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Bold Strokes

Mayor Sunbeam

By Marilyn Berlin Snell

Jerry Brown may have gotten a bad rap when he was pejoratively dubbed "Governor Moonbeam" as California's head of state in the 1970s, but "Mayor Sunbeam" might be just right for the bold-thinking politico today. Brown has turned Oakland, California-where he was elected mayor in 1999-into the world's largest green-powered city. Delivering on a promise made last November, when he announced that Oakland would purchase power from renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal steam, and biomass, the city's all-renewable $4 million energy package now powers its city hall, administration buildings, and traffic and street lights. In an interview with Peter Asmus, author of the book Reaping the Wind, Brown says that "given the absence of bold ideas at the presidential and congressional level, cities and local governments must shoulder the burden of innovation."

For more information, write to Public Campaign, 1320 19th Street N.W., Suite M-1, Washington, DC 20036; call (202) 293-0222; e-mail; or go to the organization's Web site at

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