March 9, 2019 Update
This week, we spoke with the Sonoma Valley High School Earth Club about opportunities and
challenges they see in Sonoma Valley. Here's what they had to say...
Q: What do you see as the really big needs facing Sonoma Valley?
"Damage caused by the fires needs to be fixed."
"As a town, Sonoma is not very sustainable. We could have better public transportation, and recycling in schools and on the plaza."
"The use of plastic in the county... we have no viable water fountains and no water bottle filling stations."
"We need communication systems to spread good news, like Operation Bicycle at Teen Services."
Q: What would you say young people need from adults?
"Connections. For example, adults are running programs like Sustainable Sonoma. We need connections so we can find out how to get involved."
"Open communication with school administration about how to solve some problems. There is so much invisible red tape and they don’t tell us how to get around it."
Q: What is broken in Sonoma Valley?
"The relationship between students and upper administration. The relationships between students and teachers are really good."
"There are a lot of people in the community who don’t get involved."
Q: Do you feel like there is a place for you here after high school? College?
"Cost of living is something we really think about. The idea of living in Sonoma is great, but practically I don’t know how that would work, especially with Sonoma turning into more of a tourist destination."
"I would love to raise my kids here, but lots of people in my neighborhood are retired. There are not a lot of young people."
Q: What do we have here that is really precious, that we should preserve?
"Sonoma as a whole has a really strong community. For example, the Farmers Market, and how people came together during the fires. Despite the tourist community, there is really a strong local community."
"Land—we need to protect our open space and not develop it."
This is an example of the listening sessions we will be having with a wide range of interest groups throughout Sonoma Valley. The purpose of this effort is to enable everyone in our community to weigh in on what goals and shared vision of the future Sustainable Sonoma will focus on.
We also aim to build people's capacity to talk about community issues and speak from their interests, but also be aware of others' interests—to foster qualities that lead to understanding, trust and common ground.