Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.07
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date May 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Cal Poly Humboldt
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Katie Koscielak
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Mgmt
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

-In partnership with the County of Humboldt, Connie Stewart, Executive Director of the CA Center for Rural Policy, worked to advance and advocate for Project Trellis, which is a public action with local policy makers to implement government support for cannabis industry professionals. As stated on the website hosted by the County, (https://humboldtgov.org/2473/Project-Trellis), "The purpose of Project Trellis is, in part, to bolster the cannabis industry, and protect future cannabis excise tax revenues by providing services to populations and communities in Humboldt who were adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis, to develop a framework for supportive programs designed to sustain and grow Humboldt’s cannabis industry, and to assist cannabis businesses as they work to overcome the financial and logistical challenges of coming into compliance. Funding for the program will come from local cannabis excise tax revenues, cannabis fines and fees, and state funding via SB 1294." Developing a robust cannabis industry that makes compliance doable and accessible provides environmental, economic, and social benefits to the local community, county and its diverse stakeholders, making this advocacy work related to sustainability. The CA Center for Rural Policy is a community driven research center, housed physically at the HSU campus and supported fiscally by the campus.
-Professor Jeff Kane of Forestry, serves in the role of chair for the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council (http://www.norcalrxfirecouncil.org/). This group has been very engaged and effective at advocating for legislation and policy related to prescribed burning throughout the state of CA and implementing change to a fire suppression regime via local and state municipalities, tribal, and non-governmental participants, primarily through their policy committee. For example, presenter Will Harling presented and collaborated with this group on news from the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership which had a goal of restoring "historic" fire regimes in the Western Klamath Mtns through local, regional, state, and federal partnerships.
-In April 2019, the HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation was a major sponsor and partner for the 9th Annual Humboldt Bay Symposium, which brought together government agents and resource managers, scientists, and community members to address management issues that cross disciplines and to link science and management for the Humboldt Bay ecosystem. Support for the symposium represents clear effort to advance sustainable management plan for Humboldt Bay, primarily in and among the many stakeholders governed at many levels of the bay landscape and watershed. Program highlights range from discussion on how to prepare for sea level rise to mitigating sand dune vulnerability to restoration efforts of the Ocean Ranch Unit of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Eel River Wildlife Area to updates to Humboldt Bay Harbor District projects and beyond. Read more at http://now.humboldt.edu/news/rising-to-meet-the-challenges-of-climate-change-9th-humboldt-bay-symposium/
-The Schatz Energy Research Center (a research center housed at and supported by Humboldt State University) signed a contract with the California Energy Commission in August of 2018 to be the lead technology integrator for a project to build the Redwood Coast Airport (RCA) Renewable Energy Microgrid. The project intends to provide clean electricity to Humboldt County and be a lifeline in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. An important rationale for this project is to demonstrate a business case for microgrids to government and non-government partners alike, thereby exemplifying active advocacy and support for renewable and community managed energy systems. Partners include the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA, a local joint powers authority), the County of Humboldt, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Tesla, Inc., TRC, and The Energy Authority. The project represents clear advancement of a sustainability cause by way of government partnership.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

Campus level-
-The California Energy Commission awarded HSU Environmental Science and Management Professor Kevin Fingerman and colleagues a three-year $1 million grant to explore the intricate effects of biomass energy systems, including their impact on net greenhouse gas emissions, wildfires, soil fertility, and other considerations. Fingerman says of this work "The study is not intended to support or to oppose the biomass industry but instead to shed light on the variety of impacts in this industry and how policy might be framed to support best practices.” Therefore, the project seeks to inform and advocate for informed and data-driven policy stances with regard to future biomass legislation, pending results. In addition, the Schatz Energy Research Center webpage on this project states that a major project element is to "Consolidate project results into actionable policy recommendations, and disseminate these recommendations to California stakeholder groups." Fingerman’s study also has collaborators from CSU Fresno, the University of Washington, former CalFire director Andrea Tuttle, and researchers in Oregon. Read more at http://schatzcenter.org/cbip/ and http://now.humboldt.edu/news/evaluating-the-climate-and-environmental-impacts-of-biomass-energy-systems-/.

System level-
The CSU participates in public policy through open dialogue with the State Relations & Advocacy Office which advocates through lobbying efforts on behalf of the CSU system. The CSU’s Advocacy and State Relations (ASR) team monitor all sustainability legislation that impacts the CSU specifically. It also participates in state-wide advocacy on issues like climate change policy, energy efficiency, water resources and other utility issues that impact the operation and physical facilities. ASR and the Chancellor’s Office also work with the Governor’s Office Sustainability Task Force and are members of the Direct Access Customer Coalition and the Alliance for Retail Markets advocacy groups to advocate for the best interest of the CSU on energy and sustainability efforts.

The CSU also wrote letters, met with legislative staff, and testified at budget subcommittee hearings in order to express the CUS's support for strong research funding for projects related to climate change.

The CSU has worked in collaboration with the Board of Trustees when adopting new policies to ensure that all stakeholders are considered when making decisions in regards to the implementation of system-wide sustainability.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

-On May 23, 2017 Connie Stewart, Executive Director of the CA Center for Rural Policy, testified before the Subcommittee on Public Lands to urge Congress to support Jared Huffman’s HR 2425, the “Public Lands
Telecommunication Act”. Huffman is the U.S. Representative for California's 2nd congressional district in the House of Representatives. Stewart's testimony stated that "the HR 2425 provision providing fee retention authority for rights-of-way and other telecommunications infrastructure use would ensure funds are reinvested to further broadband and telecommunications deployment in other areas" and that this piece of legislation would "make a big difference in helping rural communities working on deploying broadband to end the digital divide". In addition to social and equity benefits, this would provide increased access for rural communities to advance sustainability communication, research, and coordination. Read about the bill at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2425

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

-HSU has provided consistent support and advocacy for DACA students (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) via formal announcements and provision of resources from 2017 to present (during this STARS reporting timeframe). A prominent example of advocacy was Humboldt State President Lisa A. Rossbacher's signing of a letter asking congressional leaders to find a legislative solution to support “Dreamers,” people qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Read the full letter at http://now.humboldt.edu/news/president-signs-letter-urging-congressional-action-on-daca/. Another example is that in Fall 2019, the Dean of Students released a public statement saying "we would like to firmly reassert our commitment to being an inclusive campus which provides access and support for all students, staff, and faculty members within our HSU community. We will continue to support and uphold California State University policies and the State of California’s laws that provide for reduced tuition for eligible DACA and undocumented students, that provide access to scholarships and state-based financial aid programs, and that removes our university police department from engagement in law enforcement activities that have the sole purpose of 'the enforcement of federal immigration laws'." Read more at http://now.humboldt.edu/news/hsu-continues-to-support-daca-community/

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Most of the content submitted in this credit adheres to the STARS Technical Manual definition of advocacy: "active participation in campaigns aiming to change public policy." Not all submitted entries here cite specific legislation, ordinance, or policy but all do seek to advance concepts and governmental support for sustainability causes.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.