Climate Strike N.Y.C.: 1.1 Million Can Skip School for Protest

The New York Times, by Anne Barnard, Sep 16, 2019

Climate Strike N.Y.C.: 1.1 Million Can Skip School for Protest

The city will not penalize those who attend global youth climate strikes on Friday, Sept. 20. “This completely changes things,” one student said.

Students in New York City protested against a lack of action on climate issues in Columbus Circle in May.CreditCreditJustin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

When New York City announced that public school students could skip classes without penalties to join the youth climate strikes planned around the world on Friday, you could almost hear a sigh of relief.

Before the announcement, the protests, to be held three days ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit here, had thrown a new complication into the usual back-to-school chaos: With the protests framed as a cry to protect their futures from climate disaster, should students heed the call?

Parents had wondered how to word emails to principals requesting excused absences. Teachers had been wondering how to react. Some students had been vowing to protest no matter what, but others had worried about possible repercussions.

Most of all, the decision last week by the nation’s largest school district buoyed national protest organizers, who are hoping that the demonstrations will be the largest on climate in the country’s history, with at least 800 planned across the 50 states. They expressed hope that other districts around the country would follow suit….  [continued]

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    Benicia Independent hero of 2019: Greta Thunberg

    VOX.com by Umair Irfan, Sep 17, 2019

    Greta Thunberg is leading kids and adults from 150 countries in a massive Friday climate strike

    The international protest will come ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit.

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, uses a bullhorn to speak to a crowd.
    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers remarks to campaigners in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2019. She will lead the Global Climate Strike on Friday. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

    Young people from around the world are leading a massive coordinated strike from school on Friday, September 20, to protest government and business inaction on climate change. It is likely to be one of the largest environmental protests in history.

    The Global Climate Strike comes just before countries will gather at the United Nations for the Climate Action Summit on September 23. It’s a meeting ahead of the UN General Assembly where countries are supposed to ramp up their ambitions to curb greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

    “If you can’t be in the strike, then, of course, you don’t have to,” 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the original school striker who began last year demanding more action from her government on climate change with weekly protests, told Teen Vogue. “But I think if there is one day you should join, this is the day.”

    Thunberg has become an increasingly influential figurehead and voice for youth climate angst and activism. Since she no longer flies because… [continued]


    This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

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      Solano County urged to take action on regional park plan

      Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, September 15, 2019
      Rockville Trails Preserve is a 1,500-acre preserve and hiking area owned and operated by the Solano Land Trust. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

      Regional park supporters urge Solano supervisors to move forward

      FAIRFIELD — The Solano County Board of Supervisors this week was pressed about when it will move forward on a proposed regional park and open space district.

      Amy Hartman, Solano County representative for Greenbelt Alliance, wanted to know when the county expected to put the proposed countywide district on a ballot for voter consideration.

      “We have a couple of asks. First, we want to know when the (administrative) and financial plan is going to be released to the public.” Hartman told the board on Tuesday. Supervisor Jim Spering was absent.

      “We know the county has been working on it for quite a while and we would just love to see that document and be able to talk to folks around the county about what is going to be in the admin and finance plan,” Hartman said.

      The concept is to integrate the county’s existing park system with other properties, such as those owned by the Solano Land Trust, to be able to increase public access to those areas.

      In a letter to the board, Greenbelt Alliance and a number of other groups and individuals, including Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Michael Alvarez, a member of the Solano County Parks Commission, suggested the measures go before the voters next year.

      “We ask that two separate ballot measures are placed on countywide ballots – one for the creation of the district and another for a funding measure of the district,” the letter states.

      The letter was signed by two members of the Solano Open Space Citizens Advisory Group, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia, Solano Sierra Club, Solano County Orderly Growth Committee and the Solano County Policy Action Team of the Bay Area Chapter of the Climate Reality Project.

      “Our ask is that these ballot measures are put to the ballot in separate elections – ideally, the formation of the district would be on the March 2020 ballot, and the district’s funding measure would be on the November 2020 ballot or a subsequent election,” the letter states. “. . . As groups with large membership and extensive outreach capabilities, we are ready and willing to support the campaign effort that will be required to successfully pass measures to create and fund the district.”

      There were not a lot of specifics in board Chairwoman Erin Hannigan’s reply, but she noted that the board’s subcommittee working on the issue, which also includes Supervisor John Vasquez, is scheduled to meet Sept. 30.

      Bill Emlen, director of the Department of Resource Management, said his staff could have the plans in front of the board in October.

      “Even if we can get the park established, even without a finance plan, there is a lot of money (out there),” Hartman told the board, referring specifically to Proposition 68 bond funds.

      State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, carried the special legislation that allows the county to introduce the park district by resolution for voter approval. It won Senate and Assembly support in May 2017.

      There has been little discussion at the board level since, and even less about how the district would be funded.

      Two funding ideas have been floated publicly. The first is to ask voters to support an ongoing funding mechanism for the park district. The other is to use existing county park funds to support the district in the early stages.

      The supervisors, in January 2016, appropriated $75,000 for a consultant to assist county staff with various initiatives related to forming the district, including public outreach.

      A 2015 consultant’s report stated that while the public supports the idea of a regional parks system, it does not support additional funding measures to pay for it.

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        Benicia’s nearest Climate Strike next Saturday Sept 20: Walnut Creek

        Global Climate Rally & Environmental Fair, The Youth Are Leading the Way!

        Image may contain: text

        Civic Park Walnut Creek
        Saturday September 21st from 1-3 pm. 
        Facebook: East Bay Climate Action Network
        Also: Interfaith Council of Contra Costa


        There are other Global Climate Strike: September 20-27 events around the Bay Area!  Check out:

         

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