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One year has passed since the City of Tucson Mayor and Council adoption of the Climate Emergency Declaration. On Thursday, Sept. 9, Mayor Regina Romero was joined by leaders from YWCA Southern Arizona, Local First Arizona, Tucson Clean & Beautiful, and Tucson Million Trees for a virtual Climate Action Anniversary and Panel moderated by local environmental leader Vanessa Gallego, Chief Operating Officer of Recyco Inc. 

The purpose of the showcase event was to share the progress made from the City of Tucson and its partners’ goals related to this historic declaration. In addition to supporting the City of Tucson’s Climate Emergency Declaration locally, the partners are supporting sustainable business practices as an integral part of a more resilient, regenerative and human economy. Local First Arizona is committed to and has been making progress on the larger climate action goals with an ongoing partnership with YWCA Southern Arizona and Tucson 2030 District through sustainability education programs, such as the SCALE UP project planning program, green business certification program, and many climate action advocacy campaigns.

The YWCA Southern Arizona is the first organization to commit to engaging in all three programs offered by Local First Arizona and partners. Tucson 2030 District—part of a national public-private network of 22 districts aiming to reduce building energy consumption, water use, and transportation emissions by at least 50% by 2030—offers more intensive consultation and resources to help businesses and nonprofits reach those challenging goals through the Green Champions Program. A major milestone to celebrate is the YWCA Southern Arizona and House of Neighborly Service (HNS)’s work embarking on a journey to build community resilience and become more sustainable by 2030 and beyond. HNS is the first Green Champions project committed to the 2030 Challenge For Planning goals with Local First Arizona and partners. 

All the local partners are now connecting climate threads nationally and globally through individual and collective actions and systems change work. The national goals mean that by 2030, all existing buildings within developments, neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions aim to adopt and implement a 50% reduction standard below the regional average/median for fossil-fuel operating energy consumption, CO2 emissions from transportation, and water consumption. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future, and serve as an urgent call for action by all countries—developed and developing. 

The goals are a global partnership recognizing that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Climate change will continue to drive issues such as housing, water, land use, utilities, environmental racism, public health crises, war and displacement, and economic downturns. Using this global framework, we will do our part locally in meeting the City of Tucson’s declaration and to fulfill our own mission work around transformational leadership exemplified in the 2030 Challenge For Planning national goals. 

Now is the time more than ever to collaborate on climate action in making Southern Arizona a model for inclusive economic development, equitable community benefits, and sustainable economic solutions.


To watch the recording of the City of Tucson Climate Action Anniversary event, go here:


To get involved, contact Michael Peel, Statewide Sustainability Director, at or call (520) 975-0145.


Michael Peel is the Statewide Sustainability Director for Local First Arizona. Learn more about Local First Arizona at