In spite of the name, the group Ecology Ottawa has set climate change issues in the City of Ottawa as its principal focus. This makes them worthy of your support.
Among other things the group is currently working to expand solar electric rooftops in the city and also runs something called Council Watch that attempts to point up areas where City politicians vote in ways that support or thwart a drive to lower our carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, to date, Council Watch has been presented as an annual report card and has not engendered a feeling of constructive dialogue among City Councillors. Who likes report cards?
The once-a-year format also means that the issues it discusses are after the fact, sometimes long after.
I have been volunteering with Council Watch to try and address these two problems. By tracking issues as they arise and using a blog format instead of an annual report card Council Watch can be more relevant (or maybe in addition to their report card, that’s up to them). Just as important, because most issues arise long before a vote in Council there should be opportunities for constructive dialogue between advocates, City staff, and Councillors.
Council Watch can always use volunteers to keep tabs on issues that come up in Staff reports or Standing Committee meetings. Thoughtful comment on issues is important too.
Action 2: Check out the Ecology Ottawa website, consider volunteering or donating, sign up for their e-newsletter.