Declaration of a Climate Emergency — An Update

On September 8, 2020, the City of Middletown Common Council voted unanimously to pass a Declaration of a Climate Emergency “that threatens the existence of our civilization and the natural world.”  The declaration included bold statements of resolve: to make the declaration the “foundation up which the City of Middletown shall develop future priorities, legislation, policies, plans, budgets, and actions; to end City-generated greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; to establish plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by both the City and the wider community; and to advocate for coordinated climate action at the regional, state, and federal levels.”  The Declaration included recognition that environmental justice is a racial justice issue and that “an equitable transition to a fossil-fuel-free economy requires full community participation.”

Over the past year, we haven’t heard much in terms of follow-through on the Declaration. Continue reading

Portland Receives National Roadway Safety Award

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Town of Portland’s Complete Streets achievements in recent years. This National Roadway Safety award recognizes the town’s sidewalk replacement program, road improvements, digital speed sign installation, bicycle routes, and the Air Line Trail.

The Jonah Center is proud to have played a role in all of these developments — in the formation of the Air Line Trail Steering Committee and the Complete Streets Group in 2014, and by urging the town to take advantage of a state-sponsored road safety audit that qualified the Town for 2 Connecticut DOT Community Connectivity grants.  John Hall and former Jonah Center Board member Bob Herron co-chaired the Sidewalk Committee.  Portland citizens and Town officials have been very supportive and resourceful in support of these initiatives.  Congratulations, Portland.

Shown below at the Award Ceremony are (from left to right): Rosario Rizzo, Air Line Trail  Committee; Lou Pear, Air Line Trail Committee and Selectman; Midge Malicki, Alice Schumacher, and Kathy Herron of the Complete Streets Group; Bob Shea, Public Works Director; Susan Bransfield, First Selectwoman; Jim Tripp, Selectman; and Mary Dickerson, Economic Development Consultant.