bit more about how the city and the Tribe is working together through the climate emergency? Is this part of the plan that you're developing? How does that engagement happen?

Pat Babbitt  10:05

I'd say there are a few elements of engagement here and I know Citizens for Healthy Bay has some independent relationships as well. I think Emma will get to that. But in terms of city-tribe engagement, we're working mainly with the staff. The Puyallup Tribe kind of delegates to staff as the City Council does in Tacoma. For meetings and processes that are staff led and not necessarily involving elected leaders regularly are at the forefront. Normally, we're coordinating through our staff. 

Pat Babbitt  10:32

In terms of Tribal voice in our plan though, one of the tools for that, which has been important, is Tacoma is paying a group of community members from frontline communities, including Indigenous communities, to serve as a task force. We actually have three members that are from Indigenous backgrounds, and two that are members of the Puyallup Tribe, that are regularly giving input and getting education about the process. That's one way that they have a literal seat at the table.

Centering Climate Justice

Abby Finis  11:04

I think I saw that the plan is really trying to center climate justice going forward and maybe that's another major difference from the previous plans and what we're starting to see. You mentioned a little bit about that, but could you expand on what it means to include climate justice in this planning process and the plan?

Pat Babbitt  11:23

I'll take this in two parts. I think in a nutshell, we think of climate justice as climate action that serves our communities' social justice priorities. We've prioritized throughout our engagement process, emphasizing having a seat at the table for communities that are traditionally underrepresented or made vulnerable by our current system. We're also really leading with a focus on BIPOC communities within that too. The City of Tacoma, another major policy for this planning process, is its Anti-Racist Systems Transformation Policy, where we're really centering race and BIPOC communities in the work that we do.

Larry Kraft  12:01

Emma, I know that climate justice is something that's important to you and your organization. Can you talk about how you're involved with this? 

Emma Keese  12:10

Yeah, definitely. As Citizens for Healthy Bay is really working on the community engagement side of this planning process and tries to center climate justice in everything that we're doing. For us, that really means listening to the community from the beginning and using an equity lens for all of our possible climate actions. 

Emma Keese  12:31

Social justice and the climate emergency are two of the most pressing issues of our time. The issues are inextricably linked and the solutions must be also. When we're looking at actions we're prioritizing ones that support healthy communities and can be implemented equitably, not just reduce greenhouse gases alone. We're also currently going through this year-plus long process of informing the community about the plan and gathering feedback. And working with that workgroup that Pat mentioned, for example, if we have an action that says, "We want to ban food waste," but we hear from community members and partners that it places an undue burden on residents, then that means we have to rethink that action. Should we be providing support for composting food waste? Does the action need to be changed? It's really important that we ask those questions, and then really listen and think about the answers.

Abby Finis  13:23

How do you go about changing the engagement from traditional city engagement and getting the same people to show up to different things to being really intentional about who you're including, how you're including people, and where you're meeting them? How do you do that?

Emma Keese  13:42

We have three main phases to our work. In phase one, really, right from the beginning, we began by listening to community members about their needs and priorities to get a sense of how climate action could serve them. We did that by having climate ambassadors. Many of them were frontline community members that engage their social networks by doing surveys, interviewing, and storytelling activities to try and reach new folks. Then we also created that Environmental Justice Leader Workgroup that Pat mentioned that we're working with throughout this entire process. That group was created and began their work. I think it's really important to go and meet communities where they already are instead of expecting them to come to you. 

Emma Keese  14:32

We're going into phase two now and that has a similar focus. We're bringing draft climate actions based on the climate modeling and the discussion that we had with folks in phase one and work with local experts in the community. For that, we'll be working again with individual Climate Ambassadors who are members of the community reaching out to their networks. 

Emma Keese  14:57

We're also hosting about fifteen workshops, most of which are happening in partnership with local organizations that serve frontline community members so we can come to their meetings and their spaces that they already have, and not ask them to go out of their way and come to us. 

Emma Keese  15:16

I also think that an important part that is sometimes overlooked is paying people for their participation and honoring the work that they put into this, and the fact that they're giving this feedback that's so essential to our plan.

Abby Finis  15:30

Yeah, I think that those efforts really make a difference and result in much better conversations, right? And hearing from people and their experiences and how those experiences might translate to climate action. 

Thoughts on Implementation

Abby Finis  15:42

How do you see this being carried through to the implementation phase and sustaining those relationships? 

Emma Keese  15:50

I think that having opportunities for continued engagement is really important. Those relationships that we started building in phase one, we're now building on those as we go into phase two and have a lot of the same people who are coming back and staying involved have connected us with other people. I think that's really essential. The hope too is that we're building community capacity, building climate leaders, and that these folks stay involved in the conversation and the work going forward.

Pat Babbitt  16:21

I think this is a challenge going forward to sustain the relationships. Be clear that for the city or organizations generally, during an engagement process, you are doing so much process focused work and so much engagement, that that's not a level that can be sustained when you're also implementing the plan. Delivering on the plan is a big part of protecting those relationships and serving those relationships too. What I'd say for the City, and generally for the process, is one of the biggest things we can do is implement the plan faithfully and as completely as possible so that it's not a plan that sits on a shelf and is a good idea in theory, but is a funded resource and implemented. 

Pat Babbitt  17:02

That could look like going back to the community and reporting on the progress that we've been able to make. It can also look like with different actions, providing opportunities for community to lead or participate. That might look like tree plantings, or teaching people how to ride a bike, or building new infrastructure for walkers and getting people participating. I think that those relationships can continue in different ways, but it is a challenge and something we need to be thoughtful of how to sustain those given that we won't necessarily be in the same meeting space as quite as often as we were during the engagement phase.

Emma Keese  17:35

Also, this is all taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic and that has added an extra layer to the entire work, especially I would say community engagement because we're not able to physically go to these spaces and be in-person. I think that's really important for relationship building. My hope is that, once it's safe to do so, I can go and actually meet with some of these people that I've been having all of these conversations with for the last year. 

Abby Finis  18:05

Yeah, I find that too. You miss a lot from in-person, but you gain a lot from having it a little bit more accessible, I think for different times and not having to go somewhere. I appreciate that. It's amazing that you're still plugging ahead. A lot of cities are still plugging ahead. Kudos to you for that.

Larry Kraft  18:25

I want to ask more about those Climate Ambassadors, I find that really interesting. There's quite a few of them, aren't there? And, will they stay engaged and be part of implementation?

Emma Keese  18:35

Yeah, there is quite a few Climate Ambassadors in the first... in phase one, there was about thirty or so that were just individual people serving as Ambassadors. This round we have individuals and also hosts. There's about ten individual Ambassadors who are all returning from phase one and then we've also added ten host organizations that are serving sort of a similar Ambassador, Climate Ambassador role, but at the organization level. 

Emma Keese  19:04

My hope is that there are opportunities for continued engagement, but like Pat was saying, I think that it is a challenge to maintain the same level of engagement that we would like to while also putting funneling resources into implementation. I'm open to ideas. I don't know what it will look like exactly, but there'll be something. I don't know Pat if you have anything to add to that.

Pat Babbitt  19:31

One, actually, it's more than one, there are many outlets for standing committees, boards, advisory bodies, at least within the City. I know, Citizens for Healthy Bay has at least a board, if I'm not mistaken, where this is an opportunity for folks who kind of got engaged. 

Pat Babbitt  19:49

We've built new relationships and built capacity, and had this kind of two way education process between us and these individuals where they will have a chance to kind of step off the process with the Environmental Justice Leaders Workgroup or with the Climate Ambassadors. And potentially, step back into for example, our Sustainable Tacoma Commission, which is a community advisory body on all sustainability issues, but was actually initially founded at the same time my office was: to conduct oversight and provide community expertise on how to implement the initial Climate Action Plan. There are potential homes, kind of long term for these folks to join us and continue in this ongoing education engagement advising role that they've been in.

Climate Adaptation Issues

Larry Kraft  20:34

Tacoma is situated right on the Puget Sound. What does that mean for you in terms of what kind of climate hazards you're facing and how adaptation issues show up in your plans?

Pat Babbitt  20:51

Tacoma is located on the Puget Sound. What is advantageous to much of Tacoma's neighborhoods is that most of it is on a hill, and cliffside up and off of the Puget Sound. But, we do have really important infrastructure and community assets nonetheless along the waterfront that's prone to coastal flooding. 

Pat Babbitt  21:10

Perhaps, first and foremost, is Tacoma's tide flats where we have a lot of port and industrial activity. It supports tens of thousands of jobs in the greater Tacoma area and it's an important cultural area as well for Indigenous peoples in the region. Beyond that though, we have roads and rails along the waterfront, just a few feet above sea level here on the Puget Sound. 

Pat Babbitt  21:33

Besides the threat to coastal flooding, there are a number of kind of hazard risks or factors that are specific to Tacoma's geography. One of the big ones, as I'm sure you're aware, on the West Coast, is the worsening droughts and related wildfire seasons. It's not as bad in Washington and western Washington along the Sound in particular to have wildfires, but you still get smoke from British Columbia, the greater Pacific Northwest, and California. That's been tough the last few summer seasons. In fact, when I first got to Tacoma in 2014, we had reduced bad air quality days almost to zero by addressing local wood stoves that would cause winter air pollution. And through an aggressive regional strategy, we had changed out those polluting wood stoves to cleaner energy systems. We were almost reducing bad air quality days to zero. Then, in the next couple of years, we saw wildfire smoke increasing those bad air quality days almost year after year. 

Pat Babbitt  22:38

You can see in real time that shift in air quality concerns related to wildfires. That's a really big risk for us. In addition to that, though, it's a fairly mild region, but we still have some of the standard risks like extreme heat days, which is really tough on frontline workers and essential workers. You can think of construction, people who are on the job and maybe out in the heat of the summer, for example.

Puget Sound Climate Preparedness Collaborative

Larry Kraft  23:03

I also noticed that you participate in something called the Puget Sound Climate Preparedness Collaborative. What is that and is that part of some of your adaptation strategies?

Pat Babbitt  23:15

Yeah, I think mitigation as well. They are essentially a regional group of practitioners from various jurisdictions in western Washington and along the Puget Sound. Although, I don't participate in on it myself, I know that our process has benefited from being a part of that collaboration. For example, we've taken lessons from King County and Seattle, about how they develop their most recent climate plans which preceded ours, their most recent updates. Also, our Environmental Justice Leaders Workgroup was actually inspired by a similar task force from King County. 

Pat Babbitt  23:49

Speaking to concrete benefits, besides taking a look at what they kept in their plan, what they put in their plan, and how they implemented their community engagement process, it's also an important opportunity for us to learn about specific adaptation or mitigation actions that local government can take. Obviously, as counties and cities along the Puget Sound, we face kind of the same legal structure by and large that Washington state kind of offers to us. We also face a lot of the same risks and opportunities. For example, western Washington, in the Puget Sound region, generally has very clean electricity and one of our best strategies is just electrification. If we can get more of our homes, more of our buildings and businesses on electricity, if we can get our communities driving more fuel efficient vehicles or electric vehicles or buses, for example, those are big wins across the region. Being able to see how other communities have approached taking action and making investments on that is a big opportunity for us.

Abby Finis  24:50

How is that coordinated? What's the central group that brings everybody together and shares information out?

Pat Babbitt  24:58

I'm not sure that there's one central node, but it's staff from all major cities and counties in the Puget Sound region.

Tips for Other Cities

Abby Finis  25:07

What tips do you have for other cities based on what you've learned, starting with one plan and realizing that things have to go faster and deeper and moving that into this next plan that you're working on developing? What kind of tips do you guys have?

Pat Babbitt  25:26

I'll certainly share a few reflections. The first is obviously cities have to be in a place where they really understand the risk of or current local impacts when it comes to adaptation, resiliency, and preparedness, as well as mitigation. Those opportunities and risks are really going to vary based on where a city or county might be located and where communities are located. I know that some communities are still at that stage of really understanding the local risks and opportunities. I think it almost goes without saying at this point that staff need to navigate a political process. But, also in advising their City Council or Community Council, they also need to be true to the science that is being asked for by their elected leaders, which is that we need to move at a great pace of old pace and at a very large scope. 

Pat Babbitt  26:22

The obvious challenges with that is that one organization can't solve this on its own. It's really going to depend on partnerships. The City of Tacoma has to not only work with Pierce County, but Washington state, and other examples of local government that a lot of people don't think about, like local public utilities, or water districts, or whatever they might be. Oftentimes, counties have dozens of forms of local government. This could look like a parks department, for example. Getting all of these organizations aligned where they can be and where they control certain assets, or opportunities, or risks is a big coordination requirement, but also opportunity.

Abby Finis  26:59

To all the cities out there looking to do a Climate Action Plan, it's complicated. 

Abby Finis  27:05

Emma, what are your thoughts? 

Emma Keese  27:11

I'm really focused on the community engagement side of things. I definitely encourage places to think from the very beginning about how they can make this process really community driven. Finding strong partners, like Pat mentioned, in other local governments, community focused organizations, and with individual community members themselves, is really important. I would also echo that it's very complicated. Whatever time you set aside to work on it, it's probably going to take a lot longer. It's a lot of people working on this for a long time, it's worth it though. It's essential work. I would say it's worth the investment. 

Pat Babbitt  28:03

If I could actually add on to my first comment as well, focusing on the implementation side, I think one of the City of Tacoma's best lessons when it comes to climate is developing both a plan that's comprehensive and community driven, but also very implementable. Even within the city, we have plans that are more strategic than implementation plans. What I mean by that is there aren't discrete actions with clear next steps and lead departments and partners and metrics that are actually trackable to show us that there's something we can get to, we've got a real plan, we know who's in charge, who needs to be there at the table to get this done, and make a meaningful impact. 

Pat Babbitt  28:45

For organizations, communities, cities, and counties that might be looking to develop a Climate Action Plan, and move boldly, with what we're seeing out there, I would say really lean on other public organizations. We must have reviewed one to two dozen Climate Action Plans that have been published in just the last one, or two, or three years, from cities and counties across the country. There's so many smart people figuring this out. They may not be facing all the same mitigation, or adaptation risks, or opportunities, but they've developed good processes and plans. That's one of the beauties of the public sector, that we're sharing information with each other for the benefit of us all. We can really steal and borrow some really great solutions from each other if we're going to get this done at the national and international level.

Larry Kraft  29:35

You might want to suggest to people if there were a podcast that gathered information from smaller cities around the country. I don't know, maybe it'd be a good idea.

Emma Keese  29:47

If you're listening to this, you're already on the right track. We gained so much from reviewing all those other plans and talking to staff at other cities.

Abby and Larry debrief

Abby Finis  29:58

Alright, so we just wrapped up our conversation with Pat and Emma of Tacoma, Washington. What do you think Larry?

Larry Kraft  30:05

Well, a number of takeaways. One I'll start with, the obvious one, is the climate emergency declaration, because as I mentioned in the interview, it's something that we've contemplated in St. Louis Park, but we haven't taken that move yet. I come away thinking that it might be something we should do, but as a springboard for other action. I appreciate symbolic actions, but more and more I want to see not just a symbolic action, but actual things that are happening after it. I appreciate how they use it as a springboard to update their Climate Action Plan to be much more aggressive. If we have a similar kind of thing, ours is already pretty aggressive, but if we need to call attention to new action, or a new implementation of some part of the plan, then it would be something I would consider, I think.

Abby Finis  30:59

Yeah. How do you think just declaring a climate emergency, using it as a springboard to do more, there's still those barriers, where the big things, the more challenging things that have to be done, are those that have the most resistance and the most inertia and the way that we do things. Is making it more urgent, more of an emergency, something that allows us to get over those barriers?

Larry Kraft  31:26

It probably depends on the community. In some communities yes, but in others, it can cause a defensive reaction, or sometimes people are shut down. I think you kind of have to understand what the barriers are. Sometimes, the ways of getting around the barriers is to talk about the things that even people that might not be motivated by climate, would also resonate with. Do things on energy efficiency, or renewable energy. You can emphasize the financial return, that that's an investment in the community and sometimes that can work better.

Abby Finis  32:04

Yeah, I think part of it is also bringing more people in and having that conversation with a broader group of people. That's something that I think Tacoma has figured out as well as if we're going to do this as a community, it needs to be a part of the community, we need to bring more people in. We need more inclusive and broader engagement to address climate justice principles that we have for our Climate Plan to make people feel like they're a part of this plan. And hopefully, in doing that, then you end up with less resistance when you want to do some of those more challenging things. I think it could be something that helps guide action there.

Larry Kraft  32:51

Yeah, absolutely. With them, I was really impressed with how it started off this initiative with all these climate ambassadors in coordination with the Puyallup Tribe; not just focus on increasing their ambitions on climate, but also really tying in with climate justice in a strong way. I think it's worked really well for them to expand the community and get more folks involved.

Abby Finis  33:16

Yeah. I think it will be equally as important as they look to implement the plan to maintain involvement as well as continue to bring more people in to deliver on those actions.

Larry Kraft  33:28

Yeah. You could hear it, that that was one of the challenges they were thinking of is - alright, we had this engagement to get the plan going. Now, I didn't hear a solid answer yet on how they're going to get them involved in implementation. I think they're still working through that.

Abby Finis  33:42

I think that concept of paying people for their time is an important one, because there's a lot of other concerns out there and tend to work with those that are the most directly impact your personal life on a day-to-day basis, then finding that extra time to then be a part of this larger project. So valuing people's time through monetary or other forms, I think is an important consideration for our communities.

Larry Kraft  34:13

Yeah, especially to broaden the folks who are participating in who are at the table. You hear that quite a lot - of make sure you have the right people at the table. I think they're doing some great things to make sure that happens.

Abby Finis  34:25

Yeah. Some of these others who have plans and they're moving forward with action, I'll be curious to see their success in the future. 

Abby Finis  34:36

We hope you enjoyed this episode of City Climate Corner. If you like what you're hearing, make sure to subscribe and give us a review. If you're able, become a monthly supporter through Patreon. As always, you can find more information on this topic and resources from each episode's guests on our webpage If you have an idea for the show, send us an email at or find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Larry Kraft  35:00

City Climate Corner is produced by Abby Finis and me, Larry Kraft. Edited by me. Music by

Abby Finis  35:06

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Larry Kraft  35:08

Thanks for listening and we'll see you next time.