Scrapple From The Apple
There’s a profound buzz traversing New York City and it’s being generated by anticipation of the People's Climate March, which will descend upon the City on September 21. While the march itself is occurring in ten days, preparations, mobilizations and all the pomp and circumstance in between are already well underway. Yesterday I attended two exciting and significant events leading up to the march. The first was a press conference held at the steps of Manhattan’s City Hall, which brought together a coalition of climate activists and city leaders.
Led by City Councilman Donavan Richards (last to the right), who chairs the City Council’s environmental protection committee, the coalition largely spoke to the importance of mobilizing as many people as possible to the march, as well as the importance of making citizens and world leaders aware of the steps that must be taken to curb the devastating effects of climate change. However, arguably, the most significant aspect of the press conference was the call for the City Council to vote on and pass a resolution endorsing the People’s Climate March (at the time of writing this, the resolution was approved by the City Council).
Shortly after the press conference I had the chance to speak with Councilman Richards who stressed the importance of giving a voice and paying special attention to vulnerable communities, specifically low wealth and communities of color, who typically bare the brunt of climate change inducing events such as Superstorm Sandy.
Following the press conference I hopped up to mid-town Manhattan to the People’s Climate March HQ, a shared office space that environmental organizations including 350, Energy Action Coalition and, on this day, Environmental Action have been coordinating the march from. I was struck by the amount of work going on behind the scenes and the thoughts that orbited my mind while embracing all that was around me were, “we’re doing this, we’re going to do this and this is going to be fracking HUGE!”
I wish I could have stayed longer, but true to the pace of New York City, I had to run, literally, again to attend two more meetings…as I was running to my second meeting and dodging all of the people who walk with their head downs because they’re checking their cell phone (more on that at another time…but seriously people, it’s New York, keep your heads up, we don’t need to give the cab drivers yet another obstacle to navigate around) I remembered while moving at the pace of a Charlie Parker sax solo (from the song that shares the title of this blog btw) that I am a certified Yoga instructor…so with that let me take a quick breath……
…..From there, I headed to my old stomping grounds, the Upper West Side, to attend the People’s Climate March Final Mass Organizing meeting, which was held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.The house was packed, and the enthusiasm of the audience who cheered, chanted and sang could be felt outside of the venue.The leaders of the meeting, who included Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Councilman Richards and Leslie Cagan, veteran activist and National March Coordinator, offered remarks espousing the notion that while so much amazing work has been completed, there’s plenty of work left to go with only ten days left. Speaking of which, if you would like to get involved with volunteering for the march, you can get more information by clicking here.
What struck me the most, as I walked along Central Park on my way home after a long, frenetic day was the diversity of the participants. The People’s Climate March seems to serve as a social adhesive that may just pave a path to a destination that not only heals our physical environment, but also the wounds that have previously divided us as mutual, and seemingly yet not so disparate earth citizens. This meeting is proof that we can all come and work together towards a common goal. And this notion acted as the perfect mental pillow as I finally made it home for a well earned rest.