Who We Are
Issues - CVS/Traffic
General Plan Update
Sustainable Sebastopol

News Alerts

A new group in town has taken this name to form a PAC that supports Austin and Shaffer. They have a very different take on what sustainable means. Please don't be fooled! Support Robert Jacob and John Eder - the REAL sustainable candidates.

LIKE us on Facebook

Contact Us


New Political Action Committee supporting Austin and Shaffer usurps name of long-standing, City-sanctioned, action group.
Op-Ed by: Sustainable Sebastopol Salon Members
Published in the Sonoma West Times and News

What is ‘sustainable’? — by Sustainable Sebastopol Salon

We have watched lately as this new group called “Sustainable Sebastopol” has been making public statements. We are all members of the long-standing Sustainable Sebastopol Salon that formed in 2001, met monthly, created a web site and started an e-list that continues today. None of us are members of this new group or have even been asked to join.

Our discussions have included more than 2,500 posts covering the range of sustainability issues related to Sebastopol from neighborhood toxics, to car-free days and car alternatives, renewable energy, local organic food production, protection of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and appropriate land use development. We are the group that spawned Solar Sebastopol that later evolved into Solar Sonoma County.

We are unhappy with the negative remarks that have come from this new group using a name we have had for years. We question their definition of sustainability. Sustainability requires having a triple-E bottom line — economics, the environment, and social equity. However, this word is sometimes used to “greenwash” something unsustainable. We agree that we need a sustainable economy here in Sebastopol but not at the expense of the environment and community.

The City of Sebastopol has a web page devoted to a Sustainable Sebastopol Policy at ci.sebastopol.ca.us/page/sustainable-sebastopol.

We refer readers to this web page to understand what true sustainability means. Here are a few excerpts:

“The City of Sebastopol is dedicated to the enhancement and protection of the immediate and long-term wellbeing of the City, its citizens, and its natural environment. Sebastopol, while a very small City, is at the forefront of nation-wide efforts to implement new technologies and address critical environmental policy issues, which take on particular urgency in light of serious global environmental concerns.”

“The natural environment is fundamental to the concept of sustainability. Air, water, and land are the bases of our very lives. Economic activity contributes to our high quality of life, and in Sebastopol, supports City services, including public safety, water and wastewater services essential to public health, streets and sidewalks that provide vital access, and public parks for recreation and enjoyment of the environment. The concept of social equity reflects the understanding that we are a community with diverse composition and varying needs. Balancing these concerns is essential to Sebastopol’s concept of sustainability.”

“Protection, Preservation, and Restoration of the Natural Environment are High Priorities of the City — Sebastopol is committed to protecting, preserving and restoring the natural environment. City decision-making will be guided by a mandate to maximize environmental benefits and reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts within the context of the City’s essential functions, planned development, and overall goals and responsibilities. The City will lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to make a similar commitment to the environment.”

Signed by original members of Sustainable Sebastopol Salon (partial list): Craig Litwin, Sam Spooner, Linda Kelley and Lynn Hamilton (former Sebastopol mayors); Richard Nichols, Coastwalk ED, retired; Marty Roberts, co-founder of Solar Sebastopol and Solar Sonoma County; Portia Sinnott, founder of Car-Lite; Kevin and Rebecca Dwan; Zeno Swijtink; Debra Gorman; Lisa Cahn and Sandy Eastoak.


Footnote: The new "Sustainable Sebastopol" has formed a PAC to collect money to support Shaffer and Austin. Both have actively supported the CVS/Chase project. Is that sustainable?