I remember a hot, sticky day in mid-July in Washington DC sitting on my friend’s roof on a conference call with all my friends and committee members back in Minnesota, straining to hear what they were all saying. I couldn’t really hear what was happening but I could hear passion through the phone lines, people were getting ideas, and getting excited. We were brainstorming ideas for an event that would later develop into Youth CAN! (Youth Climate Action Now). This event took place November 8th at El Colegio High School. We had students from all over the Twin Cities metro-area, Wisconsin, and even Northfield and Worthington.
The largest source of air pollution is from coal-fired power plants, which emit hazardous air pollutants, in addition to overloading our atmosphere with carbon pollution, which is driving climate change and affects our health, environment and economy.
Over 400,000 marching - more than three times the expected number! Some were actually finishing the march at the same time others were beginning. This extraordinary turnout might be attributed to the distributed organizing strategy, with 1574 participating organizations, or the inclusive and empowering messaging. I believe a key component was a growing common urgency in the populace, as people realize that climate change touches everyone and its already here. The question I asked myself was, what does our movement need now?
Rumblings of the People's Climate March sifted through my inbox, my Facebook news feed, and casual conversations for months leading up to the day of the event. The invitation was to call for strong action on climate from international leaders at Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's UN Climate Summit. I was keeping an ear to the ground on the progress of my fellow youth climate organizers, but I had really no idea what to expect in New York. No one did.
Hi, my name is Lucy West and I'm a senior at St. Paul Central High School in Minnesota. I am also a co-president of my school's environmental club, Roots & Shoots. I went to the People's Climate March with a group of high schoolers from around the Twin Cities as part of the YEA! MN youth delegation – a program of the Will Steger Foundation. The People's Climate March was a huge gathering of people in New York City of 400,000 people calling for immediate climate action.
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