Fall meeting 2014

Racine Green Congregations

November 1, 2014 Meeting at Eco-Justice Center 8:30 to 10:00

Sixteen people were present representing nine faith communities and organizations. Each group made a report.

Greening Racine: The rest of the meeting was a lively discussion about the ambitious plan of RGC to begin a process to green the city of Racine.

Dave Rhoads outlined previous work on greening Racine: Sustainable Racine, Transitions, Commitment to Use Green cleaning products (2007, spearheaded by Kranz), Green Racine initiative (three year proposal offered in 2009), the Sustainable Business Network, Johnson Foundation (Charting New Waters panel on local implications, 2014), various programs at the Golden Rondelle on environmental issues relevant to the community. These are all important efforts upon which to build.

Many resources: The natural Step (Madison), other communities with ecological plans (Evanston, Cleveland), many specific projects in numerous cities. Because response to climate change and other environmental issues is not being addressed at the national level, cities need to step up and prepare for what lies ahead.

Many partners: City, county, corporations, businesses, schools, hospitals, faith communities, offices, non-profits, many environmental organizations.

See the attached profile of areas in Racine to be addressed with some possible ways to address those issues.

Conversations points:

Need a champion who can give leadership that will endure through time. Need advice about umbrella organization for all efforts. City sustainability officer or United Way model (loaned executive).

Need a core team of representative persons with a stake and commitment to environmental sustainability. Broader than Racine Green Congregations.

Need funding to support professional and staff through time and grants for projects.

Should be an educational component so that all aspects of sustainability are addressed: environmental, economic (with emphasis on employment and living wage), community/neighborhood building, education about the environmental crises, and commitment to improve quality of life through relationship with nature.

Build on what has been done and learn from mistakes. Use model of Women of Worth to interview individuals and leaders who have an interest and a stake in this issue.

Work closely as partner with Racine Interfaith Coalition. Invite RIC organizer Michael Mueller to join RGC steering committee. Expand representation of city diversity.

Involve county executive (Betty). Work with school board members, Invite others to join meeting.

Work with Racine Journal Times to promote what has already been done. Create website.

Reach out to other cities to find out what they are doing and how they got organized to do it.

Next RGC Meeting. Saturday, February 7, 2015. Ongoing conversation about Greening Racine.