Pasadena Mayor Tornek Responds to Letters Asking Him to Declare a Climate Emergency

Sunrise Sequoyah

January 26, 2020

On Friday, January 24th, Mayor Tornek responded to the letters we’ve been sending to him asking him (and City Council) to declare a climate emergency. Read his response below, and send your letter now!

This is in response to your email regarding my willingness to declare a Climate Emergency as expressed at the Arroyo Seco Foundation candidate forum held on 1/14/20.

While I believe that the planet is indeed faced with a Climate Emergency, I am not willing to sign on to the Climate Emergency Declaration you have suggested.

Throughout the discussion at the Arroyo Seco Forum, I explained how I believe that Pasadena’s interests are best served when we develop our own responses to issues that impact our City, rather than signing on to national or international declarations.

The Declaration that you attached outlines specific steps, time-frames and support for national legislative policies that are at odds with our locally adopted and annually updated, Climate Action Plan. Pasadena’s plan is the product of detailed community discussions that respond to local conditions, California requirements and resident participation. I do not support preempting its programs and policies with the suggested template.

However, in view of mounting evidence of global damage and a growing demand for action particularly among our youth, I agree that our Plan’s introduction does not convey an adequate sense of urgency. So I have asked staff to discuss revisions that would reflect the emerging realities. This is exactly what should happen within the framework of a local document that is frequently adjusted as new information and changing circumstances emerge.

Thank you for your interest in this critical subject. I hope that you will participate in the ongoing dialogue.


Terry Tornek