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As 2022 Winds Down...

Sometimes it’s hard to see the benefits of our efforts. When we’re “in the trenches” it can feel like progress is miniscule, maybe we’re not making a difference.


When I feel like that, I try to remember the hawk. It has the ability to both see the big picture and to zoom in on fine details. In the big picture, Climate Justice can feel overwhelming. But if we can remember that each of our small movements are important, and help to create a different big picture, it can be comforting.


As 2022 winds down, I am reflecting with gratitude for the Grand Rapids Climate Coalition, and the many small movements in which we have participated this year. From adding new member groups and helping to influence Consumers Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, to gathering for a summer picnic (in person!) and translating our website into Spanish, from helping increase the number of Climate Voters and working with local meteorologists, to advocating for and nearing the reality of a community Carbon Reduction Goal, we’ve been busy. Many thanks to all who have participated in this work, in all the ways, small and large.


With the results of the election shifting the balance of power on the Statewide level, I am hopeful that 2023 will provide opportunities to expand our vision of what is possible, and our reach to include all of Kent County. There should be financial support available for some of the bigger, more transformational projects which are needed. As we continue to work in solidarity with other local, state, and national organizations, I see a greater opportunity to lean into an approach that recognizes the intersectionality of climate justice with so many social justice issues.


Again, thank you to all who have helped us do this important work this year. I wish you a rejuvenating Winter break, and let’s get energized for the coming year.


-Janet Zahn (co-chair)


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