By KENDRA SITTON | La Mesa Courier
La Mesa City Council newcomer Jack Shu is already working to meet his campaign promise of improving the city’s Climate Action Plan. At his very first meeting as a city councilman on Jan. 12, Shu brought forward a resolution to declare climate change an emergency.
The proposed resolution was approved by all five members of the City Council, so city staff and relevant commissions will review it ahead of the Feb. 23 City Council meeting. At the next meeting, Shu and supporters hope the draft resolution will be approved. In order to speed the approval along, the Council created a sub-committee with Shu and Council member Bill Baber to move the resolution forward.
The goal of the resolution is to ensure all city departments and commissions are treating climate change as a dire crisis the city’s decisions affect.
“I really see it as a way to move our city forward together,” said Shu. “All elements of the city need to work together to make sure we meet out climate action goals.”
He explained many actions are already taking place. This would elevate the emergency of it and make sure all parts of the city are helping implement the Climate Action Plan.
Over 20 people called or wrote into the City Council to share their opinion about the resolution.
Several members of the La Mesa First United Methodist Church gave public comment in favor of the resolution.
“Our faith-based organization calls for sound stewardship of the earth and environmentally-friendly lifestyles that preserve creation for present and future generations. We applaud the whole resolution and especially item three to commit to ensure environmental, economic and jnvironmental justice,” said Lois Knowlton of the United Methodist Women of La Mesa First UMC.
Knowlton is referencing a passage in the resolution that calls for environmental justice to be at the heart of the climate action plan being implemented, including by consulting race-based organizations about future steps. This is due to climate change adversely impacting marginalized neighborhoods.
All but one public commenter, former City Council candidate Laura Lothian, were in favor of the measure.
“The real emergency facing La Mesa is reopening La Mesa, not taking action to combat climate change,” Lothian said.
While the official proposal’s adoption could face delays, the Council, spearheaded by Shu’s efforts, is aiming to have the next draft on the Feb. 23 agenda of the City Council.
— Reach contributing editor Kendra Sitton at firstname.lastname@example.org.