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Springfield Climate Justice Coalition: Update and Next Steps

Here in Springfield a group of concerned citizens has joined together to commit locally to cut emissions and at the same time to increase the quality of life – to improve the city’s air quality, security and living space; to create jobs; and to decrease the energy bills of those who can least afford to pay them. The leaders of this effort – Arise for Social Justice, the North End Organizing Network and Climate Action NOW – have organized the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. In recent months we held local neighborhood meetings throughout the City, and on October 20th we brought together 200 people representing the City’s diversity in a march to City Hall, where the City Council enthusiastically and unanimously passed a resolution to adopt a Climate Justice Plan for the city and to establish a staff position to implement it.
 Persuading City Council to pass the Springfield Climate Justice Resolution was a tremendous victory, but our work has just begun. We are asking you to help us complete the task.

We envision a City in which children and older people breathe clean air every day of the year and are not plagued by the asthma, emphysema and heart disease provoked by air pollution;
neighborhoods are well-lit by efficient lighting, with plenty of bike paths and safe sidewalks;
citizens have access to effective and inexpensive public transport, community gardens and local food markets; business and communities avail themselves of community composting, recycling and waste prevention strategies that decrease the need to burn trash and to let landfills overflow; homes and buildings throughout the city are well-insulated; solar panels are installed on roof-tops and on the ground, including at public housing and rental units; and good-paying, long-term jobs are created for our residents as we move together toward energy efficiency, energy conservation, and clean, safe renewable sources of energy.

In short, we imagine a world-class, 21st century Springfield that is a leader in the struggle against climate change.
All these measures are possible through implementing an effective Climate Justice Plan, which puts to work available federal and state grants, along with private investment, to make the changes necessary to reduce the City’s burning of fossil fuels. Passing the Resolution was just the beginning. Let us move forward with the rest! 

We must impress on Mayor Dominic J. Sarno the need to act NOW to fund the Climate Justice position.
The resolution will be meaningless until the position is funded;

• Implementing the resolution is fiscally prudent: a position funded for $100,000 will very likely bring in many hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to fund the needed programs;

• New residents and businesses will be attracted to the City and will strengthen the City’s tax base;

• It is the right thing to do, for the sake of our citizens’ health and our children’s future.

Please let us know if you or your organization would like to join the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition

ORGANIZATION NAME ________________________________

CONTACT PERSON _________________________________

EMAIL _____________________________

PHONE ______________________________

I/we plan to participate in the December 11 meeting ________

Please return to the sender or to Michaelann Bewsee of Arise for Social Justice at michaelannb@gmail.com.