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Guest column: It’s time for a Green New Deal for Richmond

Second town hall meeting set for City Centre Community Centre on Monday, June 24
Erika Koenig-Workman
Erika Koenig-Workman is the driving force behind Green New Deal town hall meetings in Richmond. Alan Campbell photo

I was inspired to begin with a simple kitchen meeting in my home on May 22, inviting people of every community to actively engage and participate in The Pact for A Green New Deal (GND) for Canada*.

The Canadian GND came out of the work of The Leap Manifesto* and is “a coalition of workers, artists, Indigenous leaders, scientists, youth, adults, elders and people directly impacted by climate catastrophe - from cities and towns, businesses and communities, working beyond our political differences and in solidarity with Indigenous peoples…(to) ensure a safe world for our children and all generations after that.”

With the City of Richmond declaring a climate emergency recently, the doors are open and the season is now to come together to take action locally and globally.

Residents will gather to discuss options, actions and choices for jobs, justice, climate action, transportation, food security, affordable housing, health care and much more.

Organizations and individuals all across Canada, known and unknown, named and unnamed, are coming together to discuss with their families, neighbours, acquaintances and newcomers, in a town hall setting the most important topics of their lives.

Intersectionality is a key concept to grasp as people come together to participate in a Green New Deal Town Hall meeting.

It is the understanding that within common group identities there exists within each of us, multiple, not single, uniqueness that defines an individual.

Classifications such as education, family status, race, age, occupation, sexuality, ability, aboriginality, ethnicity, religion, language, geographic location, heritage/history, gender and immigration status are examples.

Additionally birth order, roles that we choose or assume in our social circles, occupational and vocational choices in our families and communities may be added.

With this in mind, it is obvious there are many elements of an individual that factor into the engagement process when participating in visioning, crafting, writing and communicating our personal experience in the world to each other and specifically within our local city or village.

This is the exciting challenge before us with the Green New Deal Town Hall meetings.

It will call forth into being our humanity in fresh creative ways, which may induce a myriad of feelings and actions on our part.

Coming from our common place as humans, living in the age of climate emergency our goal is to stick to the script.

Which translates to creating red lines (No) and green lines (Yes) with fellow people for the kind of future we want; to hone with care and wisdom the implementation of choices derived from our ideas which are truly life giving and regenerative for our communities within the City of Richmond and Steveston, is the aim of the GND Town Hall meetings.

The first of five public town Hall meetings will begin this month on Monday, June 24, at City Centre Community Centre in Multipurpose Room 2 from 7:30 to 930 p.m.

Seating is limited so please RSVP at

Erika Koenig-Workman is a Steveston-based artist and writer who's passionate about her community and the environment she's living in.