“We want to get people more aware of what is happening with our climate and remind them what needs to be done to protect us from climate change,” said Elisabeth Winslow, a student at King Middle School in Portland. Beginning in January of this year, she began sitting on the steps of city hall on Friday afternoon when the weather permitted – along with Eloise Brampton who began the January initiative.
Eloise Brampton who started the city hall steps sit-in in January was not present today.
Since January Brampton has attracted the three students from King present today and others as well with a similar concern for our environment.
The inspiration for Brampton’s action is the famous Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist who challenged the world to take immediate steps against climate change. In 2018, she spent her school days outside the Swedish Parliament in order to call attention to climate change. During this time, she attracted like-minded students. They organized a school climate strike movement called – “Fridays for Future.” Since then she has been internationally celebrated for her activism.
Joining the King Middle School students since earlier this year are Elissa and Allen Armstrong of Portland. They are members of the Portland Climate Action Team of the Sierra Club. The couple wants to be sure that the city continues to implement its massive, 30 year plan, with South Portland. It aspires to obtain an 80% reduction in fossel fuel use by the year 2050 according to Elissa. It’s a huge plan with lots of projects that need to be implemented in order to achieve this goal. One Climate Future is the name of the agreement between Portland and South Portland.
The city of Portland is slated to receive $58 million from the just passed COVID-19 relief package passed by the Democrats in Congress. The couple hopes that at least half of that money goes toward financing the plan between the two cities. “Hiring a staff to implement projects within the plan is an essential first step in accomplishing these goals,” said Allen Armstrong.
How long will it be before the steps of Portland’s City Hall are packed with like-minded environmentalists?