Students from the Valley organize climate strike to advocate for serious climate action to be taken
Phoenix AZ (May 28, 2019) – Youth from the Valley of the Sun, including students from BASIS Phoenix, Tempe Preparatory Academy, Veritas Preparatory Academy, Paradise Valley High School, and other high schools in the Phoenix area plan to gather at Margaret T Hance Park in downtown Phoenix on June 3rd from 5-7 to demand that legislators take action to mitigate climate change. For many of the students, the United Nation’s 2018 climate report was a turning point in their understanding of climate change. As a result, they formed the Phoenix chapter of the national organization Zero H0ur and became passionate about the importance of halting the creation of fossil fuels, the reliance on science to direct our environmental policies, and the equitable transition to renewable energy.
Though their hopes are ambitious, Zero Hour Phoenix believes they are feasible and hopes to educate Arizonans through this rally. “Solving an issue starts with education. We believe that the first step to solving the issue of climate change is to educate and that our event can help to spread crucial information” stated Aditi Narayanan, Zero Hour’s Co-President.
Speakers at the rally and press conference plan to educate attendees about the various impact of climate change, including on low-income community members, indigenous peoples, the Latinx community, and wildlife. They also plan to share the personal effects of climate change on their own neighborhoods and lives and to release a bold proposal with specific methods (similar to the Green New Deal) to reduce Arizona’s carbon footprints. They hope for local lawmakers to endorse this legislation as well in the next legislative session.
“Elected officials have seen environmental legislation as disposable for far too long”, adds Brian Mecinas, the team’s lobbying director. “On June 3rd, we’re letting them know that our lives and futures aren’t disposable and will never be.”
Other members, Simona Hausleitner, Akhila Bandlora, Sonia Fernandez, Claire Nelson, Nikita Bharati, Anna Melis, and Amritha Karthikeyan have been working on logistical efforts to make the rally happen. “Young people are on the forefront of climate justice because we are affected by climate change the most– we refuse to accept a desolate future.” She then adds “And we are going to make change.”
The Phoenix Climate Rally is sponsored by Zero Hour Phoenix, a youth-led organization that seeks to empower young voices in the struggle for climate justice.