ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP & PARKS

The impacts of our changing climate are here, and they touch everyone in America. This is the defining issue of our time.

 

We all pay for climate damage: 

  • Lost lives

  • Increasing insurance rates

  • Health impacts from heat and flooding

  • Longer pollen season for allergy sufferers

  • Damage to crops

  • Infrastructure rebuilding

  • Lost work and school time

  • Increased community anxiety and mental health impacts

  • … and more.

 

We know the causes. One third of GHGs (greenhouse gases) in NC and in the US come from transportation, 12% from industry, and almost 35% from electricity generation. These GHGs are trapping more heat and warming the planet.

Park photo Colonel Beatty.jpg

More than 200 top medical journals have recently issued an unprecedented joint statement naming climate change as the number one threat to public health. The communities that suffer the most from climate impacts are the most vulnerable, low income, communities of color, historically redlined neighborhoods.

 

Air pollution and toxins impact health directly. This contributes to a cycle of poverty, costing all of us more. In America, Black children are twice as likely as white children to be hospitalized, and four times as likely to die from asthma (source: US EPA)This also affects CMS student outcomes. As a County Commissioner, I know that my role must be laser-focused on setting students up for success in the classroom in order to impact student outcomes.

 

The Crescent of Poverty in Charlotte has higher rates of asthma, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. These are disinvested neighborhoods, formerly redlined, often with less tree cover, higher temperatures, and more susceptible to COVID and to climate impacts.

Forest Trees

 Solutions are here now. 

Solutions are here now. We must build public support and political will to implement them. As the Mecklenburg County Health Board, we must enact policies that reduce health care disparities. The COVID pandemic exacerbated a problem we already knew existed. 

 

I believe in the interconnectedness of our communities. A rising tide lifts all boats and we must address our health care, including mental health, so that our whole community can thrive.

 

  • We must invest in obvious local solutions like solar panels on our buildings to reduce our carbon footprint. This includes providing those resources so our local schools can also transition to more solar.

  • We must expand our parks system, planting trees and creating a higher quality of life for our residents, particularly in our marginalized communities.

  • We must come up with new recycling solutions, including a campaign to inform the public. Most constituents I speak with are unaware of the recent changes to the glass recycling program. There must be great investment in both responsible recycling and education within our community.