In the eternal words of Kermit the Frog: It's not easy being green.
These words ring especially true in San Diego. Our uniquely Southern Californian love of car culture, paired with a conservative mayor—whose party has yet to recognize the severity of climate change—puts a serious damper on anyone trying to pass environmentally conscious legislation.
And this is why we're lucky to have Nicole Capretz, founder of the Climate Action Campaign, a San Diego nonprofit with the singular goal of stopping climate change.
A 20-year resident of San Diego, Capretz sees our city as the perfect vanguard for grassroots environmental innovation.
"We're a living lab where we can do this major political, economical and environment shift," she says. "We have the talent and resources to be a world-class city."
From anyone else, that may sound like idealistic lip service, but Capretz has the drive to make it succeed (she's a self-described "bull in a china shop"), citing cross-sector participation and working from the bottom up (i.e. within local government) as the keys to her success. Seriously, anyone who can muster support from both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and SANDAG for progressive legislation is doing something right.
Although we have a long way to go before we're a walkable/bikeable city, Capretz has seen "huge progress" in the two years of the nonprofit's existence, especially when it comes to her work in surrounding cities.
"Del Mar just passed a 100 percent clean energy climate plan," she says. "Solana Beach, La Mesa, Oceanside and Encinitas are right behind."