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.
Proposition 1: Everyone Loves a Winner
And SBC is no different. After many months spent advocating for funding in the water bond to protect the Sierra – as the source of 65% of the state’s developed water – SBC is pleased that California voters last night passed Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, by the predicted 2:1 margin.
As we pointed out in a previous blog there is a lot to celebrate in this water bond. From highlighting the statewide importance of areas like the Sierra and Cascade as water sources for the entire state to emphasizing the economic benefits of healthy watersheds, the language in this bond clearly makes the case for investing in the state’s headwaters. However, we need to be vigilant to make sure that bond funds actually get spent in the source areas where the state’s water comes from. Unfortunately, Proposition 1 does not directly allocate much funding to the Sierra or Cascade regions nor to agencies, like the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, that represent the Sierra. As a result, SBC’s work – and that of our partners – is not done. We will be monitoring and weighing in on the guidelines that dictate how this money gets spent, and we will be tracking the fund distribution process to ensure that funding decisions are made openly and transparently.
To accomplish this and other important goals, SBC launched the Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP) at our 20th Anniversary Conference, Peak Innovation, last month. Sierra CAMP is a public-private collaborative designed to catalyze understanding and public policy action among rural and urban leaders from businesses, community groups, government, and academia. In addition, we sent a design team to the Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Leadership Academy in Washington DC to learn more about how similar collaborative groups function elsewhere in the country, including four such groups that are currently active in San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Sacramento.
Going forward Sierra CAMP will be focusing its outreach and policy efforts in four primary areas: forests and watersheds, public health and extreme events, land use/transportation/housing, and energy efficiency and renewables. SBC has been engaging on similar work with urban and rural partners regarding the Greenhouse Gas Fund program that guides how money get allocated from the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction program. To see copies of our comment letters, click here, here, and here.