Dear DC37 Sisters and Brothers,
I hope everyone is having a good New Year! I hope it continues as 2024 may prove to be the most pivotal year in the history of the United States. Not only do we have an extremely important Presidential election and the very real threat of electing a fascist government – as Germany did in the 1930s – committed to eliminating Social Security, voting rights, and denying that climate change even exists, but 2023 turned out to not only be the hottest year in the last 174 years (since they started record keeping) but it may well have been the hottest year in the last 125,000 years. And, the earth is getting much hotter, much more quickly, so the tornadoes, droughts, severe storms, and rising sea levels will only intensify. We truly have our work cut out for us.
The NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has 8 New Year’s Resolutions on steps each of us might take to reduce our carbon footprint at this link: https://view.nyserda.ny.gov/?qs=f21025d8559d58d476f45b58918acc90ca3596c4928cad58e06862b18d48dae27a83697591f284cb099c05865affcb6d5e8680795864723cdc3e791055e217b09e49e58f3dd756cac8e3e0adfa51f5a3
We will also continue our efforts as the DC37 Climate Justice Committee to help our members and Union to better prepare for and combat the growing climate crisis. The increasing heat waves not only impact our field workers, kitchen aides, and crossing guards, but it will impact all of us in our commutes, in our homes and in our wallets.
The next meeting of the DC37 Climate Justice Committee is this Tuesday, January 9th, at 6:00 pm via Zoom and Telephone. If you are not on the “Recipient’ list in this email and wish to attend, please either email myself directly or email the Committee’s website.
The following is the draft agenda for our meeting on Tuesday, January 9th:
1) Review of the major climate events of 2023 – the Smoke days, the IRA, the Climate March, the UN COP, Green Healthy Schools launch, etc.
2) Review of the new American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Climate Resolution (attached) and how a modified version – to be emailed shortly – might help us in helping to create a Climate Caucus within AFSCME. We have invited Oren Kadosh from the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) to join us in this discussion. We will especially be looking at the Climate Resolutions passed at previous AFSCME Conventions.
3) The Green Healthy Schools campaign and how we can help push back on the Mayor’s budget cuts and improve school ventilation, electrification, installation of solar panels, etc. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) here in NYC has also just created a UFT Climate Justice Committee which we hope will be an ally in this effort.
4) Hosting an in person event for DC37 Climate/Labor activists
5) Other issues of interest
6) Next Committee meeting the first Tuesday of the month – Tuesday, February 6th, at 6 pm
We hope you can join us this coming Tuesday at 6 pm.
DC37 Climate Justice Committee