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January 2021 monthly Meeting ONLINE

Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
via Zoom
Vernon’s Climate Action Plan

An enthusiastic group of over 45 people took part in our Zoom event on Vernon's draft Climate Action Plan. This plan, for which many citizens have provided input, includes much research. It will be presented to Vernon City Council in February. An outpouring of support will show Council how important it is to us!

Speaker: Laurie Cordell, City of Vernon

Ideas were generated from 2 different breakout groups.

Actions that Group #1 brainstormed to the question “How can community members advocate for a “YES” vote in council, for the Climate Action Plan?

  • Send the plan to our newly elected MLA, Harwinder Sandu, and ask her to write to Vernon Council to say that she supports the plan and hopes that they will as well.  Since funding will have to come from all levels of government, it is important that she knows that the residents of Vernon are supporting Vernon’s Climate Action Plan.
  • Support the plan on social media feeds.  Provide factual responses, in non-confrontational language, to posts that contain mis-information about climate change.  Discuss in a positive, back and forth manner only.
  • Run for Council.
  • Organize a “task force” to call on Councillors to show your support for the plan and let them know why you support it.
  • Mayor and Council often get negative feedback but they do not get as much positive feedback.  This is an excellent time to write a short note to Mayor and each member of Council (using the link on the City website) so your support goes on public record.
  • Reach out to all of your social media contacts.  Send them the draft plan and ask them to support it.  You can also reach out to any groups that you may be a member of.  Eg NOCS, Ribbons of Green, Allan Brooks Nature Center, The Naturalists’ Club, Hiking clubs, bookclubs, bike shops, etc. Climate Action has offered to write up a blurb that you can send to all of your contacts.
  • Compile a list of all the ways that climate change is already impacting our area.  This could be used as an educational tool to educate the public as to why it is imperative that Vernon takes significant and sustainable climate action…now.
  • We could do a Zoom “Letter Writing Bee”.  At this meeting, anyone that wants to write a Letter to the Editor of our local paper and media outlets can do so.  Note:  It would be best to take this action early so letters can be sent every week up until the vote is held in March.  These letters do not have to be long.  Short ones are more apt to be printed. 
  • Support the students from the Vernon Climate Action Club at W.L. Seaton Secondary, and the students from Earth Strike, by making flags to hang on the Seaton chain link fence along 27th Street.  The idea came from Tibetan prayer flags.  Prayer flags are traditionally used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom.  Write a climate action message on your flags and your message will be blown by the wind and will spread good will to all.  Your messages will also be read by pedestrians and motorists going down 27th . Post photos or videos of you putting up your flags and share it with SENS on Facebook.  
  • Attend the City of Vernon budget meetings (maybe provide input) to ensure that Council sets ambitious plans for 2022.
  • Do an amateur video on your cell phone to post on social media.  You can say something like, “My name is _______ and I want Vernon Council to vote YES on the Vernon Climate Action Plan because ______________________.

Actions that Group #2 brainstormed to the question “How can community members support climate action in Vernon and area for the years to come?

  • Influence other groups to which you belong to make two changes e.g. eat less meat, combine car trips with neighbours with multiple destinations.
  • NONA members can find ways to include the Regional District in the climate actions.
  • Work at building local neighbourhood connections and initiate conversations on the climate.
  • Lower the voting age so those who will be most affected can participate directly in the decision making.
  • Use public transit and electric vehicles
  • Facilitate youth speaking to NGO groups, book clubs and other interest groups.
  • Support students to speak and be active.  They are inspiring and energizing.
  • Replace fossil fuel heating systems with air to air heat pumps and be an example for your neighbours
  • Read the Climate Action Plan on line and ask for printed copies from Laurie Cordell at City Hall
  • Use social media to show the steps you have done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Medias, businesses and organizations can organize energy efficiency days and week or shopping specials.
  • Encourage friendly energy efficiency competitions between staffs of businesses and organizations, businesses and groups of individuals e.g. schools

Thanks to everyone that attended this breakout session and provided these excellent ideas.  I am sure everyone will find an action that they feel comfortable doing.  Hopefully, everyone will find more than one that they would like to do.  

Extra Ideas that were provided through the Chat aspect of Zoom:

  • NOCS in Vernon has over 1050 cycling members in Vernon. Info on the CAP and a request to send emails to "Mayor & Council" should be included in the weekly NOCS email blast.
  • Lower the voting age to 16.
  • In  Penticton : We had a zoom letter writing group.  We discussed the main issues, picked different ones, wrote the main points quickly, and then finished them afterwards.  We shared them for editing purposes and then emailed them to the media.
  • Lots of people could record a 5 second message on their phones (see last bullet above) then email to a central person to put together…also send to SENS fb and council directly. Start as challenge on social media (eg #SENS/COV?) and share with 10 friends.
  • The “alternative” facebook page for Vernon:
  •  for multiple ideas on how to act with benefits long term.
  • Get short videos of support from Farm Bound, Fill Store, Landscape companies, realtors, farmers’ market etc
  • If we each reached out to 2 or 3 business owners we know and ask them to support or find out why they are not then this would be a good start.

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