It’s been nearly three weeks since the election, and truth be told, I am still reeling.
It’s still hard to know where the Trump Administration will actually go, as the president-elect is making all sorts of statements that contradict what he said during the campaign. But it’s clear we need to get ready to defend and exemplify the American and environmental values we hold dear.
So I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts about how we move forward. First, here’s my blog post from November 10th:
These last two days have been difficult here at The Environmental Center.
Mostly, I am grieving.
The evidence from the presidential campaign is clear: a Trump administration will be hostile to environmental protection generally and to meaningful climate action specifically. Recent steps forward will be rolled back and climate leadership from our national government is over for at least four years. That’s hard to take, as it comes just when I felt positive momentum building…. READ THE FULL POST
Time to take action.
Many readers of that post asked how they can face the reality of a Trump Administration head on and keep making a difference.
Fundamentally, we must remember that what we do at the local level, in the place we call home, is now more important than ever. Leadership at the state and local levels will be essential—that is where we can keep making progress in the face of inaction and even opposition in D.C. We citizens must once again pull ourselves up by our boot straps and take the reins. It’s an old, but effective, strategy.
Here are my thoughts about how to get started.
1. Stake Out Our Ground and Defend It.
Many people have made the point recently that there will be a lot of pressure to “normalize” a Trump presidency, both what it stands for and how it behaves. From how we treat women, minorities and other religions to taking meaningful action on climate change (and the list goes on), we have a whole host of American values to stand up for and protect, right here where we live and work.
Each of us needs to be clear about what’s important to us. For me, it’s climate action and equality for all. I pledge to stand up, speak out and otherwise get involved. What’s most important to you? And what’s your pledge to make a difference?
2. Stand Up for Bend’s Climate Action Resolution.
Last fall, our City Council passed an ambitious climate action resolution, establishing a path for Bend to do its part to reduce climate pollution. With a new City Council taking office in January, we will need to stand up for that resolution and make it clear that we want meaningful climate action to remain a priority in our City.
Will you join us in communicating this message to the City Council? If so, please click here to sign up for our emails, and make sure you’ve checked the box to receive “Climate Action Alerts” from us. We are also considering a quick, timely text alert system that would provide helpful info on when and how to get involved in the new year. Please provide your cell phone number on this form if you’re interested in that option.
3. Engage In the 2017 Legislative Session in Salem.
Our legislature faces some tough discussions next year, several of which have implications for reducing greenhouse gases statewide. Perhaps the most of important of these will be the much talked about “transportation package.” Will it focus only on moving cars and trucks? Or will it also focus on investments in transit, biking and walking?
If you support the latter, you’ll need to make your voice heard. Click here and make sure you’ve checked the box to be on our “SalemWatch 2017” email list. We’ll be sure you get the info you need to make your voice heard in Salem.
4. Support Local Organizations.
We can’t do it all individually. But we can get a lot more done if we provide financial support for local organizations that reflect the values we hold dear.
Tomorrow is a national event called Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. Consider supporting one of these local environmental organizations running a local Giving Tuesday campaign, including:
- The Environmental Center (yes, we need your help too!)
- The Deschutes Land Trust
- Upper Deschutes Watershed Council
Already giving to environmental causes? Then support another worthwhile local organization in the social services sector. Here’s a local list with links to each organization.
5. Spend More Time Outside.
Let’s each pledge to stay connected to nature, to spend time surrounded by the beauty, solace and inspiration of creation. A walk alone along the river. A fresh powder day with the boys. A river trip with family and friends. After all, being outside is one of things that drew us to make our home here.
Martin Luther King Jr., and more recently President Obama, have reminded us that the path to a just, sustainable future isn’t straight. It zigs and zags, three steps forwards and then some back. But its arc bends towards that future, in large part because of what we do, every day, in the place we live and work and call home.
Let’s walk that path together, right here in Central Oregon.