Topics: Proposition 13 and Electric Vehicles Spotlighted on Super Bowl Commercials
Topics: Electric Resiliency, Community Choice Energy, World Radio Day
Topics: Cities as Key Players in a Post-Carbon World, Isla Vista Carbon Neutral 2025
Topics: Deep Ocean Water Desalination, Business Driven Solutions, The Ocean Cleanup Targets Rivers
Additional Topics: Proposition 13 and Electric Vehicles Spotlighted on Super Bowl Commercials
This week on Solutions News, we interview Laura Capps, Candidate for Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor.
With the election coming up, we wanted to take the time to speak with the candidates about their priorities and visions for Santa Barbara County. Capps' agenda includes poverty, climate safety, and housing, topics that are always in need of solutions. We also interviewed her main rival, Das WIlliams on Feb 14, 2020. Click here to listen to that show as well!
The first story this week focuses on Prop 13, which you will find on the primary ballot this year. The current ballot measure to reform Prop 13 would create a total of $15 billion available to build, repair, and modernize schools, from kindergarten through public colleges and universities. Most of the money from the proposed bond — $9 billion — would go to K-12 schools,
The remaining $6 billion would be allotted to higher education facilities, who last benefitted from a state bond measure in 2006. 10 percent of state money would be reserved for districts with fewer than 2,500 students and up to 5 percent more would be matching money for low-income districts. Under the current system, local governments can only fund projects using local property taxes, so places with less expensive properties or fewer properties get less money to use.
The second story highlights a great solution: electric vehicles. Super Bowl commercials always include the newest cars, and this year, environmental and efficient electric cars took the lead. Audi, Porsche, and KIA gave 102 million viewers a taste of the greener future.
To learn more about Laura Capps' candidacy, Prop 13, and electric vehicles, listen now!
Topics: Electric Resiliency, Community Choice Energy, World Radio Day
This week on Solutions News, we interview Das Williams, Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor, who's running for re-election. With the election coming up, we wanted to take the time to focus on local elections, which impact our daily lives in some ways more powerfully than general elections, and it is these local officials who feed the pipeline for Statewide and National Political leadership. They are the County Supervisors who guide local development, our School Board Members who determine what we teach and how.
We also interviewed Das' main rival, Laura Capps on Feb 7, 2020. Click here to listen to that show as well!
Topics on the show also address renewables driven community microgrids, the power of radio to bring diverse communities together in honor of World Radio Day. (#WorldRadioDay #WeAreDiversity)
(Produced by Kristy Jansen. Photo credit: CostalView.com)
Topics: Cities as Key Players in a Post-Carbon World, Isla Vista Carbon Neutral 2025
In this episode of Solutions News, we focus on cities as major players in revolutionizing the carbon economy. Our Guest is David Gershon, founder and CEO of the Empowerment Institute, as well as a long time Fellow of the World Business Academy, and we talk with David about his plan for Isla Vista to be carbon neutral by 2025 and his initiative to bring scalable, trackable carbon neutrality to cities by activating the citizenry statewide one block at a time. As David observes, what choice do we have? Climate Change is here, and we’ll deal with it or go extinct. Clearly, David is excited to be tackling this enormous challenge head-on.
In addition to David’s interview, we will also explore the role that cities play in the current carbon economy, and the promise they hold as the locus of substantial reduction in the global carbon footprint. And, as always, we’ll have our listeners favorite segment: the didyaknows and a final word on how we can update personal habits to lower our personal carbon footprint. (Producer: Kristy Jansen)
Topics: Deep Ocean Water Desalination, Business Driven Solutions, The Ocean Cleanup targets Rivers!
On this episode of Solutions News, our guests are Susanne Chess and Bob Evans, two mission-driven entrepreneurs who have made it their business to manufacture solutions to address problems large and small. Their latest project is focused on sustainable desalination using the power of the deep ocean to create clean freshwater without creating more problems for the animals, plants and other creatures who live there. We also feature other business-driven solutions, our didyaknows and feature an update on the Ocean Clean-up River project.
We kick off the show discussing ways to fix the planet with the levers of business. Innumerable solutions are needed to mitigate climate change, and they are needed on such a wide scale that business alone will have trouble making them accessible to humanity. Cooperation is an absolute must-- between innovators, financiers, and groups that can effectively deploy solutions. That's where public-private partnerships come in. These are cooperative arrangements between two or more public and private sectors, typically long-term. Ideally, this is a win-win situation where a business is able to tackle a problem that the government could not. To learn more about public private partnerships and their success stories, listen now!
Our next story is very close to the hearts of our guests, Susanne Chess and Bob Evans. The Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious project that we've touch on in the past, was launched in 2013 to clean up plastic pollution. The nonprofit makes use of trash-collecting barges in water ways, and this is just one of many new and exciting campaigns in the private sector to address the world's biggest problems.
Laura Capps – President of Santa Barbara School Board, mother, small business owner, former president of the Community Environmental Council, and Santa Barbara local (go Dons!) – is running for Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor to make local government listen to the people again. Her vision for our county addresses our severe housing and homeless crisis, the need for better emergency and climate safety infrastructure, an overhaul on campaign finance, and fixing a botched cannabis ordinance.
Laura has devoted her career to public service and is passionate about making our community, and our country, the best it can be for everyone. She is an active and responsive member of the Santa Barbara School Board with a has a proven record of being a leader who listens. She’ll complete her term in 2020.
Laura was born and raised in Santa Barbara and is an alumna of our public schools -- Roosevelt Elementary, Santa Barbara Jr. High School, Santa Barbara High School (go Dons!). Laura holds a Masters with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in History from UC Berkeley.
For the past 25 years, Laura’s work has been about forging a more environmentally sustainable future, combatting poverty, fighting for immigration reform, and supporting the rights of all people. She began her career in government and public service in the Clinton White House, working first as an aide to White House Senior Advisor George Stephanopoulos and then as a speechwriter for President Clinton. She was Senator Ted Kennedy’s Communications Director in the U.S. Senate, serving as his primary spokesperson and developing strategic communications plans on a wide range of issues. Laura was a senior aide on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, starting first as his Iowa Communications Director and then directing communications for the seven battleground states in the west during the general election.
For over a decade, Laura has worked with national non-profit organizations, building a reputation as a respected advocate for environmental conservation and climate issues through senior positions at Ocean Conservancy and climate non-profit founded and chaired by Vice President Al Gore. Recently she has devoted much of her work to ending poverty in California with advocacy and outreach on the Earned Income Tax Credit, the strongest tool to alleviate poverty especially among working mothers.
Excited to share her knowledge and experience, Laura has taught college courses on Congress and politics at the University of California Washington Center. She served as UC Berkeley's Director of Government Affairs, representing the campus both on the federal and state level. She served multiple terms on the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees
It was with great joy that Laura returned back to her hometown, Santa Barbara, seven years ago, to raise her son Oscar, a third grader at Roosevelt Elementary, and give back to the community she loves.
Laura’s community involvement includes:
· Serving our public schools – the cornerstone of our democracy – as a member of the Board of Santa Barbara Unified School District. Laura has worked to close the achievement gap, make our schools safer, advocate for social and emotional learning, listen and respond to the many voices in our community, and has been a champion for sustainability.
· Combating childhood hunger in Santa Barbara County. Laura spearheaded a coalition that is helping more kids throughout Santa Barbara County get free, healthy meals in the summer -- a time when hunger is at its worst. This work has resulted in 33% more meals served in over 50 places around the County. She was also part of the county-wide effort to strengthen Santa Barbara's food system.
· Championing sustainability. Laura is the past president and current member of the Board of the Community Environmental Council. She’s been a leader focused on local solutions to our climate crisis by offering sustainable choices for the energy we consume – with specific focus on our school district.
· Standing up for women. Appointed by then Supervisor Carbajal, as Chair of the County Commission for Women, Laura led an effort to improve the gender representation on boards and commissions throughout the county.
· Advocating for women’s reproductive rights and health care. As a past member of the Board of Directors, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Laura has given political leadership and support for comprehensive health education to this important organization at a time when women’s health and reproductive services are under assault.
· Protecting our children from gun violence. Laura has helped the school district strengthen its safety plans and has been an outspoken champion of sensible gun reforms. As a mother of a 3rd grader, Laura knows how real the fear of gun violence is and will fight to keep our children safe.
· Serving this community as a person of faith. Laura’s dedication to public service draws from her religious beliefs. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Initiative, and a member of the congregation at Trinity Episcopal Church.
As a result of her excellent public education and the strong influence of her parents Walter and Lois Capps, both respected public servants, Laura has dedicated her life to creating a better future for all.
Laura Capps, our guest on Feb. 7, 2020
Das Williams grew up attending local schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. He split his time between his mother who lived Ojai and his father who lived in Isla Vista. He attended Dos Pueblos High School until he dropped out of high school during his senior year. Rather than moving to San Luis Obispo County with his mother, Das opted to move back to Santa Barbara, having to live in his van, and attend Santa Barbara City College (SBCC).
While a student at Santa Barbara City College, Das developed a passion for politics in classes with his favorite professor, Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar and travelled to South Africa to work for Nelson Mandela's African National Congress in South Africa's first democratic election in 1994.
After two and a half years at SBCC, Das transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, from which he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Shortly after graduating, Das moved back to Santa Barbara and worked as a field organizer on Hannah-Beth Jackson's campaign for State Assembly. Following her win, he went on to work in both her Capitol and District offices before going on to work in other legislative offices in the Capitol.
Following this time in Sacramento, Das once again returned home to attend University of California, Santa Barbara's Bren School where he attained his Master's Degree in Environmental Science & Management with a focus on water pollution, planning processes and land-use law. In 2003, while still a graduate student, Das successfully ran for the Santa Barbara City Council.
During his time as a Santa Barbara City Councilmember, Das began a record of accomplishments that would continue throughout his public service career. As a councilmember, he spearheaded the effort to require 30% of the city's energy to come from renewable sources by 2011, which was then one of the toughest energy efficiency standards in the state. Das also established himself as a leader in the effort to stop offshore oil drilling, protecting the coast and local water supplies by working to restore local creeks and wetlands and preserve open space, and led the push to expand the city's public transit system. While serving as a Santa Barbara City Councilmember, Das also served on the Board of Trustees for Peabody Charter School where he helped avoid teacher layoffs during the Great Recession.
In 2010, Santa Barbara and Ventura County voters elected Das to represent them in the California State Assembly and re-elected him twice in 2012 and 2014. His Assembly career was defined by a legacy of passing strict standards to decrease the state's dependence on fossil fuels, holding oil companies accountable and fighting to end off shore oil drilling, and enacting ground breaking legislation to combat gun violence in the wake of the Isla Vista shooting. Additionally, Das established himself as a champion for California's public higher education system, serving as chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and authoring legislation focused on creating a dedicated revenue source for higher education and establishing harsher punishments for students who commit sexual assault.
Das was then elected to represent the First District of Santa Barbara County on its Board of Supervisors in 2016, a position he currently holds. As Supervisor, Das has provided leadership during the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow that rocked Santa Barbara County in addition to taking proactive leadership to develop clean energy locally and working to protect vital public services, such as our libraries. In December 2019, Das was also appointed to serve on the Monterey Bay Community Power Policy Board and Executive Board.
Das lives in Carpinteria with his wife Jonnie and their two daughters, Ya'Ash and Khaya.
Das Williams, our guest on Feb. 14th, 2020
David Gershon, co-founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute has been called “the number one expert on social change.” He applies his visionary leadership and social change expertise to designing second order change solutions for cities, countries and the planet that enable the seemingly impossible to become possible. Over the past four decades the initiatives he’s designed have won many awards and achieved much recognition.
In 1986 David organized, at the height of the cold war, the passing of a torch of peace around the world. The First Earth Run, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund directly engaged twenty-five million people and 45 heads-of-state in 62 countries. Over a billion people watched the torch via the media circumnavigate the globe. For 86 days wherever the torch of peace went all wars stopped and the world was united as one. Since then this modern day mythic story embodying humanity’s noblest aspiration for peace on earth and the oneness of humanity has continued to be told all over the world.
David is author of twelve books, including the award- winning Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World and the best-selling Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It.
He directs Empowerment Institute’s Center for Reinventing the Planet which empowers social entrepreneurs from around the world to design and implement second order change social innovations. He has lectured at Harvard, MIT, and Johns Hopkins and served as an advisor to the Clinton White House and the United Nations on empowerment and second order change.
David has dedicated his life to empowering humanity to believe we can create the world of our dreams and designing the strategies and tools to help us make this a reality. He is putting this aspiration and second order knowledge into action through a bold plan to change the world called: “Reinventing the Planet.”
David Gershon, our guest on Feb. 21, 2020
Bob Evans is a visionary, an entrepreneur, who identifies and materializes significant solutions.
He and his wife and partner, Susanne Chess have invested their lives in identifying opportunities, putting the teams together and executing the programs necessary to realize projects in the ocean, while addressing needs of society. Desalination is their primary passion because coastal desalination is harming the world’s eco-system.
To this end, they have launched C+E=DOW, an acronym for Chess+Evans=Deep Ocean Water Desalination. The company’s objective is to design and build, supply and manage operation of proprietary desalination modules and methods, an environmentally superior solution to our most pressing need – converting ocean saltwater into fresh water in a more sustainable manner. ChessEvans.com
Bob has spent approximately 6,000 hours under water (equivalent to 3 full-time working years), during which he established and documented undersea programs, some for which required he design and produce equipment. His manufacturing experience includes establishment of polyurethane production facilities and development of revolutionary methods of molding.
He has more than 30 patents, work in Museums (New York Museum of Modern Art, Department of Architecture and Design, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, etc.), and international design accolades, including a “Time Magazine Innovation of Year Award.”
Bob Evans has served as Executive Director, President and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. This 55-year old organization recognizes pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, safety and preservation of the underwater world. In 2005 he was awarded a NOGI by the Academy. In 2006 he was awarded by Beneath the Sea as Diver of the Year in Science. He is also a member of the Ocean Artists Society.
Susanne Chess is the daughter of entrepreneurs, from whom she acquired her passion for business. Through more than thirty years of key management (Board of Directors) experience, she has honed crucial skills in problem solving and communication. She co-founded Bob Evans, Inc., and coordinated production and marketing, for its primary product Force Fin®, building it into a respected worldwide recognized brand.
In 2012, she launched AeroHance, Inc. which produces GasPods® designed by Bob Evans to enhance the aerodynamics of cars and trucks to save fuel. In 2004, she founded Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara and FineFabrics.com.
A recognized business leader in Santa Barbara, CA, she was honored to be asked to give a commencement speech to the graduating class of the Women’s Economic Venture Group, and as a guest speaker for symposia on International Business at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2013, she was awarded a Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award by its Foundation for Santa Barbara County.
Susanne Chess and Bob Evans, our guests on Feb. 28, 2020