Three candidates for mayor and council candidates answer climate questions from students
By Terry Miller
On Tuesday evening, approximately 200 Pasadena voters gathered at Jackie Robinson Recreation Center to attend the inaugural youth-led Climate Action Forum, spearheaded by a student at Sequoyah High School.
One candidate for mayor, businessman Major Williams, was a no show due to illness leaving Mayor Terry Tornek, Jason Hardin and Victor Gordo to answer some tough questions from the students. While all agreed that climate change was a serious issue none said it would be a priority in their administration.
Candidate Gordo took a gentle jab at Mayor Tornek when asked about the importance of housing. Gordo said we need to focus more on housing than massive developments that have encroached the city in recent years.
“Pasadena is in a unique position to be a leader on the climate crisis, and cities like ours have a responsibility to lead during a period of federal inaction,” said Ozzy Simpson, a senior at Sequoyah School and co-organizer of the Pasadena Climate Action Forum. “Local, systemic change — such as enhanced public transportation systems, cleaner, and renewable energy, and energy-efficient buildings — from mayors and city councilmembers is required.”
For the first time in Pasadena’s history, the forum’s moderating panel was composed entirely of people under the age of 35, highlighting that young people have the most at stake in addressing the climate crisis. Pasadena’s youth vote is also expected to surge in the March 3 election, given mobilizing issues like the climate crisis and Pasadena’s elections sharing the same ballot as higher-turnout statewide and primary elections.
Mayoral candidates participated from 6 to 7 p.m., while City Council candidates participated from 7 to 8 p.m. Before the forum, local environmental groups shared information on the very subject the forum was slated to address.