SACRAMENTO — The newly opened John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters is now the nation’s first political party headquarters to receive Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification, the worldwide gold standard for green building. Non-profit founders and philanthropists Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor sponsored the LEED designation, and Tom Steyer joined California Democratic Party supporters at a dedication event on August 20, 2015.
“Tom Steyer is one of the great fighters to save this planet of ours,” said Democratic Party Chairman John L. Burton. “Tom and Kat know we’re going to have to work hard to get out of our fossil fuel mess, and we can only do it by building good jobs and protecting our most polluted communities. We should give them a great thank you for what they’ve done and what they are continuing to do.”
“California is the most optimistic place on earth, and under the leadership of Chairman Burton and the Democratic Party, we are now a global leader on climate and clean energy,” said Steyer. “This building reflects the optimism of California Democrats, and represents our commitment to California’s clean energy future.”
The John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters received LEED Gold certification in March 2015, the second highest level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED recognizes green building principles in sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.
The John L. Burton Democratic Headquarters’ green retrofit transformed a former commercial space at a fraction of the environmental cost of new construction. Rooftop solar panels and low-energy halogen LED lighting with motion control reduce non-renewable energy consumption by more than 20 percent. Native and low-water landscaping include seasonal grasses and recycled wood chips. The green retrofit saves money and helps power the nation’s most successful Democratic Party.
“When John Burton was elected chair of the Democratic Party, he promised to rebuild the party for a sustainable future,” said California Democratic Party Chief Financial Officer Angie Tate, who led the design of the new headquarters. “This state-of-the-art, union-built, energy-efficient building embodies Democrats’ vision of a sustainable future for California and our country.”
“Republicans put the ‘job killer’ label on anything that challenges the climate change status quo,” said California Democratic Party Senior Strategist Shawnda Westly. “The gap between Democrats and Republicans has never been larger on the issues of climate change and sustainability.”