1:45 – 2:45 Advocacy, Policy, and Organizing in Eastern PA
Ezra Thrush, PennFuture
Courtney Foley, Climate Action Campaign
Katie Blume, Conservation Voters of PA
There are many important climate issues facing the world today. News reports and studies, emails and social media feeds are replete with information regarding the ever changing landscape of legislation and policy on the state and federal levels. It is difficult to keep up with the flow of information and frustrating when we feel we have missed an opportunity to have an impact. Catastrophe fatigue is also a very real factor as we engage systems and the well funded lobbyists and players involved at all layers. The panel of experts in the Advocacy, Policy, and Organizing in Eastern PA panel will attempt to narrow the field of focus so that we can look to the work ahead with confidence and direction. The speakers will focus on the most pressing issues in climate justice, how their organization is addressing these issues, and how we can be involved today, next year, and beyond to organize in support of climate justice.
3:00 – 4:00 Tree Canopy, Heat Sinks, and Urban Creation Care in Eastern PA
Ivana Gonzalez, Esperanza and the Environmental Steering Committee
In 2019 and 2020 PA IPL worked together with a coalition of Philadelphia based partners with funding from an EPA grant called Beat the Heat. The intent of the project was to mitigate the effects of climate change, structural racism, and the subsequent loss of a tree canopy in the Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia. The project pursued this goal both through surveying the community and by attempting to establish cooling stations in houses of worship where members of the community could seek shelter from the heat. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated this direction and instead heat mitigation packets were provided which would help community members survive the dangerous summer weather at home. Esperanza is a Latinx facing organization in North Philadelphia which has continued to lead the Environmental Steering Committee that emerged from the Beat the Heat project. Such direct community organizing to seek solutions in communities by and with members of the community fully embrace the Jemez principles and create opportunities for congregations to serve as climate champions in frontline communities.