Originally posted in the Chico News and Review on January 5, 2017
Whom to watch in 2017
“I’m focused on increasing the community’s awareness of climate change, and on promoting energy efficiency,” Goldstein said during a recent interview at City Hall, where she hangs her hat these days.Bryce Goldstein graduated from Humboldt State in May and quickly put her environmental sciences degree into action. At 22 years old, Goldstein says her passions are climate change and energy, two areas she focused on in school and continues to work on through a CivicSpark fellowship, which brought her to Chico in September.
CivicSpark, part of the AmeriCorps program, names 68 fellows throughout California each year—48 who work on climate action and 20 who work on water action. Goldstein is one of the former. The program lasts one year—it started in September—and generally includes a community assessment and a project completed in conjunction with local government. The overarching goal is to offer support to local communities in furthering their climate goals.
In Chico, that means Goldstein is working with nonprofits like Butte Environmental Council and GRID Alternatives as well as city staff and the Sustainability Task Force to implement the city’s Climate Action Plan. That plan calls for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases over 2005 levels by the year 2020. Among her first items of business was updating the city’s sustainability website (chicosustainability.org) and Facebook page (@SustainableChico).
Goldstein hopes to pass along ideas on how people can be more green, but her main project will be a sustainability challenge that she’s currently brainstorming with the Sustainability Task Force. Initially, that looks like it could take the form of an LED challenge.
“Dates and numerical goals are uncertain at this point, but we discussed potentially installing 1 million LEDs in Chico,” Goldstein said. “This would include residences, businesses, schools, etc.”
Goldstein said the task force also hopes to get more people involved in the National Bike Challenge, which takes place from May through September. In addition to the community challenges, she plans to continue educating the public about climate change and increasing local engagement through volunteerism.
“My personal goals are to contribute to positive change, as well as develop professionally and personally,” Goldstein said of her wishes for 2017. “More specifically, when the year is done, I want to have contributed to a noticeable increase in public awareness and action regarding climate change. At the same time, I hope to become a better leader and solidify my own career goals.”
From the city’s perspective, she’s already making her mark.
“Through the CivicSpark program, Bryce is connected to resources that are being developed at the state level to reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions and combat and adapt to climate change,” said Brendan Vieg, principal planner for the city of Chico who works with the Sustainability Task Force. “Her youth and optimism are energizing the Sustainability Task Force’s ongoing efforts to engage and educate the community on climate action.
“She’s in a unique position to connect local residents and businesses to resources, rebates and giveaways that in turn will save them money and help the environment.”
—Meredith J. Cooper