April 21, 2019,
350NJ-Rockland held a very successful conference, “The Climate Crisis—New Jersey Takes Action,” on March 23 in the Brookdale Reformed Church in Bloomfield, NJ. Over 100 people attended for a day of singing, sharing food together, breakout sessions and community building. We appreciated the inspiring music and singing of the Solidarity Singers and Sharleen Leahey, as well as the poetry of Brian Sandilands.
During the opening session Rev. Susan Dorward welcomed people to the church and talked about why the church had put solar panels on their roof several years ago and how she had reached out to get close to a dozen other churches in NJ to do the same thing. Owl, a leader of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, shared his insights and thinking based on his people’s long history in this area. He reported on recent hopeful developments in their battle against the town of Mahwah’s repressive actions against their right to assemble and worship. Ted Glick, president of 350NJ-R, spoke about the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of the topics chosen for breakout sessions.
Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club and Glick led the session on “A Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Infrastructure.” Matt Smith of Food and Water Watch and Harriet Shugarman of Climate Mama led one on the “Green New Deal.” 350NJ-R leaders Tina Weishaus and Jordan Dale addressed “Fossil Fuel Divestment of State Pension Funds.” Sana Shaikh of Youth Climate Strike and April Nicklaus of NJPIRG Students led a “Youth Take Action” group. And 350NJ-R leaders Jane Califf and Bill Haskins, and Priya Patel, South Orange Maplewood Action Climate, convened a session on “Local Organizing.”
Responding to the uniformly positive input received from attendees afterwards, the 350NJ-R steering group is currently planning a follow-up gathering in mid-May.
Here is a link to an article about the event from Essex News Daily: