Author: Pahel Tandel
Origins of GSAC
The 350 Sacramento Intern team along with our advisor, Rosie Yocoub, have dedicated the past few months to the electrification effort in the Sacramento Unified School District (SCUSD). We were able to pressure the SCUSD school board to convert to a transportation system and infrastructure that is powered by electricity by 2030-2035. However, we understood that in order to expand electrification and other sustainability efforts in other Sacramento districts, we would need the support of members in the school community.
We wanted to create a platform that would be able to bring together individuals from different parts of Sacramento who care about our schools to not only expand the electrification plan but also other sustainability projects.
What is GSAC and Why are we creating it?
Schools play a vital role in our communities but are rarely prioritized in combating the climate crisis. Our ultimate goal is to direct schools toward carbon neutrality through projects such as electrification, recycling/composting, or gardens on school campuses. In order to accomplish these goals, we are introducing the Green Schools Action Coalition (GSAC): a network of students, teachers, and climate advocates in Sacramento dedicated to the climate movement. We hope GSAC can encourage collaboration in order to make strides towards a sustainable future for our schools. GSAC will also act as a unifying voice to push Sacramento schools to mitigate the effects of climate change, hopefully, setting an example for other cities to do the same.
Goals for GSAC
- Network Building
Many schools already have diligent and active student-led clubs and climate projects in progress. GSAC is a platform for these groups to garner support for their efforts by connecting to a network of climate activists and organizations. In addition, GSAC will be a hub of expertise, ideas, and strategies which can aid groups in perfecting their vision and achieving their goals.
- Systemic Efforts
Efforts such as electrification, recycling systems, and native gardens are decisions that need to be made by school boards. GSAC will serve as a platform for strategic planning and an external source of pressure for those in power to take climate mitigation steps in order to achieve a sustainable future for our schools. We want to create a broader school sustainability movement that transcends multiple districts in Sacramento and that is only possible with members from the school communities.
GSAC Kickoff Event
To mark the official start of GSAC, the 350 Sacramento interns have organized a kickoff event to introduce this coalition to the community. The GSAC Kickoff event is on February 24th at the Breathe Building (909 12th Street, Sacramento) from 1pm – 4:30pm. This event is not limited to those already involved, and everyone who is interested in being a part of this community is welcome to attend. If you plan on attending, the only thing we ask is that you fill out the RSVP form.
We will begin with introductions from the 350 interns and give a chance for all attendees to introduce themselves. From there, we will have a presentation detailing our goals for GSAC and past 350 Sacramento project successes in school districts. We would also like to hear from all of those attending and understand the purpose of each person attending through a brief round-the-table discussion honing in on past projects, successes, and possible challenges.
We will then break into different task forces (e.g. electrification, art team, native garden, etc.) depending on personal interest. We want to use this space to have a conversation surrounding a specific project and begin brainstorming any ideas.
By the end of this meeting, we will provide those attending a way to stay in touch with GSAC through a networking platform. From there, we hope to help members with their projects and future goals for their school districts/boards.
The aim is to make the GSAC Kickoff event be a productive but also an interactive, fun experience for everyone involved. We will have games planned,e and everyone is free to bring any snacks to share!