Mayors Go Online in Promoting CoolCalifornia Challenge

Chuck Colgan's picture

Mayors of the 22 California cities competing in the CoolCalifornia Challenge, a contest to motivate and reward residents for reducing their carbon footprints and build more sustainable communities, are upping the stakes by producing videos rallying their residents to action.

In the videos released so far, nine mayors discuss what makes their cities the “coolest” and offer a range of ideas to improve local sustainability, from mainstream concepts like biking to work to more creative ideas like “No Flush Fridays.” The challenge is part of Energy Upgrade California®, a statewide education and outreach program administered by CSE.

“The CoolCalifornia Challenge is a fun way for cities and residents to band together and see their sustainability efforts rewarded in a tangible way,” said Pamela Wellner, CSE’s senior outreach manager for Energy Upgrade California. “These mayors have taken the competition to the next level by infusing some humor and creativity into their calls to action. As we kick off a New Year, we hope these videos inspire residents to resolve to cut carbon emissions.”                                                                                                               

The videos feature mayors or officials from the following cities:

Three additional cities — Richmond, Larkspur and Corte Madera — have already answered the call and are producing videos with their mayors, expected to go live in the coming weeks.

Households in participating cities can join the CoolCalifornia Challenge by registering at They can then track energy use and vehicle miles driven, as well as share energy saving tips to earn points for their cities. The city with the highest sustainability points at the end of the challenge will be crowned Coolest California City. Two runner-up cities will be named Cool California City. All participating cities will receive a portion of a $150,000 prize based on the percentage of their points that will be used to support local sustainability projects.

The CoolCalifornia City Challenge ends March 30, 2016, and the winning city will be recognized during Earth Week, April 21, 2016.

CoolCalifornia Challenge is a partnership between Energy Upgrade California, the program at the California Air Resources Board, and the Cool Climate Network at the University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.

Chuck Colgan