By Joyce Hospodar
This past Saturday, March 31, 2012, I participated as a table facilitator for an event entitled “The Power to Prepare Tucson: A SUMMIT TO READY OUR COMMUNITIES FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE.” The purpose of the Summit was to engage local residents in understanding how climate change may impact the community as well as the individual. In order to have a desirable destination for businesses and residents in the 21st century, cities need to prepare for the growing risks of extreme weather and climate disruption while building communities that use clean energy efficiently. Almost 100 people attended, providing input and collaborating on priorities and solutions for addressing theses vulnerabilities.
This event was the kick-off for a new national initiative being supported by the World Wildlife Fund. Tucson was selected because of the city’s leadership to engage local constituents regarding the potential climate impacts on the City of Tucson. The event was moderated by AmericaSpeaks, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to help citizens participate more directly, and with greater impact, in issues that affect their lives. AmerciaSpeaks brought their 21st Century Town Meeting® method that integrates small group discussion with interactive technologies.
My biggest take away from participating both as a facilitator and a Tucson resident, is that all of the issues and potential strategies discussed to mitigate climate change relate directly to similar issues being faced by the state’s rural communities. A final report of the event will be placed on the Center for Rural Health website where these ideas could perhaps be considered throughout the state. View materials from the meeting.
Joyce A. Hospodar, MBA, MPA
Manager, Community Health Systems
Arizona State Office of Rural Health Program
Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program
Location: Drachman Hall, A219R