Opinion: North Country Sustainability Day organizers urge community to Make Election Day Sustainability Day
To the Editor:
The organizers of the annual North Country Sustainability Day, an event established to build a culture of sustainability across the region, urge the community to Make Election Day Sustainability Day! Vote for the world you want - a cleaner, healthier, safer and more just future.The organizers of the North Country Sustainability Day include representatives of the Potsdam and Canton Climate Smart Communities projects, Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Local Living Venture and the North Country 350 Alliance and faculty and staff from the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley (SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton) and Paul Smith’s College.
This season’s campaign encourages citizens to make their vote on November 3rd, Election Day, count for people and the planet. Sustainability Day organizers note that sustainability includes issues like clean energy, safe water, and protecting biodiversity as well as education, food security and reducing inequalities. They draw on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework.
According to the UN, “The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals. Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. 2020 needs to usher in a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Goals by 2030” (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/).
“Due to the pandemic, we couldn’t gather in person this year for our usual event of speakers, workshops and a green living fair, but we didn’t want to lose an opportunity to help educate our community about sustainability issues and help get out the vote,” said Heather Sullivan-Catlin, co-chair of the President’s Sustainability Team at SUNY Potsdam and one of the organizers of the campaign. “The 2020 election is a pivotal moment for our country and for the whole world.”
The Sustainability Day website is the main tool of the campaign and is a central location to find information about registering to vote, policy and candidate comparisons, and educational events about the election.
In addition, over the next month leading up to Election Day, there are events happening across the five campuses and in the community related to sustainability topics. A calendar of events can be found at the website and will be added to throughout the month so check back frequently.
For more information about the campaign, visit: https://bit.ly/SDGLF20.
Ben Dixon and Heather Sullivan-Caitlin
North Country Sustainability Day