Our hearts remain with the victims and families of the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We continue to pray for the entire Jewish community, and for those fearful for their security. Our interfaith work is vital to continue to build bridges. Much love and support to all of you. We are thankful for all that you do.
Dogue Creek Update
The planned hearing with the Fairfax Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County Planning committee for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, allowing for development in the Dogue Creek area has been postponed indefinitely. We are optimistic and will continue to monitor any future proposals for development! Thank you to all who helped advocate against this amendment. The proposed development would have been in a 100% in a Resource Protection Area, 100% in a 100-year floodplain, and 100% within a county Environmental Quality Corridor.
Shape Virginia’s Climate Strategy: Send a comment card to Governor Northam!
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is developing the Governor ‘s climate strategy. Send Governor Northam your input and amplify the voices of faith in Northern Virginia. Fill out an online comment card here!Download the comment card to print and collect signatures at your next green team meeting. Comment cards must be submitted by the end of November.
Thank You Fairfax County Public Schools
Have you thanked your school board member yet? The Fairfax County Public School Board recently took action on climate change by passing a clear Resolution on Climate Change Action, encouraging local leaders to do their part to ensure future generations don’t inherit the costly burden of a dangerously damaged planet. The FCPS board members took this action in the interest of students in the county school system, speaking on behalf of all young people who will bear the burden of climate change.
The resolution 1) calls on members of the Virginia General Assembly and the United States Congress to act boldly on climate change and provide a regulatory framework that removes barriers to progress on climate action and encourages the rapid replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy technology; and 2) directs the Superintendent to report timely to the board changes in state and federal policy that support the goal of reducing carbon consumption, along with staff proposals to make best use of those opportunities in facilities and transportation planning.
The FCPS Board spoke very eloquently in support of the resolution. View their comments here: https://youtu.be/Rb46BAZHlQU?t=1928 . Write to your school board member to thank them for taking action on the moral issue of our time and prioritizing the health of our children. Not sure who your school board member is? Click here to type in your address and get a list of all the state and local officials who represent you.
FACS’ Advocacy Teams
FACS is seeking new members to join its advocacy teams. Interested in learning more about your role as a FACS Advocacy Team member? Read more here! To join or ask questions, please contact Meg Mall or David Kepley, FACS’ Advocacy Chair. Now is a great time to join as our advocacy season heats up. View our talking points and our leave behind to learn more about our current advocacy priorities.
Environmental Quality Advisory Council Annual Report on the Environment
The EQAC will be presenting their annual report on the environment to the Board of Supervisors at the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 20th between 10 – 11:00 AM in the Board Auditorium. A public hearing will take place January 9th, 2019. More information and FACS actions will be announced soon.
Virginia Conservation Network Lobby Day
In preparation for Virginia’s 2019 General Assembly session, Virginia Conservation Network and its Network partners are convening for a preview of what’s in store for our natural landscapes and resources. Volunteers, board members, and staff of partner organizations — as well as those interested in getting more involved in Virginia’s conservation community — are invited to learn about priority environmental topics and discuss collective approach to advancing policy in the upcoming legislative session. Register here for the viewing session in Reston!
VCN organizes Conservation Lobby Day to ensure a strong conservation voice is heard early in the legislative session. Volunteer advocates are invited to join professional staff of Network Partners as they meet with state legislators and encourage them to support environmental policy advancements. You can read their environmental briefing book here.
When: Wednesday, January 30th 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Where: Richmond, VA
Energy Efficiency Workshop for People of Faith
FACS & Interfaith Power and Light are holding a two hour Energy Efficiency Workshop. Jill Barker of Arlington Energy Masters will teach a hands-on workshop to train participants of any skill level to confidently undertake energy upgrades in their homes. Click here for more information!
Last Saturday FACS attended the newly formed Prince William Climate Action Network’s interactive forum to speak about clean energy and practical ways to help make a green energy future a reality. Thanks to PWCAN for hosting such an important event!
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, is giving a free public lecture. She studies why it matters to us here and now, and is best known for bridging the broad, deep gap between scientists and Christians. Register here!
Mt. Vernon Environment Expo: Saving the Earth One Person at a Time
Mount Vernon District Supervisor, Dan Storck, will host the first Environment Expo where we will explore how everyone can help save our planet, with the theme “Saving the Earth One Person at a Time”. The morning will feature an Exhibit Hall with a variety of County agencies, service providers and educators, informational and hands-on workshops and screenings of the film “Hometown Habitat”. Click here for workshop descriptions and more details. FACS will host a workshop on how to play the Carbon Footprint Game!
Join Unity of Fairfax for a screening of “Reinventing Power,” a film about America’s Renewable Energy Boom. The film takes viewers across the country to hear from the people making the clean energy future achievable. Their will be a brief discussion afterwards led by Scott Emery of Zero Carbon Virginia. Visit the Facebook Event for more information.
Join for our annual FACS Advocacy Kickoff, open to all! We will be doing a deep dive into our local advocacy, prepare for the Virginia General Assembly, and provide training opportunities. Confirmed speakers include Ivy Main and Debra Jacobson, Sierra Club, Stewart Schwartz, Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Mike Ewall, Energy Justice Network. Full program and details coming soon.
When: Friday, January 11th from 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Where: Mount Vernon Unitarian Universalist
Living our Commitments
Plastic Free Fairfax
Thank you to all who participated in the Plastic Free Fairfax Campaign this month by attending an event, limiting single use plastics or educating others about the impact of plastic on the environment. Over 1,000 people signed on to the campaign and 15 congregations pledged their support. It’s not too late to learn facts and tips about going plastic free!
FACS sponsored a tour of the American Recycling Center!
Launch of Fairfax to Zero Campaign
FACS is launching year two of the Fairfax to Zero Campaign, an effort to call on Fairfax County elected leaders to enact policies that will reduce greenhouse gasses by 2% every year, reaching carbon neutrality in Fairfax County by 2050.
In the first year of Fairfax to Zero we’ve made notable press:
The Fairfax Board of Supervisors adopted its first ever County Operations Energy Strategy, allocating $4.5 million to begin implementing the plan.
The Fairfax School Board committed to a feasibility report on solar for public schools, unanimously supported a resolution on climate change, and is working with the Board of Supervisors on a joint energy legislative package for Richmond.
We sponsored events and opportunities for our network, including one focused on Zero Waste, Plastic Free Fairfax, and our first Sustainability Awards recognition program.
In September, we hosted the Virginia Climate Crisis Forum with Virginia’s two Senatorial candidates, putting together their views on solving climate change before the public.
Please stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for opportunities to continue your support of FACS and Fairfax to Zero.
Is your Green Team looking for initiatives to take on this Spring? Check out the FACS Blog for ideas!