Global Climate Action Summit; Diesel Free by ’33

Over the span of three days, September 12th – 14th 2018, the Global Climate Action Summit Event hosted by Governor Jerry Brown took place in San Francisco, California. The Global Climate Action Summit brought leaders and people together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level.” It was a moment to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors, and citizens with respect to climate action.

It was also a launch pad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.

On the 12th, many affiliate events took place throughout California.  I was invited by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) as a youth speaker at their United Against GHGs: Diesel Free by ’33  conference in San Francisco.  My speech was about the importance of educating the youth and how businesses and communities can help to stop climate change from a youth’s perspective.  Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors and Tanya Muller Garcia, Secretary of the Environment from Mexico City were the keynote speakers. I met BAAQMD’s Executive Director, Jack Broadbent, several mayors and elected officials from different cities, and many agency representatives.  Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, CA State Senator Ricardo Lara, and Santa Clara County Supervisor David Cortese were part of a panel that spoke about the progress made in their cities and their continued efforts to fight climate change.

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International Coastal Cleanup Day

On September 15th, 2018, Alyssa, Sharleen, Jada, Joshua, Sammy, Tiffany, and Cross went to Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda and participated in the International Coastal Cleanup Day.  We spent two hours picking up litter. Collectively, our group picked up about 900 pieces of litter, of which 582 were tiny plastic pieces, and 327 small pieces of foam!  There were cigarette butts, food wrappers, and fishing wires.  We even found a pair of scissors!

 

Gun Control Advocacy

     Seventeen students and teachers died at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, 2018 due to gun violence.  On the one month anniversary of the Parkland massacre, March 14th, 2018, many schools across the U.S. walked out of class to honor the victims. The goal of the walkout was to advocate gun control to ban assault rifles and mandate background checks for all firearm sales.  Students and staff at my school, Lincoln Middle school walked out for seventeen minutes carrying banners and signs with the various hashtags and phrases to advocate for sensible gun control and to stop the killing of innocent lives. I joined over 500 students and staff or 80% of our school population in this peaceful protest.

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      Another protest was held across the country called The March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018. Kylie, Jada, Kieu, Dan, Sharleen and I joined the Alameda March starting at the crosswalk of Park Street and Santa Clara. Several hundred people marched down Park Street to Big 5 to protest their sale of assault rifles, holding signs with slogans like, “Arms are for Hugging”, “Using the 1st Amendment to Challenge the 2nd Amendment” and “The Right to Bear Arms is NOT a License to Kill”.

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Family Night at ACCFB

On March 1st, 2018, BFF Alliance organized a volunteer event at the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Family Night.  Family Night is a special event held twice a year from 5:30-7:30pm where children as young as 5 years can volunteer with their families.  Brenna, Lily, Vida, Sharleen, Dan, Kylie, Alyssa, Jada, Joshua, Kieu, Leon, Lynna, David, Emmett, Clara, Adam, Ellie, Charlie, Mailisha, Julee, Penny, Pepper, Chris, Yvette, Paul, Chandler, Joey, Lucia, Brent, and Truly helped bag pears for distribution. Collectively, we bagged 11,209 pounds of pears which is equivalent to 9,500 meals.  We can make a positive contribution no matter the age and we are proud of our young volunteers.

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YES (Youth for the Environment and Sustainability) Conference

On February 24th, 2018, over a thousand students, teachers and volunteers attended the 4th annual Spare the Air Youth’s YES (Youth for the Environment and Sustainability) Conference at Laney College in Oakland. After registration and breakfast, everyone filed into the gym to hear welcome greetings and announcements.  We cheered speeches from the Air District Chair; David Hudson, MCT Commissioner and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College representative Dean Peter Crabtree, and finally, the Middle School keynote speaker; Alyssa Goldfield.

Throughout the day everyone participated in two sessions, choosing from over 50 seminars.  We learned about many environmental topics from Fracking, Green Careers, Urban Transportation, Recycling, and Sustainable Engineering to Student Activism, Edible Forestry, Marine Life, Ocean Acidification, and how to get involved in sustainable change.

During lunch, we enjoyed other fun activities like the bike blenders, poetry performances, open mic, yoga, Capoeira, chalk art, dancing and a photo booth in the Quad.  

We ended back at the gym for the closing ceremony with High School keynote speaker; McKenna Smith, adult keynote speaker; Devin Lars, and Youth Speaks poet; Jed Rodriguez. Competition winners and raffle prizes of gift bags, $100 gift cards, Amazon Echo, and a bicycle were handed out.  The YES Conference was a huge success and everyone from the air district and the planning committee was grateful for the turnout and awesome results.

My keynote speech was on how people can fight climate change in their home, school, and community by their daily actions. I attended a lesson held by students from Lincoln Middle School to learn about the watershed, ocean acidification, and the importance of sorting trash. I took pictures at the photo booth during our amazing lunch. I made a bike blender smoothie, played fun environmentally targeted games at the mini carnival, listened to music, and hung out with my friends. During session two, I learned about important factors in city planning of the future. The important things to consider are energy, transportation, food, and employment to construct a city that is eco-friendly. The keynote speakers talked about the importance of women in STEM fields and encouraged us not let obstacles and failures prevent us from pursuing our dreams.  I am grateful to be a part of the planning committee and to be chosen as a keynote speaker.

Official 2018 YES Conference Video

Food Basket for Chinese New Year at Salvation Army

On 1/27/2018, my mom and I volunteered at Salvation Army to help low-income seniors fill out applications to receive free food baskets for Chinese New Year.  Our Cantonese and Mandarin came in handy as very few of them spoke English.

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We were asked back on 2/10/2018 to enter the application into the computer system. I recruited Evelynne and Amanda to join us. We had to catch duplicates and verify their family information.

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