The sun danced on the top of the Anacostia River’s rippling surface outside while scores– organizers estimated over 100 – of people packed the inside of the small red brick pump house to hear the announcement.
The sustainability plan fleshes out the Mayor’s sustainability vision statement released in April 2012 and reflects dozens of subsequent workshop meetings and community forums. The plan focuses on key challenges of creating jobs, improving health and wellness, ensuring equity and diversity and improving the climate and the environment, the Mayor said.
Consistent with the sustainability vision statement, the plan’s overall goal is to make D.C. the greenest, most livable, most sustainable city in the country by 2032. It includes 32 goals and 31 targets that address the city’s built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste and water, the Mayor said.
The plan also contains 143 specific action items but these reflect a mixture of ongoing, short-term, intermediate and long-term actions.
Keith Anderson, Acting Director of the D.C. Department of Environment and Harriet Tregoning, Director of the D.C. Office of Planning, both of whom jointly led the Sustainable DC initiative, were present at today’s event as were several other executive level city officials.
Bob Nixon, founder of the Earth Conservation Corps, introduced the Mayor, and Steven Knapp, President of the George Washington University, expressed his shared commitment to the Mayor’s sustainability goals.
In response to a reporter’s question, the Mayor said no specific legislation accompanies the action proposals and some may require adjustment in the future, if deemed infeasible.
But the Mayor made clear that he is committed to implementing the sustainability plan. “[We] will deliver benefits to today’s generation and to generations to come,” he said.
The broader narrative extends beyond the 20-month history of the Mayor’s sustainability initiative to include a generational commitment to sustainability. The Mayor punctuated this subtext when he acknowledged the work of a key D.C. Department of Environment staffer who brought his young son to today’s event.
“This is how we become sustainable, by making sure our young people [understand],” the Mayor said.