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EARTH DAY and Weekend On the Climate, Opening the Commons

conscious community conversation considering climate calamity on the commons on Earth Day, and after


This Earth Day has been identified by the President Biden Administration as a time to focus on the climate emergency questions, for the government and all over the country. 

In Ann Arbor, since 2014 activists have organized Earth Day and week activities on the commons.

Last year had to be reorganized as “virtual” with about 25 separate zoom programs leading to a global teach-in in May linking 20+ countries.  

This year,  with public health consciousness and proper physical distancing, we hope to combine on-site and virtual programming. The much delayed   “opening of the commons”  can amplify this climate focused attention.

The Megiddo Peace Project,  (peacetable.org) has been the principal sponsor, with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and we have  invited co-sponsors…and whoever wants to help

This year we endeavor  an “Opening of the Commons” on Earth Day and the Ann Arbor Community Commons Initiating Committee has accepted to  function as a co-sponsor, developing the “opening of the commons” aspects of the program and arrangements. 

We can ask the City Council and the Council of the Commons and the City Sustainability Office also to be co-sponsors.  

For the “formal program” we can invite speakers addressing the climate, … our Senators and Representatives, Legislators, The Mayor, the President of the University, the Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability…and poets…and musicians, etc. …and we should have opening speakers for the commons.  …looking at our group of advisors…    These can be virtual presences  and presentations, though we should hope the Mayor will show, and the A2zero program staff

The  underlying “real” program is initiating  a process of community engagement considering the climate, focusing attention toward the commons, seeking outreach to the Ann Arbor community, and communities as widely as we can.

green plant

Imagine in Ann Arbor…. 

In each of our 44 precincts, neighbors begin to reach out to one another- next door, across the street, over the back fence, upstairs, downstairs, across the hall

Begin a conversation,  knock on the door, pass a letter of invitation.

  •    >what are the facts of climate calamity?
  •    >what are the big things that are needed?
  •    >what are the little things that we can do individually?
  •    >what can be done neighborhood-wise in our neighborhood ?
  •    >what are the good things happening that you have heard about?

Start face to face. 

  • be public health conscious,  wear a mask and keep proper physical distance. 
  • show social solidarity.
  • meet in the street to talk or where safe.
  • make notes, do it again, and again

Send the ideas you like best from the local neighborly talks in the precincts  to Ward-wide zooms.  

Organize  “open space meetings” over several days, beginning  harvestings of ideas.

Invite neighborhood artists and creatives to put ideas together in pictures and exhibits from each Ward, and bring them to the commons by April 22. Making a City-wide exhibit on the commons and that can also be presented virtually.

Ask everyone, during the Earth Day Weekend, sometime, come to commons. See what has come from the neighborhoods and exhibits from all over the city and from organization programs doing climate action and education.

Declare your presence in the commons. Join the web site. Join the discussions.

Help create a downtown destination on Earth Day through the weekend.  

Opening the commons, exceeding expectations.

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2 Comments

  1. The Community Commons Initiating Committee agreed without objection, though with caution, to say Yes to go forward on “Opening the Commons” on Earth Day, Thursday April 22, and the weekend following, Friday Saturday and Sunday, April 23, 24 and 25. The focus is on the climate which is the question the Biden Administration is asking the whole country to consider.
    “Instruction”. Beginning now, in your immediate vicinity, family, upstairs, downstairs, over the back fence, across the street, close in, begin a conversation on the climate…what is the calamity? what are the facts? what are the big changes needed? the small things people and neighborhoods can do? and what are the good ideas of which you have heard? After beginning, continue, again and again. Be a conversation spreader.
    We are endeavoring to begin this conversation as widely as we can, in every Precinct, and from the Precincts to the Wards, and in organizations and friendship networks, and by April “harvesting” the best of what people say they have heard, in artistic renderings, exhibits and presentations that can be brought to the commons. A varied, public health conscious, program of well spaced exhibits and presentation, can be done on the Commons, on the Library Lot, Liberty Plaza and around…. along with the virtual zooms inviting and allowing much wider city engagements.
    The idea is to “Begin the Conversation” and “Give the conversation a destination” Downtown destination .on the commons, by Earth Day. The commons is a place where the community can engage basic survival questions…In developing this conversation many other qualities and possibilities of the commons can become evident, fostering a culture of peace and nonviolence, and a cooperative economy of mutual aid. The several aspects of commons development should be able to exhibit our “progress report” …garden, children food, energy, etc…
    Please publicize widely…best news in town.
    A working group is forming. If you have time and desire to help, please contact: Alan Haber 734 657 8083, megiddo@umich.edu, and add your comments on the website

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