CELEBRATING THE EARTH 2021
Stronger Together – “Quality of Life Coalition”
We are fortunate, in San Diego, to have a growing number of coalitions and alliances working towards making San Diego’s natural environment equitably sustainable and thriving. It’s one of the most important ways to coalesce voices behind an issue, right a wrong or hold elected officials accountable. Coalitions, alliances and their vast networks are the backbone of social movement. The power and reach of a coalition, alliance or network can be formidable.
In honor of Earth Day, we’ll take a look at our most active coalitions and alliances working throughout San Diego protecting our natural environment, stopping climate change and making our quality of life accessible to all San Diegans.
We’ll start with these: Quality of Life Coalition, ReWild Coalition, Green New Deal Alliance, Wildlife & Habitat Conservation Coalition
The Quality of Life Coalition includes over two dozen environmental, environmental justice, social justice, and labor organizations. It is an unincorporated coalition, originally convened to discuss shared goals and priorities. The groups agreed they could be more effective by coordinating efforts and communicating regularly to avoid working at cross-purposes. In a series of meetings, a vision statement was crafted that all of the member organizations could agree to support. Signing on to the vision statement is required to join the coalition.
The coalition has been meeting monthly since 2015 to plan and implement a variety of actions in support of our shared mission.
In 2017, the coalition established five issue-oriented teams: Climate, Wildlife and Habitat, Transportation, Housing, and Water. Three of the teams were built around existing groups of organizations whose members were mostly also members of the coalition. The Water Team consists of the San Diego Bay Council, a group of local organizations focused primarily on water issues, which has been meeting regularly for more than 20 years to coordinate action on water quality. The Wildlife and Habitat Team was formed from an existing Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Coalition that meets quarterly with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The initial Housing Team consisted of an existing Housing Collaboration called Build Better San Diego, but has since been reorganized as a separate team. The Transportation and Climate Teams were created by recruiting member organizations working on related issues.
In 2018, the Coalition reached out to the staff at SANDAG to initiate discussions on areas of mutual interest. That evolved into a regular monthly meeting between the Coalition and SANDAG Staff. These meetings provide an opportunity for detailed discussion with the staff on issues important to the Coalition.
In 2020, the Coalition was contacted by the staff of San Diego County Planning and Development Services to arrange a meeting to discuss projects in progress at the County.
In 2021, we agreed to hold quarterly meetings between the Coalition and County Planning Staff.
More at: https://www.sdqolc.org