East Bay Community Energy: More Diversity Needed in Oversight of Program

On May 5th, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors met to finalize a Steering Committee of community stakeholders to oversee the county’s Community Choice energy program, which is now being called East Bay Community Energy. Having a Steering Committee that is representative of the diversity of Alameda County is critical to the legitimacy and success of the overall program, which aims to launch in the Spring of 2017.

Many members of the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign and the East Bay Clean Power Alliance attended the May 5 meeting to ask the Board of Supervisors to vote down their list of Steering Committee nominees due to a clear lack of diversity in the list. For example, out of 21 nominees, only four were women. Similarly, there was a significant absence of diversity in the sectors represented. While the Board rejected applications by many representatives of organized labor, four from one union, IBEW, were nominated (one appointment each from four of the five Supervisors).

Public testimony addressed the imbalance of the nomination slate, IBEW’s past efforts to undermine Community Choice at the state level, and the lack of diversity. The board decided accept applications for five additional nominees to address the current imbalance and postpone the decision on the final appointments until the next Board of Supervisors planning meeting, which is scheduled to take place on June 2nd.