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Climate Justice Conference Update

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Please join us at our next meeting as we continue to build on the positive energy and enthusiasm generated by the 250 attendees of the Climate Justice Conference held in Springfield in September. Below is a brief overview of the areas we are focusing on at present. Please let the contact person for each project know if you are interested in helping out. Each project needs a strong working group to make it happen and now is the time to sign on!

Next Meeting – Climate Justice Group

Thursday January 2, 2014

6:30pm

Location: Arise for Social Justice in Springfield

Contact susantheberge@comcast.net for carpooling arrangements and/or questions

Priority Focus Areas

  • Greenhouse project in Orchard Park
  • Zero Waste
  • Climate Change Plan for Springfield

Greenhouse Project

Contact Person: David Glassberg dave.glassberg@gmail.com 

We are exploring the feasibility of transforming an abandoned greenhouse in Forest Park in Springfield into a place to grow year round fresh vegetables in collaboration with Gardening the Community.

Transportation

Contact PersonSusan Theberge susantheberge@comcast.net

We are hoping to find people to work with the United for Transit Equity Coalition.  United for Transit Equity is a coalition of organizations working for a fair, equitable, and sustainable transportation system in Western Massachusetts, with a specific focus on the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. Current organizational members include Mass. Senior Action Council, STAVROS, United Food and Commercial Worker Local 1459, Western Mass. Student Labor Action Project, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 448, Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Voices for the Community.

The group is part of a larger statewide coalition called Public Transit, Public Good which includes regional coalitions and organizations representing riders, workers, and community members. The statewide coalition has fought for more funding for public transit, lower fares, more voice for riders and workers in decision making, and policies that support an ecological and sustainable transit system.

The group wants to broaden and deepen the existing regional coalition.  That means more organizational members, greater individual participation, and expanding the issues we work on.  Please let us know if are interesting in participating in this coalition as a representative from Climate Action NOW/Arise Climate Justice Group.

Other initial ideas coming out of the Climate Justice Conference for transportation include linking the Northern and Southern Valley to put pressure on towns and cities and the five colleges to:

1.            Expand the PVTA by extending the bus from South Hadley to Holyoke to connect to Springfield (only 3 miles)

2.            Promote the implementation of bike lanes in Springfield (in collaboration with Mass Bike)

Use the Pioneer Valley Transportation Plan as a starting point and orientation to our work.

http://www.sustainableknowledgecorridor.org/site/sites/default/files/uploads/Transportation/PVPC%20Sustainable%20Transportation%20Plan%202013%20FULL%20VERSION.pdf

Valley Zero Waste

 Contact Person Michaelann Bewslee michaelannb@gmail.com

We need to better understand how the Springfield Waste Disposal system works so we can push for better recycling in Springfield. Please contact Michaelann if you can help. Lynn Pledger continues to work on implementing the Zero Waste Campaign throughout the region.

Climate Change Plan for Springfield

 Contact Person Michaelann Bewslee michaelannb@gmail.com

We are forming a committee to help reconstitute the Green Commission for Springfield.  We have support from Claire Miller from Toxic Action Center to help us create a campaign plan for a Climate Action Plan but we need a strong group to make this happen.

Please let us know if you are interested in joining any of the work groups described above.  We hope to see you at our next meeting and to hear from you soon!