Tell the 194 countries committed to the Paris Climate Agreement that “You Are Still In” by supporting the People’s Delegation to Bonn at COP23 in November.
As a follow up to the #WeAreStillIn campaign, ICLEI USA and 350.org are taking a U.S. People’s Delegation to COP23, the 2017 Conference of the Parties organized under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 23 will take place in Bonn, Germany, from November 6-17, 2017. The nations that have signed on to the Paris Agreement will attend the climate talks to continue implementation of the Agreement.
ICLEI is the only city network accredited as an observer to the UNFCCC and is the focal point for the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) working group — giving us the unique opportunity to amplify the voices of the individuals and communities that inspire local leaders to act.
It is more critical than ever that a diverse and passionate delegation of grassroots U.S. representatives is present at the COP to carry the message of commitment to climate action by U.S. communities. With over 20 years of experience supporting local governments in climate and sustainability work, ICLEI USA wants the delegation to come to COP and show what’s working and what’s not working in U.S. communities from the People’s perspective. These stories will help inform climate policy around the world and better prepare communities for climate change.
Meet the Delegates
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Senior City Planner with Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans
Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina, hurricanes, tornados, flooding and despair continue to threaten the lives of New Orleanians. Over the past decade Louisianans have relocated and rebuilt, but an increasing number of extreme weather events and out-of-date infrastructure wreak havoc on residents’ famous joie de vivre.
Bridget Tydor, ENV SP is a Senior City Planner at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) and is a charter member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative. She has an intimate understanding of the issues that affect her region and strives to ensure that SWBNO embraces the climate realities of the 21st Century. She works cooperatively with other governmental and non-governmental organizations to meet New Orleans’ citizens’ needs.
Hometown: Dutch Harbor, AK
Occupation: Student and youth climate activist
Cade Emory Terada is a Japanese-American from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and is a former United States Arctic Youth Ambassador from the number-one fishing port by volume in the nation — every fish sandwich at McDonalds in the world (except in New Zealand and Australia) comes from his hometown.
Cade served as one of 22 members of the U.S. Arctic Youth Council that educated national public on Arctic impacts from climate change. He currently attends Green Mountain College and is an alumni of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, the U.S. Arctic Youth Ambassador program, and Students On Ice. He is attending COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, to represent his community and the circumpolar Arctic by offering the perspective of an Arctic youth to the climate talks.
Hometown: Hayward, CA
Occupation: Field organizer with Ecology Action, student, and youth climate activist
Daisy Guadalupe Romero has witnessed poverty, poor air quality, and a lack of opportunities and resources in her low-income neighborhood in Hayward, CA. At 19 years, she knows the effects of poor air quality first-hand as she struggles with asthma.
Her nascent activism was sparked with an opportunity to educate others on climate change. The City of Hayward, ICLEI, and the Hayward Promise Neighborhood teamed up to create a program called Unite2Green. Daisy lead bilingual workshops that covered topics such as composting, recycling, energy, and water conservation in the Jackson Triangle Neighborhood. She provided her neighbors with low-flow shower heads, LED light bulbs, and sink aerators. Daisy currently attends UC Berkeley.
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Occupation: Cofounder of the youth climate action organization, Sunrise
“Growing up, I thought flooded streets and flood insurance challenges were just the normal way of life near the coast,“ says Dyanna Jaye, who grew up in Hampton Road, Virginia — a town bordered by seas rising at a rate twice the national average. She has committed the past seven years to building the youth climate movement in her home state and shifting local to international climate policy.
Dyanna co-founded the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition to unite students in the fight against environmental injustice. Recently, she started Sunrise, a movement of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across the U.S. and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.
Hometown: El Cerrito, CA
Occupation: CivicSpark Americorps Fellow with City of El Cerrito
As a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow, Justin Marquez works for the City of El Cerrito, California, on greenhouse gas inventorying, climate action plan implementation, and LED streetlight retrofitting. After El Cerrito joined a community-choice aggregator, 50% of its electricity came from renewables. In his analysis, Justin found that utilizing more renewable-energy sources was El Cerrito’s greatest emissions-reductions measure to date.
Justin is a strong advocate for community choice aggregation policy, an alternative to the traditional utility provider that has proven to be a champion of greater renewable energy utilization. Justin explains that “part of the business model of these unique utilities includes using revenue to build more local renewable energy projects, which means more energy autonomy for a community and local job creation.”
Hometown: Wheat Ridge, CO
Occupation: User experience consultant and climate activist
After the 2016 election, Rhiannon Gallagher wanted to build a bigger coalition across her county — almost evenly split politically between Democrat, Republican, and Independent. She knew that if she wanted to get her towns to support the Paris Agreement, she needed to work at a county level with more allies, more resources, and — frankly — a little bit of rivalry.
She started the Jeffco Climate Action Team to create innovation and inclusion in her county on two levels: by first encouraging sustainability in appropriate ways for the demographics and political makeup of the region and second, by sharing knowledge between cities and towns, to foster a community of learning and a shared vision for an economically and environmentally resilient future, independent of political leaning.
Hometown: Urbana, IL
Occupation: Sustainability Manager with City of Urbana
“Our city’s small stature makes us nimble and lean when taking action on emerging energy and climate opportunities,” says Scott Tess, the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Urbana, IL. He supervises the Recycling and Environmental Compliance programs and is responsible for implementing the city’s Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Water Management Plan.
Scott worked with neighborhoods and faith groups to create Low Carbon DietSM teams who came together to reduce the carbon intensity of their homes and lifestyles. Scott developed a partnership with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association to run a group solar-buying program to install 81 solar arrays at homes and businesses throughout the county.
In addition to energy programs, Scott works to safeguard wildlife and resilient regional food systems: “We are also utilizing our City-owned landscapes to install plants that will provide food and shelter for monarch butterflies and other pollinator insects which are responsible for much food crop pollination.”
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