MCE Changemaker: Dana Armanino

MCE Changemaker: Dana Armanino

The Changemaker blog series celebrates MCE’s 10-year anniversary by recognizing the extraordinary people who support us and further our mission.

Dana Armanino is a Principal Planner on the Marin County Community Development Agency’s Sustainability Team, where she works to further the County’s Climate Action Plan. Dana’s environmental reach in the county is extensive and includes programs for climate protection, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and energy resilience. She also works with the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Marin to help the County prepare for and respond to disasters. MCE is proud to highlight Dana Armanino as an MCE Changemaker for her dedication to furthering climate action in Marin.

What led you to environmental work?

I’ve always been interested in environmental studies and resources. I got an undergraduate degree in Environmental Economics and Politics and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management. I want to connect the science we’re developing to real-world policy by communicating environmental concepts in a way that businesses and the government can understand.

What type of projects are you working on currently?

As part of the Sustainability Team, I recently posted the County’s Draft Climate Action Plan 2020 which sets new emissions reductions targets for the County for the year 2030 and identified policies and programs that can support those reduction efforts.

I collaborated with the Public Works Department to build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Working with MCE, we installed 31 public chargers at the Civic Center and 22 charging stations at the sheriff’s facility.

I’ve also been working with Public Works and MCE to apply for California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program funds and MCE’s resiliency funds for a couple of our county locations. There’s a big need for energy resiliency in our communities right now, so I’m hoping to build out these types of programs.

What are you working on at Drawdown Marin?

The Board of Supervisors launched the program in 2017 and asked the Sustainability Team to support the program because they knew that it would take action from everyone in the community to achieve significant emissions reductions. Drawdown Marin includes cities, agencies, and community groups, and working together to create strategic solutions we can integrate into our Climate Action Plan.

In what ways have you been involved with MCE?

MCE’s CEO Dawn Weisz started Marin County’s Sustainability Team, so I’ve seen MCE form from the ground up. I want to make sure that we support each other and layer information and resources where we can. We partnered closely with MCE on expanding access to Property-Assessed Clean Energy financing, helping residents install solar panels or energy efficiency measures at their homes. I also worked with the County Administrator and Public Works on the decision to shift all of the County’s electric service accounts to Deep Green in 2017.

How does climate change impact the work that you do with the Emergency Operation Center in Marin?

For years, I’ve been on call with the EOC should any emergency happen. The power shutoffs and fires over the past year mean I’ve been called to serve in the EOC more than I ever thought I would be. I feel like we’ve hit a turning point. Every day, we’re seeing the cascading impacts of choices that we made 20 years ago, and unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Hopefully, it drives the point that the climate crisis isn’t years down the road — it’s right now and we need to take action.

What would you tell someone interested in joining the climate action movement?

I would say step one is to find out what’s happening in your jurisdiction. Read about the local climate action plan and any other available resources. The second thing to do is join Resilient Neighborhoods. This community group breaks down everything that we need to do to reduce our emissions in an accessible, fun, step-by-step way. It also helps community members and neighbors collaborate and learn from each other.

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