On March 8 and 9, more than 50 community members joined Southface Institute and Greenlink Analytics at the Decatur Recreation Center for the Decatur Clean Energy Public Forum. Equipped with resources and information about the Clean Energy Plan, students from Decatur City Schools canvassed downtown Decatur and engaged the public as people arrived, explored, and asked questions. While residents learned a lot about the inner workings of Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan, the most valuable takeaways were the insights the planning team gained from the community.
During the open house, presentations dug into many different aspects of Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan. Mayor Patti Garrett underscored the importance of a community-wide commitment to clean energy and related it to the City’s broader 2020 strategic plan, Destination 2030, which identifies climate action, racial equity, and enhanced mobility as top community priorities. The Decatur faith community, city officials, and residents concerned with the public health effects of fossil fuel emissions engaged in special planning sessions to explore a diversity of perspectives.
As attendees engaged with decisionmakers and informational displays, they placed green dots on specific policies and pathways that won their vote for inclusion in the Clean Energy Plan. They placed orange dots to indicate questions or reservations about certain policies and added their thoughts on notes throughout. With direction from Southface and Greenlink team members, attendees also used the Advanced Clean Energy Scenario (ACES) tool to measure and explore the impacts of various clean energy pathways.
Ultimately, this valuable dialog will be reflected in Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan to ensure the goals are clear and attainable and meet the community’s needs. All materials, presentations, and the results of the dot voting process are available at cleanenergydecatur.com. Thanks to everyone who ensured the public forum was a success. The planning team looks forward to sharing the finalized Clean Energy Plan with the community soon!