L.A. Greens Wow Thousands at Youth Environmental Conference
Lisa Taylor, L.A. Greens
Kids immediately put the buttons on their hats and stickers on their folders. It was energizing seeing all the interest!
The Green Party gained considerable exposure and recognition at a gathering for kids. The turnout was tremendous at the Los Angeles Environmental Youth Conference on Climate Change on December 8th. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced at 9 a.m. there were already 3,500 young people registered. Out of 70 booths, the Green Party was the only political party exhibiting. It also received extensive television coverage.
The conference is part of a citywide tree-planting projectóMillion Trees LA. In its efforts to be a greener city, the conference goal was to bring environmental nonprofit organizations together with young people to educate them on what can be done to reduce global warming.
Greens gave away a slew of bumper stickers and buttons. Many commented that the Green Party booth had the best stickers at the event and early in the morning supplies had to be put away so there would be some for later in the day. Kids immediately put the buttons on their hats and stickers on their folders. It was energizing seeing all the interest! They stayed at the booth, talking, but mainly listening since they were not familiar with the Green Party. I must have repeated hundreds of times, “When you get to be 18, you can register to vote with the Green Party.”
While the advertised audience for the conference was 12-21 year olds, the majority of attendees were between 12-16. A hopeful sign was that the 17 year-olds were more familiar with political parties and planning to register Green when eligible. Some adults registered Green at the booth and several teachers discussed arranging for future Green Party speakers.
Attendees screamed like it was a rock concert for Tyrese, the hip-hop and R & B star, who did not mince words. He told them, “We are all gonna die unless we do something fast; so you better get texting and talking to your friends about global warming.” There were child stars too, from the Disney channel.
Since it was known the dozens of nonprofit groups would dole out the usual individual lifestyle advice, a flyer was prepared to emphasize what young people could do “politically” to affect climate change. Some of the tips were:
- Encourage school officials to pursue environmentally friendly policies (e.g. buses that run on cleaner fuels).
- Create student groups on campus and educate peers about environmental issues. Contact campusgreens.org.
- Beware of Greenwashing, the actions of a corporation, government, or organization, which advertises positive environmental practices while acting in the opposite way.
- Become a locavoreóeat locally grown foods, shop at farmersí markets and support local business. Locavores.com
- Register Green Party and vote for candidates that reflect environmental values.
Christine Pinto designed a great flyer and the L.A. Greens steering committee came up with tips more thorough than those on the cityís website. The flyer can be used easily for generic tabling as well, and is posted online at: cagreens.org/sclara/resources/flyers/GreenPartyYouthFlyer.pdf.
Lisa Taylor is the L.A. Greens Volunteer Coordinator.