Sustainable Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world's population will be living in a city. It's time for America's largest cities to adopt a sustainable and responsible vision for the future. 

Building the Cities of Tomorrow

Imagine cities that are healthy places to live, where our resources are used responsibly, where the environment is protected, and where citizens are actively engaged in their communities.

CALPIRG Education Fund is working to build these cities of tomorrow.

It's estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be living in a city. More and more Americans are looking to cities to meet their needs in a way that’s sustainable, equitable and beneficial to the world. As more of us live and work in urban areas, we have the opportunity to make them leaders in sustainable development.

We envision cities:

  • With 21st century transportation options. For decades, cities have focused on moving cars, not people. It’s time to focus on getting people where they need to go by giving them more and better options to get around. These options include expanded public transit, better biking alternatives, walkable neighborhoods and high-performance intercity trains.
  • Powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the best way to fight it is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. By encouraging big box stores to switch to solar power, promoting residential solar options, increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, and raising energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings we can easily meet this goal.
  • Where food systems are healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced. We all eat. But the choices we make with our food can help or hurt our communities and our environment. By sourcing food that is raised sustainably, responsibly and low in carbon, we can boost our local economies, move away from factory farming, and create healthier communities.
  • With clean water and responsible waste management. Communities across the country face risks from polluted water systems and waste. Aging pipes, sewage overflows and toxins that travel from roads to our water supply can harm our health and the environment. We need policymakers to make sure everyone has access to healthy water by creating strong policies to repair aging infrastructure and addressing toxins in our water supply. We can also make sure our waste is disposed of responsibly and reduce our waste whenever possible. 
  • Where citizens are involved in their government and their community. When we are active and engaged in our communities, we can push for more sustainable policies and hold elected leaders accountable. To ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in their community, cities should make voting as easy as possible, champion open access to government data and level the playing field for small donors.  

 

Issue updates

News Release | CALPIRG | Safe Energy

High Costs for Faulty Nuclear Plant Finally Spur Closure

Statement by CALPIRG State Director Emily Rusch on today’s announcement that San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant will shut down for good.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

Google’s Lack of Political Spending Transparency Threatens Brand, Hurts Democracy

Google Inc.’s lack of transparency in its political spending and its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pose a threat both to Google’s brand as well as to our democracy, according to letters sent this week by shareholders and citizen groups to Google’s board of directors.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Comments on the Blue Shield of California Proposal to Increase Small Employer Health Insurance Rates, Effective July 1, 2013.

After analysis of the complete filing – inclusive of the three subsequent submissions – it appears that for the most part, Blue Shield provided sufficient background data for the requested rate increase. However, we note that it took repeated requests for Blue Shield to provide the information necessary to justify the rate increase.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Down the road, fewer will drive, preferring public transportation

A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America's Future," released by the CALPIRG Education Fund shows the slowdown in driving will continue in the years to come.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Covered California Announces New Plans and Rates for 2014

“Today’s announcement is the exciting next step in ensuring that Californians can access affordable and reliable heath care coverage,” said Jon Fox.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

How Students Can Save Money on Textbooks

A new survey released by the Student PIRGs found that 70% of student respondents reported not purchasing one or more of their assigned textbooks because the cost was too high.

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ABC 7: Experts warn of smartphone security

You wouldn't think of leaving your computer open to viruses and hackers, but your smartphone probably doesn't have the same protections, and that could make you vulnerable. One consumer advocate ABC7 spoke with compared leaving your phone unprotected to leaving the front door open to your home.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

DoJ Blocks AT&T, Protects Consumers

Today the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. If approved the merger would combine the second and fourth largest wireless carriers, giving AT&T control over nearly 50% of the U.S. wireless market. The CALPIRG applauds the DoJ’s efforts to protect consumers from market consolidation, higher prices, and fewer choices.

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Media Hit | Higher Ed

Colorlines.com: As College Students Return to School, They Pay More Than Ever For It

This year, for the first time ever, tuition will overtake the state’s share of funding for students attending the prestigious 10-campus University of California system. It’s not the first state to reach such a milestone, but it is a significant and symbolic one in a state mired in a seemingly interminable budget crisis and where annual funding cuts have been accompanied by yearly tuition increases.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Rules Launched to Protect Flyers

“Thenew rules by the DoT will make passengers’ rights a priority, improve airline practices, and ultimately benefit everyone who flies” noted Jon Fox, Consumer Advocate with CALPIRG Education Fund.

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