MORE THAN A LIBRARY ... The East Palo Alto Library is part of a pilot program that's exploring how libraries can serve as community centers in the face of "natural hazard-related events," according to a press release from the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, which is leading the initiative that began earlier this month. The Bell Street location is one of six in the Bay Area that's part of the Resilient Libraries Network, in which the libraries are turned into community resilience centers prior to, during and after a hazardous event. The locations were picked based on communities most impacted by climate change. They'll be given assistance in pinpointing what energy upgrades are needed so their buildings are more efficient and able to run clean air. The pilot includes "free engineering technical assistance." The network "models a community-driven process that is supported by robust technical assistance that will position selected communities for additional funding and opportunities to build resilience," progam manager Carolyn Yvellez said. The pilot, a partnership with the Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network and American Society of Adaptation Professionals, lasts through the end of 2023. "The program ensures that participating libraries will have the opportunity to improve community assets and services and improve quality of life," ASAP Deputy Director Rachel Jacobson said in the release. Learn more about the program at bayren.org/resilient-libraries-network.
DRAFTING LAWS ... Looking to put a new law on the books? State Sen. Josh Becker announced a contest that will allow people to do just that. "If you've ever said to yourself, 'There oughta be a law,' well, now is your chance to put an idea out there and get a law enacted that will change how things are done in California," he said in a press release. Introducing bills proposed by the public is not a new idea for Becker, according to the senator's press release. "During his first two years in office, Becker has introduced bill ideas brought to him by people in the district that have been signed into law dealing with climate change, community college fees, healthcare and privacy issues." Becker said he hopes the contest will generate more ideas with themes of climate justice and economic opportunity although other proposals are welcome, too, including repealing laws that are not working. Becker wants the contest to create more awareness about the state's legislative process. "My goal is to show people what it's like to have an idea go from the drawing board to the legislative playing field, so they can see for themselves what it takes for an idea to actually become law," he said. The contest is open to residents of Senate District 13, which covers parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Proposals must be submitted online at tinyurl.com/472k3xfm and are limited to one idea per form, although multiple forms can be submitted. Becker will select the winning entry and will introduce it as a Senate bill in February.
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