Cedar Rapids launches online climate survey, seeks members for the city’s Climate Advisory Committee

Cedar Rapids climate march, Dec. 6, 2019. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

The city of Cedar Rapids launched an online survey for residents to provide input about the city’s climate action plan.

The survey, which is online until Nov. 20, will be used to make the city’s Community Climate Action Plan. The survey is available in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Swahili and Kirundi.

In February, the Cedar Rapids City Council unanimously passed a resolution that recognized the urgency of taking action to address climate change and outlined steps for creating a community-wide sustainability plan. The resolution committed the city to following recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and directed staff to develop a greenhouse gas inventory to determine where emissions are coming from.

The survey is part of the city’s first phase toward a community climate action plan, focusing on education and community input.

Before residents begin the survey, they are shown graphics and information about why addressing climate change is important.

The survey asks respondents about extreme weather, including floods, hotter temperatures and the challenges residents faced after the Aug. 10 derecho. There are also questions about the respondent themself, what organizations and leaders they trust and what the city should prioritize in its plan.

Responses will be included in a public report but any personal identifying information will not be included.

Residents also have until Nov. 20 to apply to be part of the city’s Climate Advisory Committee. The committee will work with city staff to develop the action plan to meet the climate resolution targets. The committee’s work will begin at the start of next year.

The committee will have between 11 and 15 members. Anyone interested is encouraged to apply, but there are 10 categories the city is looking to represent on the committee:

• Energy industry workers

• Energy industry leaders

• Food insecure residents

• Cyclists

• Public transportation riders

• Vulnerable communities

• Sustainable industry leaders

• Sustainability-focused non-profits

• Local industry leaders

• Business community leaders

Individuals who are part of any of the 10 categories should mention that in their application. The committee’s members will be appointed by Mayor Brad Hart.

Members are scheduled to be appointed in mid-December and begin meeting in January. The meetings will be public and recorded. The committee is anticipated to meet one to two times per month via Zoom.

The application for the Climate Advisory Committee is available online. Individuals with questions or looking for more information can reach out to the city’s Sustainability Coordinator Eric Holthaus via email or call 319-286-5927.

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