First Round of 103 Nationwide Events to “Empower a Generation to Power a Nation”
For the second year in a row, Portland will serve as the flagship city for a nationwide, grassroots discussion on climate change. Focus the Nation, a leading nonprofit organization founded in Portland that empowers young leaders to accelerate the transition to a clean energy future, will carry out its second national civic engagement campaign at Portland State University’s Hoffman Hall from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2009.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon House Representatives Ben Cannon and Jules Bailey as well as other community leaders are among the panelists participating in the conversation. In partnership with the City of Portland, PSU and Multnomah County, the event will focus on Portland’s trajectory toward clean energy, unveil the city and county’s Climate Action Plan and give citizens the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about how the plan will affect their daily lives.
Just before Earth Day, youth, businesses, educational and community leaders will have the opportunity to connect with local and federal representatives, share ideas and learn about the implications of climate change and the opportunities that exist in a clean energy economy.
“This will be an exciting moment for Portland,” said Garett Brennan, executive director, Focus the Nation. “Every other town hall across the country will be working on creating an action plan or identifying legislative road blocks to build the clean energy future. But here in Portland, we’ll be unveiling a plan that can serve as an example to all the other communities across the country that we’re bringing into the movement.”
Focus the Nation’s Nationwide Town Hall on America’s Clean Energy Future will occur in 103 events that represent more than 150 Congressional Districts across the country during the Congressional recess. Most will be held the day following Portland’s event on April 18th, 2009. Their 2008 civic engagement campaign organized climate change teach-ins at nearly 1900 institutions throughout the country.
“Portland is the most sustainable city in America and we’ve set our sights on being the most sustainable city in the world,” says Mayor Adams. “We will stay out in front in the green movement only if we continue to build on-the-ground experience and ignite the creativity and energy of the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and policy-makers. With Portland’s 15 years of experience and leadership in addressing climate change, we have the opportunity to provide an example for how other cities can help the United States to be a world leader in addressing this challenge.”
At the Portland Town Hall event, Mayor Adams and County Commissioner Cogen will be announcing the proposed Portland/Multnomah County 2009 Climate Action Plan, which was developed jointly in response to a city-county commitment to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. The proposed plan will be released for public comment on April 17, and the City and County will accept public comments through May 27, 2009.
Once adopted by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and Portland City Council, the Climate Action Plan will serve as the long-term roadmap for the institutional and individual change needed to reach the ambitious climate protection goals, while also identifying specific actions to be taken in the next three years. The goal of the plan is to make Portland a “low-carbon” society, while further strengthening the local economy, advancing public health, and improving the high quality of life for which this region is known.
“Through our commitment to fighting climate change, Multnomah County and the City of Portland have proven that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced while at the same time demonstrating that innovation and efficiency in the use of all resources, including energy, is the best strategy for increasing our quality of life, growing jobs, and positioning our region’s competitive economic advantage,” said Commissioner Cogen.
Mayor Adams, County Commissioner Cogen, and Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson, will unveil the plan and discuss what it means for Portlanders and the residents of Multnomah County.
For more information or to comment on the City of Portland and Multnomah County proposed Climate Action Plan, visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/climate.
To learn about Focus the Nation’s Town Hall events happening throughout the country, please visit www.focusthenation.org/map
News Source: City of Portland, Oregon
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