We write as the Oak Park Climate Action Network (OPCAN), a group of village residents who use their expertise to advance climate action that is commensurate with the planet’s need and our community’s opportunities. Our mission is to eliminate Oak Park’s climate pollution through equitable policies and practices that benefit and engage us all.

We are inspired and delighted by the unanimous passage of Climate Ready Oak Park, Oak Park’s community sustainability, climate action, and resiliency plan. We are encouraged and energized by Oak Park’s new leadership in responding to the climate emergency. And we are heartened that the village has done so with close attention to the disproportionate burden borne by those who are most vulnerable.

In particular, we endorse Oak Park’s commitments in its Aug. 1 resolution to the Paris Agreement targets, the Biden Administration’s Justice 40 initiative, and the Global Campaign for Nature’s 30×30 objectives. As OPCAN, we pledge to support these efforts and the long-term, active implementation of Climate Ready Oak Park.

We want to thank the many groups and individuals who made this plan and resolution possible. We offer our appreciation and gratitude to:

  • the members of the Oak Park Board of Trustees who have made this commitment,
  • the village president who set this priority for board action,
  • the many affinity groups who participated in the planning,
  • Oak Park consultant GRAEF who lent their expertise, and
  • the village staff who have dedicated their time and effort to Climate Ready Oak Park.

Together, you have made possible an ambitious, actionable plan that carries the support and potential from many people, organizations, and decision-makers in Oak Park and beyond. Special thanks is due to Sustainability Manager Marcella Bondie Keenan, without whom this would not have come to fruition. We look forward to working together to ensure this plan is appropriately financed and fully implemented.

As we noted in our recommendations to the board earlier this year, Oak Park has both the duty and the opportunity to rise to the occasion and be among the pioneers that encourage a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to a more sustainable pathway that will best safeguard equity and prosperity — locally and across the globe. With Climate Ready Oak Park, we have begun this journey.

Amy Rosenthal
For the Oak Park Climate Action Network

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