Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seeking Action Zero Hour' Youth Climate March Calls out Officials

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Seeking Action Zero Hour' Youth Climate March Calls out Officials

Article excerpt

Stephanie Jimenez, 20, stood on Downtown's Grant Street on Saturday afternoon, holding a megaphone and demanding that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., stand up for climate action.

"We are tired of accepting the worst from our leaders," said Ms. Jimenez, who was speaking on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh's Latinx Student Association. "There are intensified hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, increased flooding, extended droughts, difficult growing seasons and above all, extremely poor policies.

"This isn't just happening in Puerto Rico, this is happening in the U.S. in California and Houston, and I bet you it will happen here in Pittsburgh."

Ms. Jimenez joined roughly 100 activists for Pittsburgh's "Zero Hour" Youth Climate March, one of nearly two dozen sister marches across the U.S. and United Kingdom related to a larger event being held in Washington, D.C., on the same day.

"We're all about mobilizing our age group," said Krista Lee, 21, of the local chapter of the clean energy advocacy organization NextGen America, one of the march sponsors. Ms. Lee, a Pitt environmental studies major, works to register voters on her college campus. "The people who are supposed to represent us, they should also represent our ideas and what we want to see in the future. That is clean air, that is no more cracker plants in Western Pennsylvania, that is clean water."

The local protesters began outside of Mr. Toomey's Grant Street office and stopped along the route in front of the City-County Building and the Allegheny County Courthouse. They urged Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to stop the expansion of fracking in the county and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to speak out against the Shell cracker plant under construction in Beaver County.

"Right now [Mr. Peduto] claims that's it's outside of his jurisdiction and it's not something he could effect," said Anais Peterson, 20, a march organizer with 350Pittsburgh. …

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