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Event Report

Step It Up 2 - Who's A Leader?

Oklahoma City, OK

November 3, 2007

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By:Darla` Shelden

Step It Up held another global warming event in Oklahoma City on Saturday, November 3, to call for leadership on climate change. There were also similar events in Norman, Muskogee and Stillwater, OK that day.

“Invitations were sent to all federally elected officials of Oklahoma to give them a chance to state how they would lead on the issue of global warming,” said organizer Darla Shelden.

State Senator Andrew Rice (D), who is running for U.S. Senate against Senator Jim Inhofe (R) was among the speakers today at the event. Rice knows that global climate change is real and threatens our way of life. He supports policies that reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants that contribute to global warming.

Other speakers included Jim Roth, OK Corporation Commissioner, State Rep Anastasia Pittman, City Councilman Sam Bowman, Susie Shields Former President OK Sierra Club, Ed Kessler, ONTRAC, Fenton Rood, Environmental Science Professor, Robert Waldrop, Oklahoma Food Cooperative and State Senator Connie Johnson.

The event was held in front of Harding High School located at 3333 N. Shartel and started at 11:00 am. Sponsors for the event included Central Park Neighborhood Association, Harding Fine Arts Center, Sierra Club Cimarron Group, Sustainable OKC, Community Youth Outreach, Indian Youth Empowerment Project, Audubon Society of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Food Coop, The Peace House, OK Organic Gardening Assn, Closer to Earth Youth Gardens and Homeland -18th & Classen. Live music was provided by The Electric Primadonnas.

Allen Parleir, event organizer and member of Central Park Neighborhood Association, shared their local plans to confront climate change including celebrating a year of having bike lanes on Shartel Avenue. "We're working toward becoming a more sustainable neighborhood by being more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, adding greenspace, using electric mowers and garden tractors, and encouraging local gardens and native landscaping to lower maintenance, saving energy and water" said Parleir. Gardening and workshops were taking place during the event on the Shartel median.

Concerned citizens from Oklahoma City, including Edmond and Norman, joined together to have their voices heard about this crucial issue facing our planet. Colleen McInness, after hearing about Step It Up’s event on PBS’s program NOW, drove from Armore in her Honda Insight, getting nearly 70 mpg,

Information tables were on site with brochures and handout materials by groups including the Sierra Club, Sustainable OKC, OKC Recycling, Closer to Earth Youth Gardens, Living Memorial Trees, Nichols Hills’s Home Recycling, City of Oklahoma City, Audubon Society of Central Oklahoma and The Peace House. Pizza was provided by Papa John’s and organically grown produce was available for purchase.

Environmentally friendly electric lawn mowers, signs and citizens were also to be seen at the event.

Participants call for real leadership on global warming including these key priorities: no new coal plants, 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and 5 million new green jobs.

Step It Up 2 - Who's A Leader group photo in Oklahoma City

By:Darla` Shelden

In addition to the above mentioned speakers, a statement from Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson was read by emcee and President of the Central Park Neighborhood Association, Timothy Trujillo. Here is the statement:

Thank you for showing up to express your concern with global climate change and your willingness to work for solutions. I regret that I am unable to join you at this event but I am certainly with you in your efforts to protect our environment.

There is no more compelling environmental issue facing us than global warming. It is no less a question than the continuation of life as we know it; climate as we enjoy it; and a future that will be inherited by our children and grandchildren.

Some still question the science. That is, perhaps, inevitable in a free society. While I believe the data is exhaustive and conclusive I would suggest the following:

If we are wrong, the worst results of our efforts will be cleaner air, unnecessarily.

The worst results will be more efficient automobiles, unnecessarily.

The worst results will be more recycling and energy savings, unnecessarily.

The worst results will be more green spaces, unnecessarily.

If those who think global warming is a hoax are wrong – and are allowed to prevail in the debate – the results will be cataclysmic. This should not be their decision and, in a real sense, it should not be ours. The decision should rest with generations yet unborn who will reap the advantages of action or the disasters of inaction. Our efforts must be on behalf of those generations who cannot speak now for themselves.

Thank you for making a difference.

Drew Edmondson
Attorney General - State of Oklahoma

By:Darla` Shelden

Here are some more photos from the OKC Step It Up 2 event.

Andrew Rice with students from Harding Fine Arts Center
State Senator Andrew Rice - Candidate for US Senate, running against Jim Inhofe.
Jim Roth, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner
State Representative Anastasia Pittman
Ed Kessler, Former Director of NOAA's Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK
Sam Bowman, Oklahoma City Councilman - Ward 2

By:Darla` Shelden

Group photo with me!

Step It Up 2 event photo with me, Darla Shelden. I'm not in any photos from the event, since I was taking pictures. But for this, Ivan Hutchcroft graciously offered to include me in the photo. Thanks Ivan!

By:Darla` Shelden

Jim Roth - OK Corporation Commissioner

Darla: Thank you again for the chance to share in this day and this event. I am absolutely committed to moving Oklahoma in a most progressive direction and am working everyday to push for investments in:

Energy Efficiency Programs
Demand Side Management
Increased Development and Use of Renewable Energy Sources
a Statewide, Balanced Energy Policy and Portfolio Standards, and
Citizen Awareness and Engagement
I am thankful for people like you, and organizations like those participating in Saturday's event. We are all responsible for a better tomorrow. Please pass along my Thanks to the many others that spent time and energy to make Saturday's call to action happen. Thank you again.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Roth
Corporation Commissioner
State of Oklahoma

Jim Roth, Corporation Commissioner for the state of Oklahoma, speaking at the Step It Up 2 event in OKC.

By:Darla` Shelden

State Senator Andrew Rice, running for U.S. Senate against Jim Inhofe, spoke at the OKC Step It Up 2 event.

By:Darla` Shelden

State Representative Anastasia Pittman speaking at the Step It Up 2 event in OKC.

State Representative Anastasia Pittman speaking a the Step It Up 2 event in OKC>