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Welcome 2020 by helping protect LO natural areas; Action on climate change must come soon

Welcome 2020 by helping protect LO natural areas

This new decade brings us the opportunity for positive change via protection of our existing Lake Oswego natural areas. The community organization, "Love LO Parks," has a proposed ballot initiative, 2020IN-1, that "Protects Lake Oswego's Natural Parks." To be included on the May 2020 ballot, we need 4,365 LO voter petition signatures. With no cost to taxpayers, this initiative is being pursued not as a political statement, but from a compelling need to reliably protect our natural areas. We treasure our expansive developed parks for athletic, recreation and social gatherings. Our natural areas are also precious, but are too limited in footprint, too intertwined within our neighborhoods, and remain vulnerable to the oversight of unknown future city leaders.

As Metro pushes for urban and suburban infill, we're experiencing acceleration of higher density housing in both Lake Grove and downtown. This greater density provides challenges to infrastructure and pressures undeveloped areas. The time is ripe for this natural park ballot initiative. Studies show that spending even short periods of time in forests and natural areas benefits our health, including inflammatory markers, blood pressure, immune function and focus. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website has a collection of studies supporting these findings. Our natural areas are critically important to our well-being and are utilized daily by many of our neighbors. Lake Oswego voters must ensure the future integrity of our natural areas through legal protection.

Happy 2020! If you're a registered LO voter, start the year on a positive note for local natural area protection by visiting https://www.loveloparks.org/petition, download the petition, sign and mail to the address indicated. Our natural areas are healthy for the planet, us and our children. Let's help protect them!

Kirsten Sommer

Lake Oswego

Action on climate change must come soon

Exercise. Cook more homemade meals. Ah — it's time for resolutions! My resolutions are to do more yoga and take more action on climate. Yoga is entirely under my control; my core strength and flexibility will increase the more I do. But I realize that anything I do for climate will be swamped by what the government does or does not do. So, my New Year's resolution is a New Year's wish: I wish that, in these early days of January, my members of Congress solidify their own resolve to take bold action on climate in a collaborative and bipartisan manner.

The good news is that simple, bipartisan and effective national legislation exists. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R.763, will drive down emissions 36-38% within ten years while protecting the poor and middle class from increased costs by returning revenue to all Americans via a monthly dividend. Within ten years, local air quality will substantially improve, saving thousands of lives, and we will be on a path to avoid catastrophic climate disruption while the economy improves. Best of all, it has the support of hundreds of businesses, faith groups, and social justice non-profits from across the political spectrum.

Congressional representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader have the power to make climate a bridge issue by supporting H.R. 763. While I work to reduce my carbon footprint, I know their leadership would lessen my unease about toxic partisan politics and our uncertain future.

Daniela Brod

Portland


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