Vermont Progressives Take On Climate Change

This is the summer that climate change got real for me, and after reading Richard Davis’ piece a few days ago, I realize I’m not the only one.  It may not be possible for us to solve all the problems of climate change (and environmental damage) that are underway now, but it’s been occurring to that even if the chances seem to be nil, I still owe it to the planet to care and to try to do my best to help out, or at least, not be part of the problem.  And yet, even setting the bar this low, it’s still hard to believe our efforts matter.

But there’s impetus in numbers, and I was happy to see that the Vermont Progressive Party has decided to start organizing people to work together on the issue of climate change.  Their current project is focused on the state agency of transportation, VTRANS, in an effort to influence their thinking on climate change and how they spend $7 million in federal funds.

From the Progressive Party press release:

Transportation accounts for 40% of our emissions. Knocking this number down will take more than just swapping out cars and trucks for EVs. It’s making sure charging infrastructure is accessible, it’s investing in safe infrastructure for walking, biking, and public transportation, and it’s changing the way we build our towns and cities so affordable housing is close to jobs, shops, and services.”

This climate change initiative involves a webinar, picnic, survey, and a public hearing — and you can be part of it!  (I know, isn’t public policy thrilling?  At least there’s a picnic.)  You can find out more on the Vermont Progressive Party web site.  Unfortunately, their web site displays white letters on a red background (not easy to read), so I’ll provide a snippet of the most salient items below.

From the Vermont Progressive Party:

Here’s what you can do today! 

First, mark your calendar to join in our Organize With Progressives Webinar next Tuesday, July 25th at 7pm and our Picnic with Progressives on Thursday, August 10th, at 5pm  to build a more powerful Progressive Party in VT to fight for climate justice!

Next, take this 5-minute VTrans survey and attend one of two public hearings on Wed July 19 at noon and 6:00 pm (zoom links, use passcode: 985784).

Here’s what you need to know:

  • VTrans is tasked with 40% of VT’s carbon reduction.
  • VTrans needs to reach out to the public to unlock $7 million/year from the federal government.
  • We get to tell VTrans what to do with that money on the survey and in the Wed July 19th hearings!

Will VTrans plans lock us into an ever more car dependent future? Or will VTrans use these funds to make getting around safe, convenient, and accessible for everyone who walks, rolls, and rides?

If you’re worried about climate change, this could be a place to start, even if you just fill out the survey.  Meanwhile may the weather gods be kind–and the force be with us…

Leave a Reply