June 2019 Newsletter

Message from the Co-Chairs

Welcome to our inaugural newsletter!  You’ve told us you want to know more about what we are up to, so hear you go!  It also will allow inactive and new members to look at options for getting more involved.  It’s our first try at this, so give us feedback!  We’d love to create what you need.  Thanks for being a Hubber!

 

Volunteer Coordinator Update:

A lot of my work over the past 6 months has been administrative; assisting in the formation of the various Nodes identified in the January re-engage refresh event which all started working and organizing at the same time. My duties have ranged from finding meeting locations for Nodes, putting volunteers in touch with Node leaders, recruiting for new nodes, and watching the Hub grow.

Since our inaugural January event our paid membership base ($5.00 or $50.00) jumped from 58 members to 98 today, and 100 prospective members. Now have 3076 people and contacts in our database.

I also:

  • created and maintained the spreadsheets of all Calgary MLA hopefuls, as well as lawn sign recipients for our Provincial Elections Nodes uses.
  • created a new website and continue to refine it. Tell us what you think: calgaryclimatehub.ca
  • joined the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) and the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), and can extend to you some of their benefits including free training seminars, discounts to events, and general networking.

I’ve been given the opportunity to meet and learn from so many members, other organizers, and to participate in projects over the last six months - it’s been very inspiring for me to be involved in the Calgary Climate Hub. I hope to be in contact with each and every one of you soon. This is your Hub – let us know what you want.

Simone Lee

 

Communications Node:

The Communications Node is taking shape, and our comms team plans to:

  • implement an ongoing & structured plan that educates media about the climate crisis and the Calgary Climate Hub's (CCH) activities. We want to inform media's approach to - and accuracy in - reporting on the climate crisis and its causes.
  • establish CCH as a legitimate, politically non partisan, authority whose spokespeople are well informed on climate-related matters and who can add intelligent perspective on any file (political, healthcare, economy, business, consumer, culture, science, etc.) effected by the climate crisis.
  • create media coverage about our activities and objectives.
  • respond quickly to media requests.
  • keep CCH members informed about CCH activities (various channels, tba), and to produce content for CCH's social channels that is engaging and can be shared by other community groups.

To get involved, reach out to Blair Cosgrove.

 

Community Climate Conversations Node:

The CCC is a recurring, twice a month event at local community halls, gathering neighbours together to create safe spaces to learn about and discuss action on climate change. Knowledge exchange on various topics will occur including (but not limited to):  climate science, ecogrief, urban planning, transportation (with subheadings of transit, bicycles, and electric vehicles), energy efficiency, renewable energy, food security, youth, faith, and political engagement.  Our very successful pilots were held in February in Hillhurst-Sunnyside and March in Marda Loop).

Since the pilots, this Node has quickly moved in to fundraising, to create a part-time Community Organizer position to support the project. In partnership with Sustainable Calgary, we have recently received a $7500 grant from the Calgary Foundation, which should fund three months of events.  We also have outstanding grant applications with the Narratives Initiative and the Alberta Government's Community Initiatives Program that, if either are successful, should fund the events for a full three years. 

Next steps for the Node are: finish the hiring process and support the new hire in developing the next events. 

If you'd like to get more involved, please reach out to Joe Vipond.

 

Fundraising Node:

Although predominantly a volunteer-based organization, the Hub does have one part-time employee, and a variety of expenses that it must pay for.  Alas, this requires money, and therefore the fundraising node is a key component of what we do.

So far, the most consistent source of funds is our membership fee (have you become a member yet?).  We've also secured a number of donations from local corporations and individuals.  And we've managed to secure two grants, one from Alberta Ecotrust as seed funding to support our part time Volunteer Coordinator, and another from the Calgary Foundation (in partnership with Sustainable Calgary), to hire a part-time Community Organizer position to support our Community Climate Conversations.

Next steps:  become a full charitable organization (which will help with fundraising, as we will be able to issue tax receipts).  Continue to approach interested individuals and organizations for donations.  Chase down other granting opportunities for ongoing operations and special projects.

If you'd like to get more involved, please reach out to Joe Vipond.

 

Election Node:

We are working to make climate change an election issue in the upcoming Federal election.  We are doing this through a door-knocking campaign as well as distributing lawn signs that read "I vote for climate action".  This builds on our success from the provincial election where we were able to give out over 250 signs.  This election we are hoping to share our sign template with other groups across Canada to make it a national action. 

We are also planning to help host an all-candidates forum on the environment as part of a national initiative called 100 Debates  on Oct 7th in a riding in Calgary. 

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers willing to help out with any of these activities.  We will be putting a call out for help with door knocking in Aug/Sept.  Door-knocking was a great way to connect with people through a non-partisan voice as to why all parties should have a strong climate leadership platform.  

Contact: Jean Blackstock, or Andrea Hull to get involved! 

 

Partner Engagement Node:

Our Partner Engagement Node decided we needed to take on the City budget cuts. A report on the reductions in service levels will be coming to Council on July 22. Last night at our meeting, we had two dozen people in attendance. Many of them were people we have begun to engage with Friends of Public Transit. Others were in attendance from the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good. The priorities will definitely be to defend public transit service levels and maintain the low-income bus pass. We also see an opportunity to advocate for a serious drive to build less sprawl. If we aren't going to pay the costs to provide transit and other services to the suburbs, we should stop building them in that form. We hope to incorporate messages about the importance of public service and the civil servants that provide the services that make Calgary a great community. The CACG will continue to push for services to isolated seniors in their homes.

Bob Morrison, Walter Hossli, and Ricky Poon were all there from our Board. Our Climate Hub was well represented. We have a follow up meeting with a leadership ad hoc committee this afternoon. We have a lot of work to do to get our messaging finalized, communications plan in place and most importantly, how we get people to turn out for the July 22 Council meeting.

Contact: Bob Hawkesworth to get involved.

 

Mobilize Calgary Node:

With over forty members, the Mobilize Calgary Node has taken on climate action at the municipal level.  It is working to influence the City of Calgary's decision-making, plans, and programs related to issues such as land use, transportation, and resource management.  The goal is to ensure that City Council and Administration follow through on their climate commitments - and do more than they ever imagined possible! 

Among the issues the Mobilize Node is working on are:

  • Engagement on the Climate Resilience Strategy. Contact: Natalie Robertson
  • Promoting natural contributions to climate action such as new parks, more natural areas, and more permeable surfaces. Contacts: Brooke Kapeller or Marie Tremblay
  • Encouraging the City to adopt the PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy). Contact: Roger Gagne
  • Finding opportunities for improving energy efficiency including improvement to the Building Code. Contact: Matt Hammer
  • Improving food production and management to meet climate goals. Contact: Jim McPhail
  • Promoting more climate-friendly transportation. Contact: Bob Morrison
  • Promoting a more compact, affordable city by, among other things, supporting development within existing communities, promoting equity, and involvement in the City's NEXT 20 project. Contacts: Bob Morrison or Matt Hammer.

 

Donate to the HUB!

Aside from a very small seed grant (now fully spent), the hub is reliant entirely on membership fees and donations for its survival. 

 

We'd like to thank the following major donors to our organization:

Dr. Joe Vipond

Dr. Andrea Hull

Bob Hawkesworth

Tom Anderson

Greengate Power

Skyfire Power

Sunnyside Grocery

Consider becoming a member for $5 or $50 (what's the difference?  Nothing, just pay what you can afford): https://www.calgaryclimatehub.ca/membership

Or make a bigger donation at: https://www.calgaryclimatehub.ca/donations