Ian Clampett | B.A. Political Science – International Relations | Class of 2010
Why is sustainability meaningful to you?
From a young age, I was ingrained with a deep sense of appreciation for our local environment. As a native San Diegan, I was fortunate enough to have a father who taught me how to love and respect the ocean through the sport of surfing. The countless hours spent in the water over the last 20 years have instilled in me a strong passion to protect this natural resource so that my son and daughter can enjoy it the same way I did.
Could you talk about your work pertaining to environmental protection, land use, transportation, water, etc.?
As the Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director for Councilman Chris Cate, it is my responsibility to manage the legislative affairs of the office by providing sound analysis, research, and advice to guide the Councilman’s policy decisions. In the four years I have worked for Councilman Cate, I have had the opportunity to advise him in his role as the previous Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and former member of the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. In addition to serving on these committees, our office has published policy recommendations for municipal stormwater regulations, citywide sustainability goals, illegal dumping enforcement, reforms to water department operations, and drought policy standards.
You’ve worked at the City of San Diego for several years now. What are some changes you’ve seen/helped implement to improve sustainability efforts for the city?
The City of San Diego was ranked the “greenest city” in the United States by a recent WalletHub report. A significant contributor to this achievement was the City’s adoption of a Climate Action Plan, an ambitious strategy approved in 2015 by the City Council that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and provide all of the City’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2035. As Councilman Cate’s advisor for the Environment Committee, I am proud to have recommended the adoption of this plan and worked on its approval.
Furthermore, during Councilman Cate’s time on the Environment Committee, the City made significant strides in developing a new, locally-controlled source of water through the Pure Water project, the largest infrastructure endeavor in the City’s history. By 2035, this project will provide one-third of the City’s potable water needs. Pure Water will also help meet the City’s renewable energy goals by utilizing captured methane gas from the Miramar Landfill to power operations at the new North City Pure Water Facility. The first phase of this project will break ground in 2019.
Finally, our office has been working directly with UC San Diego’s Sustainability team to create a partnership between the university and local breweries to convert spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, into renewable energy via anaerobic digestion. This partnership will not only help keep this substance away from local landfills, but it will assist the City and UC San Diego in meeting their respective Zero Waste goals, while creating a new, clean, and local source of energy.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while pursuing your degree at UC San Diego?
As a Political Science – International Relations major, learning how to formulate and defend an argument through rigorous research was vital to my growth and development as a student. This skill was taught consistently amongst my professors and at the highest level. I am proud to have been a part of UC San Diego’s acclaimed international relations program. Now working in the political world, the skills I learned at UC San Diego have proven to be critical to my responsibility to develop and defend policy solutions for San Diego’s most pressing issues.