Davis, CA – Youth leaders from Yolo County led a colorful all-ages march today in central Davis to protest the city’s failure to address the climate emergency. The marchers made their way from the library to Central Park and the city hall, mirroring thousands of actions across the world on September 23 organized by the #FridaysforFuture movement.
The young marchers denounced the city council and administration for their failure to listen to the demands of young people and for not giving them a seat at the table in the planning and delivery of the city’s new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
“We young people are the most impacted by climate change and yet our demands for action and change have consistently fallen on deaf ears in the City of Davis,” said Eliot Larson, coordinator of Fridays for Future Davis.
Dear City of Davis,
In 2019 we wrote a letter on behalf of myself, other youth leaders and most crucially the planet to the Davis Joint Unified School District, the Davis City Council and former Mayor of Davis, Ms. Partida. That letter was in essence a list of demands compiled by adult and youth climate leaders alike firmly insisting that immediate change be put into effect. We, most of us only children, expressed our deep fears and concerns as well as giving you our demands for logical and possible change. The letter was accepted and we were given implied assurances that these demands would be seriously considered and addressed. Unfortunately, those Davis officials in power did nearly nothing to make such changes. Obviously, this was extremely disappointing to all who had worked on the letter and devastating to the state of our climate and the world, which as we all know is deeply affected by each individual community. But passion, dedication and persistence are the marks of change and we must continue the fight for a livable future and the life of the beloved planet we all call home.
So, we write again, and again we hand over a list of demands compiled by youth leaders and community members for climate action. We will not take no for an answer, for it cannot be the answer when the only option left to us is action! Leaders of Davis, you must make changes now. You have no other choice and you lose the faith and respect of your children and your peers for every moment you remain ineffectual and silent. The word “leader” by definition is a person who has commanding authority or influence, and that leaves absolutely no excuse for inaction. This cause, the need to effectively address the climate crisis, surpasses all others in both its necessity for swift initiative and its catastrophic eminent consequences.
We have come together, organized and taken action for this cause and so must you. Let Davis be the leading force in our county, in our region, nay in our state. Let us become a town of grassroots, radical and imaginative innovation. Let this list of demands be only the beginning of great and heavily influential change. You must act now, we will not accept anything less, and no matter your response we will continue to rise up. You have not heard the last of us. We have a mighty voice.
We issue these updated demands and request that they be immediately incorporated into the draft 2020 City of Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan:
- Commit to the City of Davis divesting from all fossil fuel and being fossil free by 2030
- Include youth voices at the decision-making table by the end of 2022; A representative from each of the Davis high schools and Jr. highs as well as any elementary school students and homeschool students who want to be part of decisions that affect their future should be directly included in climate action planning and implementation.
- Put the Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan on hold until youth and the people who are affected most by climate chaos have been able to provide meaningful input and make changes to this plan.
- Ban the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DISC) and similar car-centric developments. This recurring project is an energy drain for the youth of Davis to have to keep fighting. This project must be stopped once and for all as it would have no benefits for the Davis community and undermines our climate goals.
- Switch all city vehicles and public transportation to 100% electric by 2025
- Switch all city buildings and schools in Davis to 100% solar powered energy by 2025
- Upgrade energy inefficient buildings and houses in Davis to solar energy by 2025
- Make at least four more downtown streets walk and bike only by 2023
- Provide universal access to bikes in Davis
- Establish community gardens and kitchens in each neighborhood for all residents of Davis to access.
Please refer to our previous demands submitted in 2019 and 2021 as well.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other climate action priorities as soon as possible. We can be reached at Davis@fridaysforfutureusa.org.
Letter written by Emma Larson
**an additional 25 youth signed this letter at today’s march; their signatures will be shared with the City Council when an updated version is delivered on Tuesday’s regularly scheduled city council meeting)