Power to the People ECS | A Day in Colorado Springs
On March 10th, the students of the Power to the People ECS looked at environmental issues by first talking with Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers about what he does as Mayor and asking questions about what he was going to do about specific problems, like legalized marijuana and how we are going to switch away from fossil fuels. The students were very lucky to have Mayor Suthers give us as much time as he did, for his job is very important, and he has lots of work to do running our city.
Next, the students went to TOPS (Trails, Open Space, and Parks), which is run by Susan Davies. This is a non-profit organization designed to protect our city’s open space and promote healthy management of our park areas. Susan Davies talked about the struggles they have and their success. Their biggest project right now is to try to achieve an increase of the TOPS tax from its current level of 0.1. A significant increase could potentially double their budget and would allow for more than just five projects a year. This was very interesting because I personally didn’t know these groups did so much to fix and maintain our parks and open spaces.
Lastly, we talked with Maryah Lauer, one of the co-organizers of the group Friends of the Earth, a group of activists who focus on climate change. Friends of the Earth wants to get rid of fracking and all fossil fuels before it’s too late and believe that striving for 2050 is too late; instead, this group advocates for the stance that we need to fix this problem as soon as possible. Students learned how these groups are related to politics, with Friends of the Earth meeting with congressmen and the governor of Colorado as well as involving themselves in non-violent protest and education. Overall, it was a packed day full of exciting conversations with the Mayor and groups who are trying and are making a change.