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Cleveland Metro Updates from the Field – June 2023

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Letter from the Regional Director

OEC Cleveland Metro: June 2023 Updates

Hello, Friends!

I hope that you all are well and enjoying all that summer has to offer. As I reflect back on the past six months, there has been exciting progress on climate action and environmental justice throughout the community — including the City of Cleveland’s energy aggregation efforts and the City of Lakewood’s first Climate Action Plan. It’s been a pleasure to work with community leaders and community partners in pursuit of a healthier environment for all who call the greater Cleveland area home. 

As summer officially begins, please read on for opportunities to take action and participate locally this season. Thank you for subscribing and for your continued support!


Brian Siggers
Cleveland Metro Advocacy Director

Regional Events & Opportunities

Summer Wednesdays
Every Wednesday, June 7 – August 30 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Shaker Nature Center

Make the most of long summer days with the Nature Center for a mid-week dose of sun, treats, and fun! Bring a picnic to enjoy in the Friend’s Pavilion, walk the trails with friends or play in the Nature Play Area with family. Join us weekly for movement, music, arts, food, food trucks, nature, games, and more. Nature Center hours are extended Wednesday nights all summer! Trails are open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Free with food and drink available for purchase.

Cleveland 2030 District Presents: Building Education Series 2023: What Promoting Electrification Will Mean for the Grid
July 20, 2023 | 8:00 – 10:00 AM

How will the grid handle an increase in demand if we promote electrification? We’ll have a candid discussion about this and how renewables will play a role in decarbonization. We’ll examine the financial implications and other considerations needed for a thoughtful plan to electrify and decarbonize. Register Here.

Regional & Partner Updates

Cleveland Environmental Advocacy Coalition Presents at Decarbonization Summit

The City of Cleveland hosted the Decarbonizing Greater Cleveland: Technical Design Summit on April 13. Over 300 community members, business owners, and national and local sustainability leaders participated in this continuing effort to develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland region. The OEC and our partners representing the Cleveland Environmental Advocacy Coalition were asked to present on our work to advance policy platform goals. Learn more about the event and outcomes here.

OEC Talks Trees with the Cleveland Tree Coalition

This Spring, we had the pleasure of speaking with Samira Malone, Director of the Cleveland Tree Coalition and co-chair of the Cleveland Urban Forestry Commission. Learn more about the Cleveland Tree Coalition and how residents can support efforts to improve Cleveland’s tree canopy, by watching our conversation here.

OEC Celebrates Earth Day at CSU

This year, we celebrated Earth Day by tabling the annual Earth Day Fest at Cleveland State University. We were able to provide students with information on the Ohio Environmental Council and how they can support the work we’re doing to secure healthy land, air and water for all who call Ohio home!

Lakewood Adopts Climate Action Plan

On May 1, 2023, we supported Lakewood’s efforts to adopt its first Climate Action Plan. The plan sets a roadmap for reducing citywide emissions to zero by 2050 leading to a more resilient and sustainable community. Read more about the plan from local climate policy champion, Lakewood Councilmember Tristan Rader, here.

OEC Celebrated Cuyahoga County Sustainability Director Mike Foley

OEC’s Green Gala provides the opportunity for environmental champions around the state to come together, build our path ahead, and celebrate the accomplishments that bring us hope and inspiration. 

In May, the OEC honored former state representative and current Cuyahoga County Director of Sustainability Director Mike Foley with our Sustainability Champion Award. Following eight years serving his constituents in Northeast Ohio, Mike Foley was appointed as the first Director of the Department of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County in 2015. There are many innovative and impactful projects Director Foley has led during his tenure from the development of the County’s first Climate Change Action Plan to the addition of over 45,000 solar panels throughout the community. And despite pushback from big utilities, Director Foley led the charge to create a new County public utility focusing on clean, resilient and affordable microgrid districts. 

City of Cleveland relaunches Community Choice Aggregation

The City of Cleveland recently relaunched its community choice electricity aggregation program to procure 100% renewable energy for Cleveland residents and small businesses serviced by the Illuminating Company. 

The City of Cleveland chose the Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) as its program partner. The program, which starts in August 2023, will provide both energy savings and clean energy to area residents. The City estimates this will save the average residential electricity account approximately $200 over the next year. You can learn more about the City of Cleveland’s energy aggregation program here.

OEC Updates

GET OUT THE VOTE: Vote No on Issue 1 on August 8

Our ability to fight for a healthy environment is directly impacted by Issue 1, which will make it harder for Ohio voters to fight for clean air, land, water, and democracy through future ballot initiatives. 

Issue 1 shreds Ohio’s Constitution, ending majority rule and taking away our right to decide what happens in our state. 

The bottom line is that we all want the freedom to make decisions that affect our lives. Ballot initiatives let us exercise that freedom. We must protect that right by showing up with all of our friends and family to the polls to VOTE NO on Issue 1 in August. 

Pledge to Vote No on Issue 1 and share with your network.

TAKE ACTION: Speak Up for Our National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management recently launched a process with the potential to provide critical protections for mature and old-growth forests. Now until July 20, you can tell these agencies why our public forests deserve to be preserved.