MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hundreds came out to the People’s Climate March in Maplewood on Saturday, April 29, which was the same day that thousands marched in Washington, D.C. for the same cause. The march was sponsored by SOMa Action and organized in just a few days.
Lily Hawkins, one of the main organizers of the march, said that the cause is especially important to her because of her children. "I have two little kids and they are the reason that climate change is such an important issue to me, and the reason I wasn't able to make the trip to D.C.," explained Hawkins. "I'm so glad we were able to organize a local event, and the turnout was terrific!"
The march began at 11 a.m. at the corner of Yale St. and Springfield Ave., with protesters carrying signs and chanting slogans while walking on Springfield Ave. to the gazebo next to the Hilton Library. At the gazebo, march organizers and local officials addressed the crowd of about 150 people, encouraging all to continue to fight for environmental protections.
Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca focused his remarks on the importance of creating a future for “our children,” and protecting the future of the planet.
DeLuca stated that the president wants to turn back all the good things that have been put in place and been done for the climate, such as reducing or eliminating funding for solar and clean energy.
DeLuca said a “New Day” is coming in Trenton this November, and that he hopes a “New Day” in also coming in Washington, D.C. in 2020. DeLuca encouraged all "to support those who support us and the planet. Fight those who destroy.” DeLuca shared on Facebook, “Climate change is real and we need leaders in Trenton and Washington to protect the planet's future.”
South Orange Village Trustee Walter Clarke, Maplewood Deputy Mayor Nancy Adams, and Maplewood Committee Member Frank McGehee all spoke about the need to protect the environment and how everyone can work together to keep the planet safe.
Maplewood Middle School student Anna Higer-Paris,read an original poem that addressed the current federal position towards the environment and encouraged everyone to do their share to protect it.