Dear Trustees Noe, Walker, Stecher, Bruhner, and Landry and Superintendent Kellner,
Thank you so much for your important vote last tonight on the Commitment to Climate Change Action resolution. Thanks, too, for your thoughtful supportive words about the youth and about our campaign. Every time I sit in on a school board meeting, I am reminded that school board members are true champions of democracy. You make so many important, difficult decisions. Thank you for your service to our community.
You are now the 7th school board (5th in Sonoma County) to pass a strong climate action resolution thanks to advocacy by the SCA campaign. With your amendment creating a Superintendent's climate change committee and your mention of bi-partisan carbon pricing as a specific positive solution, your resolution is officially the strongest climate action resolution yet passed by any school board in the nation. As a constituent, I am proud of your strong stand and your example.
Including you, there are now at least 55 school board members who have gone on official public record speaking up for climate action to protect current and future students. There are 90,000 school board members across the nation and we suspect at least 20,000 to 50,000 more share the values and perspective you expressed in your resolution last night.
Climate change not only threatens our children's environment; our national retreat from climate action threatens to squander our proud national heritage and has done direct harm to our national identity and to our intergenerational relationships. Institutional silence on this justice issue has also eroded the relationships and values we hold most dear in schools. Many of the values fundamental to our institution are directly contradicted by our national retreat from climate action (be responsible for your messes, work together to solve problems, be fair, be courageous, etc.) By breaking official silence and bearing witness to the intergenerational neglect that climate inaction entails, you have begun to repair the damage to our institutional coherence and to our cultural fabric. More importantly, you have spoken up in a respectful, non-partisan way that generates political leverage for concrete solutions to this problem.
We (Schools for Climate Action) will be working with Citizens' Climate Lobby and Put A Price On It to translate your resolution into political leverage for common sense bipartisan climate action. We believe that the respectful, organized, and non-partisan voices of school board members and student councils across the nation can be a significant force in breaking the logjam in DC. Our goal for Earth Day 2019 is for 3,000 school boards and student councils across the nation to make their political will for a common-sense national climate action explicit in climate action climate resolution such as you passed last night.
Please consider helping us spread the word in two ways:
1. Share news of your resolution widely among your networks of school board members, especially those outside of Northern California. If we can energize the California School Boards Association and the National School Board Association, we'll reach 50,0000+ school board members. By retreating from national climate action, we, as a nation, have turned our backs on the next generation. Certainly, there are already tens of thousands of school board members across the nation who have a cry of grief stuck in their throats about this issue. Together, we can empower those school board members to speak up in politically effective, but non-partisan ways. School board leaders and educational communities can be the ones to call out the best in the American people and rally us all around common sense climate action in order to protect our precious children. Sonoma County board members have blazed a trail school board members across the country can follow. There are already Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress who strongly support common-sense bipartisan climate action---they just need the American people to make their political will explicit on this issue.
Please also consider reaching out to board members and board member networks sharing this news. I have begun emailing school board members in Houston because, like us, they have seen first hand the direct harm children experience as a result of a climate-related disaster. There are 36 school districts serving Houston. There are likely scores of Houston school board members who might be eager for a way to speak up on for climate action the way you have done.
2. Share word of the Schools for Climate Action Website and our Working Summit on Sunday 3.11.18 from 2-4 at the Sebastopol Grange.
Thanks again for all of your work in service of our community and especially for your important vote last night.
6th grade teacher~Parent~Schools for Climate Action Co-Founder and Lead Volunteer
PS---Here is a link to a YouTube video of Kai's statement.
Kai Guthrie is a ninth grade student at Credo High in Rohnert Park, a Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteer, and one of the founders of Schools for Climate Action campaign.