by Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter Chair
As our Sierra Club Chapter turns middle-aged — 55 years — our world is facing a man-sized toddler.
I have first-hand experience with toddlers. My little guy’s wobbly steps cause spilled milk, toys strewn everywhere, tired nights, bumped heads, loud crying, demands of “mine!” — and then he smiles or laughs, causing sudden and spontaneous bouts of joy and overwhelming love.
My little guy’s damage is harmless and is all for the cause of learning about the world at 17 months. But I can’t help but feel that Mr. Trump has brought us the age of the grownup toddler whose damage can be permanent. I guess the rest of us have to be the attending parents, reducing the harm and taking joy in the victories we are working so hard to create together.
Let’s start with a standing ovation for another parent of young children. Newly elected Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is the father to Jack and Maya, who are 2 and 4.
Mayor Keller shares in many of the challenges that young families face in trying to provide for their families while also pursuing their dreams. Our deep hope is that we can work effectively with this new administration to truly connect Albuquerque families to their bosque and that we can help to develop a path toward a sustainable city that does its part in curbing global climate change.
In other important news for kids, our pop-up coalition successfully helped to stop the Public Education Department’s proposed removal of mentions of climate change, the age of the earth and evolution from the new science curriculum. The department heard from hundreds of New Mexicans and finally agreed to implement the full Next Generation science standards — without the anti-science edits — with the accompanying framework that will help teachers implement them. While we savour this victory there are also proposed changes to social studies end of year tests that remove mentions of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Roe v. Wade.
We continue to support the efforts of Global Warming Express, the kids after-school climate-action program and hope that you’ll join us for a fundraiser in their honor on Jan. 27. These are kids 8-12 years old who are taking real measurable action on curbing climate change. So as our chapter hits 55, it’s time to start thinking like Grandma and Grandpa — what can I do to protect these kids’ planet, to get them outside and to teach them to be active citizens?
Finally, we hope that you will join us in a year of celebration, looking back and learning. In our 55th year, we’ll celebrate with Senators Heinrich and Udall at events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
We’ll hold a special event for Sierra Club life members. Look out for special lunchtime events for monthly donors to the Club. And in each edition of this year’s newsletters, we will tell stories of past victories, lessons learned, and interesting people who have defined our Chapter’s work.
Thanks for helping us celebrate!