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To the Hayward City Council: It’s Time to Plan for Equitable Climate Resilience

Hayward’s updates to its Climate Action Plan and General Plan Elements are the perfect opportunities to prioritize resilience planning that centers frontline communities.

Climate change is drastically impacting the health, safety, and quality of life of Hayward residents. Heat, frequent wildfires, and compromised air quality are the new norm, with flooding from extreme storms and sea level rise an ongoing threat—and low-income people and communities of color are being hit first and worst.

Hayward is in the process of updating its Climate Action Plan and key General Plan Elements (Housing, Safety, and Environmental Justice) – now is the time for the city to plan for a climate resilient future, especially for its most impacted residents. If you are a Hayward resident and want your city to be more prepared for the impacts of climate change, let your city councilmembers know by signing the petition below.

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Recipients: Mayor Barbara Halliday; Hayward City Councilmembers Aisha Wahab, Angela Andrews, Sarah Lamnin, Elisa Márquez, Mark Salinas, Francisco Zermeño

Subject: Plan for Equitable, Nature-Based Climate Resilience in Hayward

Dear Mayor Barbara Halliday and Hayward City Councilmembers,

As Hayward residents, we are writing to ask you to start planning now to protect us and our community from the impacts of climate change. In recent years, we have faced worsening climate impacts, including extreme heat and compromised air quality. Our homes and infrastructure are at risk from sea level rise and flooding from extreme storms. Those of us who are historically marginalized or have low incomes are feeling these impacts most acutely and have the fewest financial resources to respond.

As the city updates its Climate Action Plan and General Plan elements, incorporating nature-based climate resilience strategies that prioritize frontline communities will help protect Hayward residents from future risks. While Hayward has set ambitious goals for climate mitigation, more work is needed to ensure adaptation is incorporated into these plans. The city already has a green infrastructure plan and a shoreline adaptation master plan. The nature-based solutions outlined in these documents must be incorporated into the General Plan to ensure Hayward is ready to adapt to climate change.

A key resilience strategy for protecting our community from extreme heat and storm flooding is green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). By creating more permeable surface area, providing shade, and filtering pollutants from stormwater, GSI can help build climate resilience in Hayward. Fortunately, nature-based climate adaptation solutions can be easily incorporated into many of Hayward’s greenhouse gas reduction policies. For example, Complete Streets improvements and active transportation projects are great opportunities to implement GSI.

We call on you to plan for a resilient Hayward by incorporating equitable nature-based climate adaptation policies into the Climate Action Plan and General Plan updates. Thank you for taking this important step to protect our communities and our environment.

Signed,