Sustainable Lafayette, Resilient Neighborhoods, and Verna Causby-Smith, EAH Affordable Housing Honored
This Spring, MCE’s Board of Directors recognized the 2018 Charles F. McGlashan Advocacy Award winners, including Sustainable Lafayette, Resilient Neighborhoods, and Verna Causby-Smith with EAH Affordable Housing (winners pictured above with MCE leadership, left to right: Don Tatzin, Former Mayor of Lafayette; Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE; Wei-Tai Kwok, Sustainable Lafayette; Verna Causby-Smith, EAH Affordable Housing; Tamra Peters, Resilient Neighborhoods; Kate Sears, MCE Board Chair.) MCE established the annual award in June 2011 to honor and commemorate the legacy of environmental leadership left behind by former founding MCE Chairman, Charles F. McGlashan.
“The dedication of these climate leaders is essential to helping our communities understand that their choices of 60% to 100% renewable electricity supply can have a real effect on climate change,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “Their support and advocacy are an essential part of why community choice efforts leading the way in meeting California’s ambitious climate action goals ahead of schedule.”
About the Winners
In celebration of the City of Lafayette’s 50th anniversary, local nonprofit Sustainable Lafayette has spearheaded a community-wide campaign to encourage residents and businesses to opt up to MCE’s Deep Green 100 percent renewable energy. Aiming to have the highest rate of participation in Deep Green service throughout MCE’s 34 member communities, Sustainable Lafayette set a goal to enroll 1,000 accounts in MCE’s 100 percent renewable service. To do so, they coordinated MCE’s presence at more than 10 community events, raised public awareness through presentations to neighborhood groups and houses of worship, and helped create a video spotlighting Director Don Tatzin’s endorsement of Deep Green.
During this one year community-wide campaign, Lafayette was able to increase their number of Deep Green accounts from 308 to 505 moving them from 10th to 6th place in terms highest percent of Deep Green participation by community.Their efforts are proof of the real impact that dedicated community members can have on shifting the electric profile and emissions of an entire community.
Marin-based nonprofit Resilient Neighborhoods has been encouraging carbon footprint reduction and emergency preparedness since 2012. As part of an integrated, holistic community strategy facilitated by Climate Action Teams, they have encouraged residents and businesses to be wise about their electricity and energy options. Through their actions in 2018, 51 households enrolled in 100% renewable energy, 63 invested in energy efficiency, and five installed solar systems thus far.
Since forming, Resilient Neighborhoods has persuaded over 200 community members to go Deep Green and 62 to purchase electric vehicles. Their Board members include community leaders who have been fighting for MCE since the beginning. Their diligent efforts encouraging small, individual changes to reduce personal emissions has led to the cumulative reduction of over 5.4 million pounds of CO2 emissions (2012-2018).
Verna Causby-Smith, EAH Affordable Housing
Verna Causby-Smith has been a longtime advocate of MCE’s Multifamily Energy Savings and Low Income Families and Tenants (LIFT) Pilot Program. In her role as Development Asset Manager at EAH Affordable Housing, Verna has worked with properties across MCE’s service area to advocate for and encourage her colleagues at EAH to participate in MCE’s energy savings programs. Recently, Verna was responsible for recruiting Crescent Park Homes in Richmond, CA (over 350 units), and she has done the same for affordable housing properties including Hamilton Meadows in Novato and Farley Place in Belvedere. As a trusted nonprofit housing partner, her promotion of MCE’s programs has been invaluable in continuing to serve multifamily affordable housing properties in our communities.
On December 7, 2018, the MCE Executive Committee unanimously approved a motion to change the previous practice of presenting this award to a single honoree to recognizing all three 2018 Advocacy Award nominees.
To date, the Charles F. McGlashan Advocacy Award has been awarded to:
Barbara George of Women’s Energy Matters (2011)
The Mainstreet Moms (2012)
Lea Dutton of the San Anselmo Quality of Life Commission (2013)
Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth (2014)
Constance Beutel of Benicia’s Community Sustainability Commission (2015)
Sustainable Napa County (2016), and
The El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee (2017)
Click below to watch the 2018 recipients accept their award.