Kubisty said the petition’s creation coincided with last year’s climate march, at which they collected close to 250 signatures.
“I think it went exceedingly well, and that’s due to the community,” Kubisty said of the meeting.
According to a fire marshal, the crowd peaked at 268 people. A crowd that size is a fairly rare sight at council meetings, drawn by issues like the minimum wage or The Hub development.
At its height, the crowd overflowed the council chambers, with about 38 community members sitting on folding chairs in the lobby of city hall, watching the proceedings on the live stream of the meeting. Many members of the public wore small orange pieces of felt that Kubisty said symbolized their support of climate action.
Nikki Cooley, a co-manager of the climate change program at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, was among the crowd and told Council they needed to begin taking action to address climate change and preserve the environment. Being a Navajo woman, Cooley said she has been experiencing the destruction of the environment since she was a child.
“You, city council, can be that long term catalyst that benefits our future, our environment. I urge you to act now, not when we are in the middle of a devastating disaster, a devastating natural disaster that can be prevented right now,” Cooley said.