August 22, 2017 Meeting Recap

Speaker, Robert Cheasty of Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) on the Urgency of Global Warming in and for the Bay Area

Robert Cheasty is the Executive Director of CESP, CESP’s former President, and a founding member, whose 25 year effort was crucial to establishment of the Eastshore State Park in 2002. CESP’s mission is to create shoreline parks from the Oakland Estuary to the Carquinez Strait, working to protect open space through advocacy, outreach and education. (

Known for his community activism, Cheasty served as President of the Bay Dredging Action Coalition, an organization dedicated to ecologically sound and efficient dredging operations in San Francisco Bay. He has also served as Mayor of Albany and held numerous other public positions. Professionally, he heads a Berkeley law firm specializing in civil litigation that successfully litigated against the city of Richmond.

The Environmental and Economic Dangers

Displaying a poster of what a 2-meter rise in sea level would look like for the East Bay shores, Cheasty noted that there would be catastrophic effects: loss of access to major bridges and highways traversing the Bay; much of the East Bay shoreline underwater, including the Oakland airport and the city of Alameda; damage to the ports of Richmond and Oakland; and the loss of shoreline walkways and habitat. The key, he said, was what we need to do now to prevent this from happening.

A Resilient Shoreline

There are simple protections, Cheasty said, but they take time, and activist groups like the ECDC must be involved. The work includes raising awareness about the sea-level rise to be caused by climate change; organizing a coalition of public leaders in support of green infrastructure solutions (e.g. restored marshes that form a critical buffer zone and horizontal levees) rather than hardscape solutions (e.g. sea walls); and engaging the public in visualizing what such a sea-level increment would look like. This combination of effort will move people to action.

Lack of Federal Funds for cities proposing shoreline development

Subsidy of the US Army Corps of Engineers to establish a resilient shoreline is “not baked into” the Federal budget; and there will be stiff competition for funding from NYC, Boston, Chesapeake Bay, Florida, and the Gulf Coast. Such remediation does have strong support from elected officials (Skinner, Thurmond, Bay Area mayors, and Governor Brown), but it is critical that people show their elected representatives that they care about protecting our shoreline. Some cities are doing the opposite of what is smart and planning for port and housing development in the 500 to 1,000 foot depth of shoreline that would be better reserved as open space to mitigate sea rise.

Cheasty asked ECDC members to attend the next CESP event, the Richmond Shoreline Park Festival at Point Pinole Park on Saturday, Oct. 7 from ~1 to 4pm, to show support for creating a tolerant and sustainable shoreline that is open to the public, that provides beneficial habitat, and that buffers against the damage that will be caused by rising sea levels and flooding.
Budget Amendment Passes

Members unanimously approved a $500 enhancement to the budget, as recommended by the Executive Board, to fund membership recruiting events.
Standing Rule F Waived for This Year Only

Members unanimously approved a waiver, for 2017 only, to the standing rule that formerly required the vote on delegates for endorsement to be held at our September meeting. We don’t yet know how many endorsement slots we will have nor how many people will be running, and with each candidate given two minutes to speak, the time requirement will be substantial. September’s meeting, our perennially popular Back to School Night, will have a packed agenda and certainly not allow time for selection of delegates. See Hilary Crosby’s August 17th posting, “Proposed Standing Rule Change: Meaning, Background, Impact,” for additional information.
Three Officer Positions Vacant as of 2018

VP-Publications, VP-Records and VP-Membership all have openings for 2018. We hope that every ECDC member will think about volunteering to help us get through a busy election year.
November meeting discussion of Young Dem seat on E-Board

After discussion, the Board agreed that at our November 28 meeting the membership will entertain the idea of granting a seat on the Board to a member of the California Young Democrats, on terms yet to be decided. The Board believes that more participation by Young Dems is necessary to our future success as a club, and that  younger members will add important skills – such as canvassing and social media – to our arsenal to help Dems win in 2020.