Oaklandon E-STEM Club Gets Climate Resolution Passed in Lawrence

By Cadyn Waxingmoon, 14

Earth Charter Indiana Intern

Oaklandon Elementary’s E-STEM Club, Kids For Climate, recently took Indiana a step closer to climate resiliency by securing yet another climate resolution. The Oaklandon Kids For Climate presented to Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier in May; Mayor Collier then asked the children to speak to the city county council as well. During July’s annual Climate Camp I helped the kids practice their speeches. In fact with the help of kids who worked on Carmel’s and Indy’s climate resolutions, we held a mock city council meeting so Oaklandon presenters could get comfortable with the process.

Walking into the meeting room, I felt a tangible elation both from the children and the council as the two parties shook hands and smiled for pictures. It was assumed that the resolution would be addressed after old business was taken care of. To my surprise Mayor Collier started the meeting off by honoring the Oaklandon kids and teachers with a proclamation announcing that day, September 5th, 2017, the be E-STEM KIDS FOR CLIMATE DAY in the city of Lawrence. 

The surprised but pleased Oaklandon Elementary Kids For Climate were then called to give testimony for their resolution.

Laura Getz, environmental science teacher at Oaklandon, introduced the E-STEM Club, followed by a slideshow presented by two students. As each child spoke, they all appealed to different reasons for climate action while still tying into the greater message of This is my future, and it’s in your hands. One girl voiced concerns that her dreams of becoming a nature photographer would be left unfulfilled due to a devastating loss of natural beauty in the outdoor world. A boy worried for his health, and the health of his future children. Facts were stated, fears, hopes, and plans shared, and arguments as to how the city would benefit from the resolution.

I was confused when the council then moved on to old business instead of taking a vote to resolve the climate resolution that had been brought before them. When finished with old business, new business was addressed and about halfway through the list the climate resolution was finally voted on. My momentary stress left me and I realized they simply had shifted their schedule to accommodate our testimony.

Though I had faith that the resolution would pass, seeing the council members all raise their hands in unanimous approval made me smile at the achievement. One member, in a show of enthusiasm, threw two hands in the air and smiled down at the E-STEM Club. The kids grinned and squirmed in their seats, ecstatic about what they had just accomplished.

This is the latest of three youth-lead climate resolution passed in Indiana, following Carmel and Indianapolis, all of which have been adopted in the last year. With each passed resolution climate action becomes more of a trend in Indiana, less of a small project undertaken only by a few cities, and more of a statewide movement. I hope to see many more climate resolutions passed as well as made into ordinances, because while seeing cities pass resolutions so enthusiastically is thrilling, a resolution is nothing more than a promise, whereas an ordinance is a law.

Earth Charter