In October and November of 2019, Maine’s first and fourth largest cities made history. Portland and South Portland became the first places in Maine to declare a climate emergency.

It wasn’t at the drop of a hat, however; youth and adult allies of southern Maine presented and worked toward the resolution being passed. Young activists inside Maine Youth for Climate Justice and ME Strikes were excited, but we weren’t done yet. Portland and South Portland weren’t alone for long.

Brunswick and Bar Harbor declared an emergency, with more on the way or in the process.

One of the places working toward a declaration is the Lewiston Public Schools. It is only fitting that a school, a place where children learn about the world, listen to the youth activists. However, whether you are a child, student, parent or adult, we all live on this planet. That means that no matter who someone is, drawing down carbon emissions through climate emergency declarations benefits us all.

So, that is why I will be attending and testifying at the Lewiston School Committee meeting on Feb. 24. Climate change is often seen as a scary and abstract concept. How would understanding around the crisis change if students’ schools recognized it for the emergency it is? How many more environmental leaders would we have growing up today?

Those are the questions I will ask the School Committee as I urge them to join the climate emergency movement.

Anna Siegel, Yarmouth


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