Sustainability Advisory Council

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Sustainability Advisory Council applications are now closed. We are thrilled to report that over 300 applications were submitted! That level of enthusiasm is a testament to the commitment the people of Denver have shown to the important work of mitigating the causes of climate change, centering the work on equity, and helping our communities build their resilience to enhance and maintain their quality of life. Please scroll to the "Members" dropdown below for more information about the selection process.

The Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) was originally created in 2010 by Mayor John Hickenlooper, and continues today under Mayor Michael Hancock. Members of the SAC represent a broad and diverse leadership of Denver’s communities, businesses, and institutions.

The SAC’s primary functions are to:

  • Provide advice and recommendations to the staff of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) for advancing the city’s ambitious climate goals and effective implementation of the Climate Protection Fund’s 5-year strategic plan.
  • Assist CASR in connecting with the people, communities, businesses, and institutions it serves.
  • Promote and communicate the principles of sustainability broadly among the community and stakeholders.

The SAC does not:

  • Have the authority to speak for the City and County of Denver or otherwise to commit Denver to any course of action or inaction.
  • Involve itself in policies, decisions, and actions related to personnel.

 

Members

When the new SAC is seated in 2021, it will have 15 members, as follows:

  • 12 who are co-chairs of the SAC’s six standing committees, appointed by the Mayor.

  • 2 who are at-large members of SAC committees who are not also co-chairs, appointed by the Mayor.

  • 1 who is a representative of City Council, selected by the Council President.

Members serve for a term of two years and may be reappointed for up to two additional terms at the discretion of the Mayor. 

Mayor Michael Hancock is committed to seating a SAC and committees that reflect the diversity of people, communities, and businesses in Denver. Membership is open to individuals who live or work in Denver, with the exception of the Science Committee which has no geographic limitation.

Member Selection Process

CASR manages the SAC and will facilitate the selection process. We have created a review panel for each of the six standing committees comprised of at least three people, all employees of the City and County of Denver, who will read and score the applications. There will be three rounds of review, as follows: 

  • Round 1: Applications will be reviewed by the committee the applicant ranked first. Those scored in the top 20 will remain with this review panel, the rest will move on to Round 2. 
  • Round 2: If an applicant was not selected for their first-choice committee, it will be reviewed by their second-choice committee.  The application will be scored again, and it may move into the top 20 for their second-choice committee.  If so, their application remains here.  If not, it will be forwarded to their third-choice committee. 
  • Round 3: Similar to Round 2, an applicant's third-choice committee will again review and score the application and this may put an applicant into the top 20. At the end of this round, the selection of 20 members for each committee shall be complete. 

The draft by-laws of the SAC establish the guidelines below for the composition of each standing committee, and the application review panels will follow this in their selection process: 

The Nominating Committee shall endeavor to formulate committees that are diverse in race, ethnicity, LGBTQIA, age, representative industry/organization type, and other personal and professional characteristics. Committee member selection shall strive for the following minimums: 

  • One third of members shall identify as advocates for communities that are most impacted by the effects of climate change including American Indian and People of Color, representatives of communities that are under-resourced or marginalized, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, or those who have climate-impacted health conditions.  
  • One third of members shall have sector specific scientific, implementation, or policy expertise 
  • One ninth of members shall represent environmental interests 
  • One ninth of members shall represent business or industry interests 
  • One ninth of members shall represent workforce interests 

Co-chair selection: Once the 20 members of each committee are selected, each review panel will select four people for consideration as co-chair (nearly 70% of applicants indicated they are interested in serving as co-chair).  The CASR team will review these recommendations and forward two for each committee, plus two additional from this pool, to the Mayor for review.  This process may include interviews and reference checks. Should the Mayor prefer not to proceed with one or more of the nominees, we will return to the other nominees on the list for a replacement.  

We expect to complete the committee selection process by the end of February 2021, and the co-chair selection by the end of March 2021.  We hope to begin holding meetings of the SAC and the six standing committees in April 2021. 

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The former members are listed below, their terms ended on 12/31/2020.

Former SAC Members:

  • Jay April, Berkeley Regis United Neighbors
  • Kendra Black, Denver City Council
  • Devon Buckels, The Water Connection
  • Cindy Chang, Goundwork Denver
  • Jill Cooper, Independent Contrator (Vice Chair)
  • Alex Dane, Spark Policy Institute
  • Adrienne Dorsey, Grid Alternatives
  • Monique Dyers, Ensight Energy
  • Rudy Gonzales, Servicios de la Raza
  • Jennifer Hale, Denver Zoo
  • Monica Heintz, Arcadis US, Inc.
  • Jocelyn Hittle, Colorado State University
  • Stella Hodgkins, GE Johnson (Secretary)
  • Paul Kashmann, Denver City Council
  • Joyce Kennedy, People and Pollinators
  • Winna MacLaren, Community Member
  • Theron Makley, Independent Consultant
  • Hilda Nucete, League of Conservation Voters
  • Ashley Ruiz, McKinstry
  • Brenna Simmons-St.Onge, The Alliance Center
  • Casey Stock, DaVita (Chair)
  • Lauren Wilson, Xcel Energy

Standing Committees

The committees described below have been established to organize the work of the SAC. Policies and programs will be explored and debated at the committee level, their recommendations will be forwarded to the SAC which will vote to submit them to CASR for consideration. CASR staff will report back to the SAC and committees on the actions it takes on the recommendations.

Each committee will be supported by a City staff member. The committee co-chairs, who are the voting members of the SAC, will collaborate with their assigned staff liaison to develop meeting agendas, coordinate communication with committee members, distribute meeting minutes and, most importantly, facilitate effective and collegial meetings, working to achieve consensus on the issues.

  • Science: The Science committee will advise CASR on emerging areas of practice in the urban context concerning climate mitigation, adaptation, resiliency, and sustainability. As part of this work, it will advise the office on the most effective and innovative practices that should be considered. The work of this committee will ensure that current climate science and natural resources protection needs and strategies are based on peer-reviewed studies, data, and research. The committee will also advise CASR on innovative ways to bring new technology to Denver and will support the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Climate Protection Fund’s five-year plan strategies in achieving identified goals.
  • Community Adaptation, Resiliency, and Environmental Justice: The Community committee will advise CASR on prioritizing strategies, policies, and programs that support and empower residents and communities to mitigate the causes of climate change and prepare for/adapt to the changes it is already causing. This group will identify concerns and solutions that fit the unique needs of Denver’s communities, and assist CASR in defining its role in facilitating systemic change to address environmental justice.
  • Resource Management: The Resource Management committee will advise CASR on policies and programs to improve air and water quality, increase green space and habitat, improve soil quality, promote sustainable land use, and reduce solid waste generation and increase landfill diversion.
  • Energy: The Energy committee will advise CASR on prioritizing recommendations and strategies to decarbonize Denver’s energy system, including adaptation and resiliency strategies specifically associated with city-wide energy systems.
  • Sustainable Transportation: The Sustainable Transportation committee will advise CASR on prioritizing strategies and recommendations to reduce emissions from Denver’s transportation sector. The committee will partner closely with the advisory boards managed by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) concerning public transportation and mobility. Included in this work are adaptation and resiliency strategies specifically associated with the city-wide transportation system.
  • Buildings and Homes: The Buildings and Homes committee will advise CASR on prioritizing implementation of strategies and recommendations to reduce emissions associated with buildings and homes, improve indoor air quality, and improve sustainability, including resilient building design.

Meetings

Advisory Council meetings are open to the public. The final meeting of 2020 will be held on Wednesday, December 16 from 3:00-5:00pm. The public is welcome to listen-in on Facebook Live at Facebook.com/DenverCASR.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Location: Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns this meeting took place virtually. 

Meeting Recording