Letter to the editor: How to be heard
To the editor:
This past Friday was the Climate Strike Walkout and Climate Strike Rally organized by the Sunrise Movement and Kansas Sierra Club. As I listened to speakers urge individuals to take action and pressure local legislators to get serious about the climate crisis, I saw an opportunity to add the “how.”
I serve on the Sustainability Advisory Board for the City of Lawrence, and while we have a bit more clout than a single person, our work is slowed by infrequent meetings, open meetings legal requirements, needing a fully formed policy recommendation with backing research and the normal bureaucracy of interacting with City Commission meeting agendas.
Members and groups of the public are not tied down by most of these requirements.
The simplest way to ask your city and county commissioners for action is by email, and all of their addresses are available online.
Speak at commission meetings during public comment.
If you’re really into a topic, get on the commission agenda to present info about it, ask for specific policy to be adopted and that the city take action on your recommendation, not just receive it. Invite everyone you know to come speak in support and ask them to invite everyone they know too.
Most importantly, be specific. Taking action on climate change is incredibly broad. Ask for specific policies like a resolution to achieve 100% renewable energy communitywide by 2030. That’s something that would significantly decrease our greenhouse gas emissions.