Petaluma Equitable Climate Action Coalition (PECAC) 

Recommendations Slide Deck
Recommendations Presentation

“You have truly created a new standard for high quality community engagement with complex bureaucratic documents”. – Alegría De La Cruz, Director of the Office of Equity, Sonoma County

Climate change has already greatly impacted our community in the last few years. Some of us have had to evacuate our homes, relocate or take in friends and family due to fires. Others may have had to be without electricity because of the power shut-offs or had to work outside in horrendous air quality.

The effects of climate change are not foreign to us, and as tends to be the case, communities rendered most vulnerable by racist systems bear the brunt of the impact. Climate change will only continue to bring increased fires, heatwaves, drought, severe weather, flooding, sea level rise, air pollution and more. Indirect impacts include job loss, challenges with mental health and stress, increasing food costs, spread of disease and more. All of which is right now already ravaging communities of colors, families forced to live in poverty, our elders and our youth.

There are many solutions we can implement right here in Petaluma to mitigate/soften and prepare for the impact of climate change. Communities most impacted by systemic inequities and climate change have the lived experience to help design the best path forward, and must be at the forefront of how decisions are made about how to implement solutions equitably.

About PECAC:

A 6 month program from April-September designed to support systemically underrepresented participants in uplifting the voices of our most impacted communities in providing input into how the City of Petaluma and Climate Commission can prioritize and focus policies, programs and resources to equitably move the recently passed Climate Emergency Framework forward.


  • We are headed for “catastrophic” global warming by century’s end. (IPCC Report, September 2022)

  • Petaluma’s goal is to achieve greenhouse gas carbon neutrality by 2030.

  • Communities rendered most vulnerable by racist systems bear the brunt of the impact of climate change and therefore must be at the forefront of how decisions are made about how to implement solutions equitably.

  • PECAC is a new model of equitable community engagement designed to center the knowledge, wisdom, voices and lived experiences of our neighbors who have historically been on the margins of solution design.

Our Methodology:

  • Part 1: Learn about equity principles, climate change (Mitigation, Sequestration, Adaptation & Social Resilience), application of systems thinking, local government, community listening, and apply trauma-informed practices, collective and self-care.

  • Part 2: Participants conduct listening circles with members of their community to understand their climate related concerns, interests, and impacts.

  • Part 3: Apply lessons learned to Petaluma’s Climate Emergency Framework by synthesizing this input and presenting a set of policy recommendations to the City Council.

Transformative Communities Approach

  • Conduct an intentional design process working in partnership and shifting the paradigm of who is an expert by applying a transformative lens outreach, interviews, selection criteria and curriculum design to center the wisdom, expertise and voices of folks who have experienced systemic inequities.

  • Foster relationships and a space to build trust within the coalition where participants feel seen and valued, can be courageous and vulnerable, and show up as their full selves.

  • Remove barriers by providing $1800 stipends for participation and honor the time, energy and work of folks engaged in program.

  • Embrace discomfort and continual learning by actively decentering of whiteness, trusting the process, and humanizing climate change.

Our Co-Designer:

Equity First Consulting is a global Diversity, Equity and Belonging Strategy Firm co-designed by women of color and their allies. This firm is led by its Founder, Ana Lugo, and is supported by a wide network of cross sector leaders who embrace our diversity and elevate our power. Equity First works to support organizations, institutions, and companies to develop internal cultures that foster and celebrate equity and meaningfully engage their leaders at all levels to create a community culture that reflects these values and practices.

Our Participants:

Our incredible team is comprised of passionate members of the Petaluma community: Celeste Chavez Hernandez, Luis Chavarin, Ri Bussey, Lisa Lim, David M. Ortega Jimenez, Kymberly Bailey