Laura Schumacher, Climate Action Committee Chair
On December 15, the San Diego City Council adopted one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions. I was privileged to be in the room representing the 10,000 San Diego Unified Council PTA members. As the PTA that wrote and helped pass the California State PTA resolution “Climate Change is a Children’s Issue”, it was important for us to raise our voices in support of this plan on behalf of the children of San Diego.
It was a great day. Over 90 people spoke in favor of the Climate Action Plan. The elected officials appeared to be in awe of the coalition assembled before them. The speakers went far beyond the environmental community. The clean energy and biotech business sector spoke in favor. Religious and labor leaders spoke in favor. People from our poorer neighborhoods explained how climate change impacts them – many who can’t afford air conditioning. Even the leader of “Save our Bolts” urged passage of the Climate Action Plan because Charger fans have been “baking” in the stadium in recent years!
Before the vote, each elected official explained how they were going to vote. It was clear that not only was the plan going to pass, it was going to pass unanimously. Our message about children and climate change resonated with the council members. Many of them invoked children in their comments. Councilmember Alvarez, the parent of two young children, was especially eloquent: “It sometimes sounds like happy talk – talking about kids and future generations. But this is really about them. We have to make sure we build a city that’s a wonderful place for them to live. That’s what this vote is about.”
I was proud our PTA Council was part of this historic day.