Thursday, November 20, 2014

Panel chair presented 70 awards in 7 years

Woody Weingarten ending a 10-year stint as Quality of Life commissioner, relishes legacy

After spending a significant, fruitful decade on the environmentally-oriented San Anselmo Quality of Life Commission, I, Woody Weingarten, have resigned effective Nov. 30, 2014.

I'm a little sad about it.

But I desperately coveted the hours required to do its work.

Woody Weingarten (right) and Kevin
Donahue (and his daughter) march
in Country Fair Day parade.
To put it into context, my tenure (which included six years as chair) equaled half the length of time spent immersed in my wife's breast cancer, its treatments and its aftermath — and doing research for my new book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer")

I've also spent 19 years being the point person for Marin Man to Man, a support group for caregiving males whose partners had contracted the disease, an organization that's one of the focuses of the book.

I have no plans to leave that chairmanship.

But in the letter I read to fellow QOL commissioners I noted that "after considerable thought and with much regret" I found it necessary to step down since promoting "Rollercoaster" will "require a major chunk of my time."

Keeping this blog current, by the way, is part of those efforts.

And though I didn't cite specific achievements of the commission, I did say I'd always remain proud of the advances made during my multiple terms.

Want some examples?

Well, we helped get approval for a weekly garden exchange and an organic food stand on the lawn of Town Hall, led the local movement to substitute reusable bags for plastic at supermarkets and drug stores, obtained free parking for plug-in electric vehicles, won removal of book bins that curtailed revenue for the public library, initiated a free Connect the Green Dots lecture series, marched with electric cars in annual parades, and staffed booths at the Country Fair Days and the Marin County Center Eco-Fair.

And, on behalf of the commission, I presented 70 plaques at Town Council meetings to "unsung heroes" over a seven-year period — Green Awards for green-oriented achievements, Silver Awards for other activities that benefitted the town or vicinity.

But none of those actions address the educational materials we disseminated. 

Woody in Quality of Life Commission booth.
We offered tips on saving energy and water, using public transportation and bicycles instead of driving, substituting LEDs, certifying businesses as green, and eliminating junk mail. 

We also voted to endorse the town's Climate Action Plan, the Deep Green option of Marin Clean Energy, recycling (including cloth diapers, batteries and athletic shoes), the boycotting of plastic water bottles, rejecting Styrofoam containers, stores not stocking rodenticides, climate-friendly landscaping, spruce-up days and shrub-trimming, unplugging home electronics when they're not in use, home composting, Earth Hour, shopping locally, and picking up dog poop.

Plus — as the cliché goes — more, much more.

Not a bad legacy, I'd say.

I have every intention, parenthetically, to continue pushing for environmental advances as well as the betterment and beautification or the area in which I live.

All of which falls into what my dad, my hero, taught me over and over on his lap:

Leave the world a better place than you found it.

No comments:

Post a Comment