Yesterday Chloe Jeffries presented the case for a seventh scrutiny committee, dedicated to the climate emergency to a group of councillors of Manchester City Council. It was the culmination of a year long campaign to collect signatures on a petition. [THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED, WHO COLLECTED.]
This post explains “what next?” and how you (yes, you) can be involved, at whatever level. If you have questions, want to know more, then email us on email@example.com or tweet at us – @ClimateEmergMcr.
In the short-term, well, this week we have a team of citizens watching the scrutiny meetings of the Council and writing up blogs, as they did last month. These folks (known as the “SFs” – we will tell you what that means when you’re older) are doing boring, frustrating and super-important work. We have to build up a good picture of what is and is not happening, and who gives a damn. Every month from now to the apocalypse, we intend to have the SFs doing this. If you want to join Team SF, get in touch at the email above.
We are also clarifying what happens next to the proposal for a dedicated scrutiny committee (the Councillors proposed to re-arrange the existing six, rather than set up a new one). The proposal will probably be discussed at Full Council on Wednesday 31st March. Once we know for sure, we will be urging folks to contact their councillors (Manchester is divided into 32 wards. Each ward has 3 councillors).
We know that climate change can be overwhelming, that it is easy to feel powerless. We know that local authorities are opaque, bewildering and all-too-often enraging. We know how difficult it is to “do” responsible citizenship around climate change and local authorities.
We also know that it 100% crucial. This is an emergency. This is what we have to do.
If you have any time (half an hour a week or more), you can be involved in this work. We have jobs big and small – from contacting your councillor, to offering us advice on our needs-a-bit-of-work-(cough, cough) website, to submitting Freedom of Information Act requests, to graphic design, to … well, email us.
We want to work with people who take sustained and non-sexy climate action seriously, within the constraints of their lives (families, jobs etc), and who are keen to share their skills and knowledge.
There’s more to say about the specifics of this, and we will be releasing our “aims” next week, and a Two Year anniversary report in late March that will explain CEM’s goals for the year ahead. For now though, this – we are making some progress. The progress we have made is not because of any super-heroes. It’s because dozens of “ordinary people” are working with us. If you want in – firstname.lastname@example.org