Agenda to Explore What Alexandrians Can Do About Climate Change

(Photos courtesy of Agenda Alexandria)

Alexandria – Alexandria ranks high among cities people want to live or visit. Its history, waterfront, diversity, parks, tree canopy, and vibrant neighborhoods are all part of its allure. How great will it be in our children’s future?

As 2023 shapes up to be Alexandria’s hottest year in recorded history, it presents health risks for residents, tourists, workers, and nature. The Potomac River is rising much faster than projected, threatening our waterfront parks and homes. Flooding and damaging storms may be the new normal. Climate change is here, and we are experiencing hotter, wetter, and wilder weather.

What’s a small city to do? Alexandria’s carbon emissions come from human activities in an already-built town — their homes, cars, and workplaces. How can we reduce the risks of climate threats to the people and places we love? Alexandria’s Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (ECCAP) lists the actions needed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and 80 to 100% by 2050. It lays out strategies to adapt to a changing climate’s increased precipitation and extreme heat.

Can we do it? What do we have to do? And how will we pay for it?

Join us for a lively discussion of climate solutions to future-proof Alexandria on Monday, September 18, at 7 pm, moderated by Agenda Alexandria Board member Mary Harris. We will also live-stream the event through our social networks, including YouTube and Facebook, with assistance from the Alexandria City High School Broadcast Club and Zebra newspaper.

To register for this session, go to Members of the panel are

Kathie Hoekstra, City of Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission Chair

Kathie Hoekstra

Until retiring in 2021, Kathie Hoekstra worked leading software design projects at the Federal Aviation Administration. After 30 years of government service, she turned to her primary passion – the environment and addressing the climate crisis. Under her leadership, the Environmental Policy Commission has advocated for specific programs and projects to fight the climate crisis, including 1) creating the Office of Climate Action, 2) reforming the city’s Green Building Policy to move to net zero energy, and 3) greatly expanding city communications with residents and businesses to learn about the tax incentives and rebates now available for conversions of gas to electric appliances. Kathie has a JD from John Marshall Law School in Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law (LLM) from George Washington University Law School.

Ryan Freed – City of Alexandria Climate Control Officer

Ryan Freed

As Alexandria’s first Climate Action Officer, Ryan directs the Office of Climate Action under the City Manager. He was formerly at the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), where he was Senior Director for Policy and Regulatory Strategy for seven years. He led the Institute’s government-focused work on equitable climate solutions, including commitments to bring community members more fully into government policy-making efforts. Previously, Ryan served as the Director of the Kansas Corporation Commission Energy Division. He has worked with dozens of local governments nationwide and coordinated with philanthropic organizations to raise funds for projects, community organizations, and other initiatives.

Rose Stephens-Booker, former Senior Associate at BlocPower

Rose Stephens-Booker

Rose served on the city’s Energy and Climate Change Action Task Force. She is a director at the Building Decarbonization Coalition and an award-winning energy professional with a mission to build relationships and business strategies that advocate for climate and clean energy policies. She recently served the Biden-Harris Administration as a presidential appointee in the Department of Energy, charged with connecting the department’s resources to local communities, states, Tribal nations, and stakeholders. Before her appointment, Rose was a Senior Associate at BlocPower, developing and managing the company’s partnership strategy to bring clean energy solutions to vulnerable communities across America. In addition, Rose spent eight years with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, focused on market transformation and public-private partnerships. She began her career as a sustainability consultant overseeing issue-based awareness campaigns with media influencers, including The Today Show and The Ellen Show.

ICYMI: Here’s What’s Happening This Fall in Alexandria!

Related Articles

Back to top button