Government Affairs Director
As Government Affairs Director, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.
Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building. Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager. Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco. Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension. Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada.
Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.
The Public Speaks ...
Will Kern County Government Listen?
The Kern County Council of Governments (COG) has conducted robust outreach the past few years to identify priorities for how far and how fast the county should grow. In response, the people of Kern County have made themselves clear. They strongly support:
- maintaining existing roads;
- creating safer sidewalks and bicycle lanes;
- expanding public transportation options;
- conserving energy and important agricultural land;
- revitalizing downtown Bakersfield; and
- ensuring cleaner air for themselves and their children.
At public workshops on Aug 21st and 27th, Kern COG planning staff presented four different potential growth scenarios, ranging from “business-as-usual” (Scenario 1) to accelerated transportation and downtown revitalization (Scenario 4.) At both workshops, the public’s views were very clear: 70-75% at the first workshop and 57-60% at the second workshop chose Scenario 4 as the “best scenario.” Now, it’s up to Kern COG to implement that vision.
Kern COG staff is presenting the workshop results to its Regional Planning Advisory Committee (RPAC) this afternoon. We need to be sure that the public’s voice is heard at this meeting. Right now the meeting materials do not include any information on the workshop results. Hopefully staff will report the results verbally; but if not, we need your help to make sure the RPAC knows the public’s preferences.
The RPAC meeting begins today, Wednesday, September 4th, at 1:30 pm at the Kern COG Board Room, 1401 19th Street, in Bakersfield. The discussion is item #IV on the agenda. If you can’t attend in person, please call in to the meeting starting at 1:30 pm: call-in number is (312) 878-3080, access code: 586-617-702.
The main messages to convey include:
- the public overwhelmingly voted for Scenario 4 as the best scenario;
- the COG needs to reflect Scenario 4 in the alternatives to be studied in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is the next step in this planning process.
Clearly the Kern County public is interested in real change, and real change that happens sooner rather than later. While some people may be concerned about how to fund such change, we need to stop talking about the lack of funding and start looking at how existing funding can be reallocated and new sources secured to meet the needs of Kern County into the future.