Convene, Connect, and Catalyze Action
MAY 10 – 13, 2021
Our coalition of nonprofits, public agencies, and Indigenous Tribes stands together during this extraordinary time. TOGETHER Bay Area was built to connect, convene, and catalyze action so that we can meet these challenges with the energy and innovation for which our region is known. Our Framework for Justice, Equity, and Belonging guides how the Board, staff, and members of TOGETHER Bay Area participate in the organization’s programs such that we center equity, work for justice, and ensure that everyone belongs.
Our two programs
Advocacy for Transformational Funding and Policies
The goal of the Advocacy Program is to harness the collective power of our members to shape and secure transformational public funding and policies that support TOGETHER Bay Area’s mission at the state and federal levels.
Convening a Powerful Coalition
The goal of our Convening Program is to build the relationships that support the environmental and social changes required for resilient lands and people. We also want to increase collaboration and our collective ability to respond to challenges and rise to opportunities.
We are working hand in hand with our members to create a more equitable, resilient San Francisco Bay Area, from the ridgelines to the Bay shoreline. We advocate for social equity, healthy lands – including working lands, public and private lands, and urban and rural lands – and for equitable public access to nature.
Our 2021 Policy Platform outlines a broad and values-based policy framework to implement our coalition’s mission to create a climate resilient, socially equitable Bay Area. This document guides the coalition in its policy and political leadership activities, as well as in its collaborations and partnerships. The 2021 Policy Platform was developed with leadership from our Policy Committee and Board of Directors, and input from our members.
Our members, through our Policy Committee, actively participate in and contribute to TOGETHER Bay Area’s Advocacy Program. The Committee ensures that the Advocacy Program’s goals and activities remain aligned with our mission and values. The Committee helps us advocate effectively towards our goals, and does so through values-driven, collaborative, inclusive participation of our coalition’s members.
Bay Area Green Stimulus Opportunities
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how we live together on this planet because of the public health and economic crises we’re facing. Our members are part of the solution and this report makes that case.
Our findings reveal that with investment from the State, our members could create at least 10,500 new jobs with more than 620 projects throughout the 10 counties that would in turn directly or indirectly serve all 7.7 million residents.
Rapid assessment of August fires
Mid-August lightning ignited fires across the San Francisco Bay Area. For several weeks, all Bay Area counties except San Francisco experienced fire, with burns in Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, and Solano counties. These fires include the CZU, SCU, and LNU Lightning Complex Fires, which, sadly, encompassed many rural residential and some urban areas. The lightning fires in the Bay Area have been fully contained, leaving approximately 565,000 acres burned.
Given the geographic scope and scale of the fires, a regional assessment was needed in order to provide context of the 2020 fire incidents for the many affected land-owning agencies, organizations, and individuals. See the data here.
This assessment was done by Tom Robinson and Dr. Stu Weiss. Contact: [email protected]
Conservation Lands Network
The Conservation Lands Network (CLN) is a regional conservation strategy for the San Francisco Bay Area, with a bold but achievable goal of conserving 50% of the Bay Area’s ecosystems by 2050 and a science-based pathway for achieving it. It features decision making tools that support strategic investments in land protection and stewardship.
The CLN was launched in 2005 by the Bay Area Open Space Council and will continue with TOGETHER Bay Area in order to leverage data, tell stories, and make the case for resilient lands.
Factsheet on Wildfire and our members
We compiled facts about wildfire prevention, recovery and restoration. For example, 40 open space districts, resource conservation districts, park departments, land trusts, and water districts actively manage 28% of the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).
Join us at an upcoming event or watch one of our past events. Participate in a community conversation. Connect, share, learn, coordinate. Our events are made possible by TOGETHER Bay Area’s members.
Stewardship and Belonging, a three-part community conversation
In our last conversation series titled ‘Making Land Stewardship Relevant, Relatable, and Inclusive’ with Yakuta Poonawalla, we explored:
- The power of storytelling to break down barriers
- The need to lead with and center Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion values in all aspects of our work
- Connecting communities to science and nature through relevant programs and engagement
These hour–long conversations have brought us together during very challenging and demanding times, and given us an opportunity to learn from each other and grow together. We hope they led to some new openings for everyone who attended. We learned that this work can only strengthen and deepen further through collective effort.
We invite you to another series of Community Conversations to continue to dive deeper. In this next series, we will devote time to specific topics and expand our conversations as we individually and collectively learn and explore. Please come prepared to share your learnings, and support each other in doing so too.
Will you join us? Please RSVP for one, two, or all three sessions:
- April 22 from 10-11am – Stewardship and Indigenous Wisdom
- May 11 from 3-4pm – Community Conversation as part of the TOGETHER Spring Summit
- June 17 from 10-11am – Stewardship and Environmental Justice
The Stewardship and Belonging Community Conversation series is free and open to anyone who is interested.
Spring Summit: May 10-13, 2021
Our Spring Summit on May 10-13, 2021 will be a week of sessions, conversations, and events that you can fit into your schedule. We are prioritizing interaction in the Spring Summit with many opportunities for you to meet new people and talk with colleagues around the region. This Spring Summit will not be just another Zoom webinar!
Two of our latest events are below. All of our past events (and there are many!) can be found on our YouTube channel.
March 31, 2021: A Peek Under the Hood of the Cutting Green Tape initiative
How can we increase the pace and scale of the ecological restoration and land stewardship necessary for climate resilient lands and water? One way is to change the permitting and regulation requirements so they encourage the “good” instead of just preventing the “bad.” That’s one of the goals of the Cutting Green Tape initiative which launched last year with a paper, Cutting Green Tape: Regulatory Efficiencies for a Resilient Environment. Watch this conversation with Sharon Farrell (Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) and Kellyx Nelson (San Mateo Resource Conservation District) – both leaders of the California Landscape Stewardship Network – about what this means for you and our collective effort to build climate resilient lands and communities.
This webinar was co-hosted with the California Landscape Stewardship Network.
March 26, 2021: Two Doctors Talk about COVID and the Outdoors One Year Later
On March 26, 2020, two weeks after the shelter in place orders started in the region, TOGETHER Bay Area convened two public health and health care experts to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic and the outdoors. Join us one year later for a conversation with Dr. Nooshin Razani (UCSF Children’s Hospital Oakland) and Dr. Curtis Chan (San Mateo County Public Health) about the role of time in nature on our mental and physical health, what we know about COVID transmission outdoors, and more. We shared data and told stories. And we reflected on the past year by asking: What did we learn?
Since March 2020 we have been facilitating regular conversations with communities of people around the issues they face and the opportunities of the moment. These are open, honest conversations with peers from around the region where we can listen, problem-solve, and support each other.
Some of the Community Conversations we are facilitating include:
Regional public education campaign
Our members and partners need to communicate consistently and clearly to the general public about the risks of overcrowding the region’s public lands (parks, trails, beaches, open spaces, etc). We do our part to keep parks and people safe and healthy. And we need to welcome new park users, remind people of the value of public lands, and encourage kindness.
In collaboration with our members, we have created regional messaging, a website (BayAreaOutdoors.org), two short videos, social media assets, and a toolkit that our members and partners can use.