Six hundred people filled Yardley Hall inside the Midwest Trust Center on Saturday, April 9, to see presentations from eleven local and visiting speakers, musical guests, and an informative panel on elected leadership and climate action. Climate Action KC (CAKC) partnered with the Mid-America Regional Council to put on the event, with Johnson County Community College once again as host. The event also featured exhibits from twenty-five different local organizations and hands-on displays for electric mobility, community farming and interactive sustainability tours.
Highlights included an in-depth keynote from former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, mayor Bill Peduto about steps taken by his administration to turn around city government-induced emissions (as well as local perceptions about a town with a historically grimy industrial reputation); and an impassioned plea from U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II to take hold of this moment to preserve our way of life for future generations. The leadership panel brought together U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, and Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager Brian Platt to share ideas about resource appropriations and transit policies.
Many local leaders were in attendance and had the opportunity to network over shared solutions with neighboring towns, bi-state entities and national and international experts.
This event’s theme was “What Connects Us,” and the urgency of climate action provided the catalyst for many new connections and collaborations across jurisdictions, borders and continents.