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Sustainable Sonoma fosters a partnership that uncovers common ground among the stakeholders in our community. Anyone who shares a genuine interest in helping to achieve a just, sustainable, thriving community in Sonoma Valley needs to be at the table.  

To stimulate the conversation, below are examples of qualities that a sustainable Sonoma Valley might have, as identified by a broad set of Sonoma Valley people in 2016. * Actual outcomes will be created by our community working together. 


Economy

OUR ROBUST LOCAL ECONOMY SUPPORTS LOCAL PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY GOALS

Everyone — People and Society

ALL OUR PEOPLE THRIVE AND ACHIEVE THEIR LIFE POTENTIAL

Environment 

THE MIX OF LAND USES SUPPORTS ECOLOGICAL HEALTH AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING


A growing, inclusive list to support community conversation. 

Version: January 30, 2018

GOALS, HOPES, & DREAMS

People & Society

  • All our people thrive and achieve their life potential.

  • People who work here can afford to live here. "Jobs/housing balance." People have the economic resources to make ends meet.

  • Every child gets a high quality education.

  • People feel like the good qualities of their community will persist. Parents feel their children will be able to live well here. Young people feel there is work for them here.

  • This is a healthy place for all residents to live, work, and play. People eat healthy food, enjoy good mental health, are physically active, and can afford health care.

  • People are healthy enough to work and support themselves. Health care is seen as a social justice issue. A wide range of health care professionals are in our community, who are accessible in terms of insurance and support for different modalities. Mental health support is accessible for youth.

  • People are connected to their communities and participate in community life. We cultivate a culture of gratitude, abundance, innovation, trust, and personal connection.

  • Government processes are clear, inclusive, and easy to engage with. People have faith in the system and feel it belongs to them. Policies, including county and city general plans, reflect stated community goals.

  • Equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, family care status, disability, or religion.

  • Everyone has a valued place in the community. We invest more in those who need more. All have access to opportunities regardless of who they are. Work is paid at a living wage/fairly regardless of who you are. Workplaces are equitable and inclusive.

  • The homeless population is manageable and feels supported by the community.

  • At risk and low-income seniors are supported by the community and connected to youth. Resources are available for aging in place.

  • We have effective emergency systems for preparedness and communications.

  • Our community increasingly reflects the economic, racial and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and California.

  • We support people with safety nets, from entryways to home ownership to downsizing later in life.

Environment

  • The mix of land uses supports ecological health, human health, and economic well-being.

  • Growth and development occur within already developed areas, protecting agricultural and natural areas from development. The built environment (buildings, roads, energy grid, and communications grid) is restricted to protect our rural community character. The Urban Growth Boundary has been renewed

  • More Accessory Dwelling Units in fire-affected areas and beyond.

  • The wildlife, plant communities, and natural systems that support and delight us are healthy and resilient to the impacts of climate change.

  • We have a reliable supply of clean water for people and nature.

  • We have a renewable, local and resilient energy system with net zero emissions.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are consistent with <1.5 degrees (C) of global climate change.

  • We have a smart, efficient, climate-resilient transportation system with multiple modalities. People can use it to access the outdoors. We have a viable network of walking and biking paths. Transportation is understood as mobility, not as just roads and parking.

Economy

  • Our robust local economy supports local people and community goals.

  • Tourism serves community goals. It protects our rural community character and the well being of local residents. Tourism promotes our world-class outdoor recreation and historical character, in addition to wine and food.

  • Philanthropic giving (including fire recovery funds) is consistent with stated community goals, and coordinated to achieve those goals.

  • We have a skilled workforce that supports local hiring needs.

  • We maintain a diverse, thriving, rural, agricultural economy. People who grow food here can afford to live here.

  • Our economy is healthy, diversified, and resilient, and supports local business formation and retention.

  • People can find opportunity here. Entrepreneurship is the heart of local goods and services, employment, economic contribution and our heritage. We support individuals who are starting or expanding small businesses, so they can live in Sonoma Valley. We support trade and business development, especially businesses and trades that serve post-fire rebuilding.

  • Infrastructure investments support our community's future. Built systems are resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Miscellaneous

• Our community culture has been defined.

• We are able to cope with the impacts of state and federal policy.

• We constantly look to the future to determine what actions we can take now,

aiming for where we want to be rather than recreating what we’ve always done.
 

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

• Housing is unaffordable for most people.

• We lose the wild places, the beauty, and the habitat of Sonoma Valley.

• The economy rests on an increasingly narrow basis, making it vulnerable.

• Losing diversity in our community.

• Becoming a “playground for the rich,” a white enclave.

• Extreme water scarcity and fire risk.

• Losing a genuine, local community culture. What is our “local culture”?

• More part-time residents displacing locals, families and youth.

• The local economy does not support the cost of living for people at most

economic levels: workers commute to serve visitors.

• More young people leaving when they finish high school, who cannot

afford to return.

• More people at risk, especially seniors.

• Latinos can’t participate in government and leadership.

• Broken transportation system. Seniors, youth, and many others can’t get around.

Gridlock.

• Can’t overcome harmful federal policies and funding levels.

• There is an unhealthy relationship to alcohol and cannabis across all age groups.

Drinking is normalized and even reinforced by the community.

• Disruptions in global tourism patterns by automation, robotics, artificial reality.

• The wine industry and wine tourism are over-commodified.

• Climate change.

• Population pressure.

• There is more bullying in schools, particularly social media bullying, resulting in

mental health problems among youth.


*Ava Castro (Future Farmers of America, church, youth),  Beth Dadko (Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Health Action), Caitlin Cornwall (Sonoma Ecology Center), Juan Hernandez (La Luz), Katherine Fulton (Sonoma Valley Fund), Laurie Decker (Chamber of Commerce), Mike Benziger (Retired Farmer), Patricia Shults (Chamber of Commerce), Richard Dale (Sonoma Ecology Center)