Mayor on Religious Holidays During Spring Season, Climate Change and Traffic Safety

Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft

Mayor on Religious Holidays During Spring Season, Climate Change and Traffic Safety

Happy Spring, Alameda!
Don’t you love springtime with the arrival of warmer weather, blossoming trees, and colorful flowers? Spring seems especially welcome this year after the wild storms and chilly weather we’ve endured.

Many cultural and religious observances around the world that occur during spring incorporate themes of reflection and renewal.

This year on March 8 Hindus celebrated Holi, a spring festival that focuses on harmony, new beginnings, and the renewal of social bonds.

Nowruz, which means “New Day” in Farsi, is the Persian New Year celebrated on the vernal equinox (March 20 this year) and seen as an opportunity to reflect on the past and set intentions for the future.

Passover, an eight-day observance that commemorates the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt, is one of the most important Jewish holidays and includes a traditional Passover meal, or Seder. This year Passover took place from April 5 to 13.

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, preceded by a 40-day Lenten period of fasting and reflection. Easter fell on April 9 this year, or April 16 for Eastern Orthodox communities.

Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan throughout the ninth month of the Islamic calendar by fasting from sunrise to sunset to focus on deepening their spirituality, asking forgiveness for past sins, and performing acts of charity. This year Ramadan began March 22 and will end April 21.

Whatever our religious or cultural backgrounds, we may find inspiration in the themes incorporated in these meaningful traditions.

We will also observe Earth Day this spring, on April 22. Earth Day is as relevant today as when it was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Alameda’s Sustainability & Resilience Manager Danielle Mieler offers these tips to help our planet:

How Alamedans Can Help Fight Climate Change
In Alameda, we are lucky to live in a place with few hills, a mild climate, many bike lanes, good public transit, and 100% clean electricity from Alameda Municipal Power (AMP). Every Alamedan can help fight climate change and create a cleaner, healthier Alameda by taking advantage of these community assets!

1. Leave your car at home — walk, bike or take transit instead. Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions within Alameda.
2. When you must drive, choose electric. AMP has rebates for used electric vehicles and chargers, and e-bikes. For more information, visit
3. Take fewer flights. Fly direct when possible, or purchase verified carbon offsets. This is one of the largest contributions to greenhouse gas reduction an individual can make.

4. Electrify and weatherize your home. Take advantage of energy-saving rebates for your home by visiting

5. Eat less meat and reduce food waste. Livestock contribute 16 percent of global emissions and food waste contributes an additional eight percent. Learn more at
6. Buy less and buy better. Almost everything we purchase has a carbon footprint. Buy fewer items, buy used items, opt for more durable items, and share items with friends, family, and neighbors.
7. Limit plastic packaging and single-use items. Packaging requires significant energy to produce and accounts for nearly a third of municipal solid waste in the United States.

Learn how the City of Alameda is fighting climate change by visiting

Spend a minute, save a life: Safety tips for drivers from Alameda Police Department
Mornings in Alameda can be busy as people head to work and school. Unfortunately, we also see traffic crashes in the morning that could be avoided by following basic safety tips. Here’s how to drive safely, especially on mornings when the sun is bright:

• Before driving, defrost your windshields and make sure they are clean, inside and out. Moisture and grime that look OK when you’re parked in your driveway can obscure your vision while driving in sunlight.
• Wear sunglasses and use the car’s sun visor, as needed.
• Reduce your speed, especially when approaching intersections.
• Watch out for vulnerable road users: pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
• Adjust travel plans (time or route) to avoid glare from the sun.
• If you really can’t see, safely pull over until you can; it’s not worth the risk to keep driving.

Other driver safety tips include: drive sober, keep your speed low, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, choose a smaller car when possible. Slow down, be patient, and be respectful of those around you.

Safety tips for all modes of travel: take care when making turns, stay focused and alert, be visible and predictable.

Enjoy this season of new beginnings. Protect our planet. Practice road safety. Be Alameda Strong!