With more than a dozen people present, the Environment Board deliberated at its virtual meeting on Thursday, March 9, about how to reach more people and foster greater engagement.
“When we talk about community engagement, what I hear often in Evanston is that people don’t feel like they’re heard,” said board member Kimberly Marion Suiseeya.
She suggested the city can create more informed citizens by bringing residents into the boarding process and the city’s work.
“There’s a lot of people out there who still don’t know there’s a Climate Action and Resilience Plan,’ said Joel Freeman, a member of the board of directors at Citizens’ Greener Evanston. The city implemented its climate plan in 2018.
Board members showed support for an independent working group within the body, as well as listening sessions as a way to bring in more people.
Among the agenda items at the meeting were the following:
- CARP Implementation: According to city documents, the city’s two new sustainability specialists are expected to start in mid-April. The city has also identified a firm for the CARP dashboard, with the final details in the process, said Cara Pratt, the city’s sustainability coordinator.
- The city’s plastic bag tax ordinance: According to a staff memo, the board is pushing for quick action by the city council.
- The city’s building de-carbonization policy: Natural gas ranks as the biggest portion of the city’s greenhouse gas inventory at nearly 52%. The city’s building de-carbonization plan seeks to ban gas fixtures at new constructions.
The board is also set to see some reshuffling in the coming months, with board member Tom Klitzkie and co-chair Cherie Fisher stepping down. The pair are currently in their second term, a maximum for the board.
Janice is a full-time mom who likes to write on a range of topics in her spare time. She specializes in the Home, Garden, and Recycling topics. Janice is our Lifestyle and positive vibe expert. She keeps the office running.