8/6/19 iris

Iris O'Donnell, the Greater Lafayette resiliency coordinator and a senior at Purdue, has been working on a resolution to reduce the city's carbon footprint since she was in high school.

Students met with West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis to push forward a climate resolution to city hall on Tuesday.

The resolution is a promise by the city to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. Iris O’Donnell, the resilience coordinator for the Great Lafayette community, has been working on the resolution since she was in high school. O’Donnell is now a senior in the College of Agriculture at Purdue.

At the meeting, several sophomore students from West Lafayette High School spoke to Dennis about moving the resolution along. Protest organizers Abby Lee and Annabel Prokopy from a student-led strike in May were also in attendance.

The students asked if the resolution could be brought up in a city council meeting in the next month or two. They also asked to set up meetings with council members to present their ideas.

Dennis said he would speak with City Council President Peter Bunder and agreed that the students could present the resolution in the next month.

“I think it’ll go through,” Lee said. “I think there’s a lot of optimism.”

The city council for Bloomington, Indiana, passed a resolution from Youth for Environmental Sustainability in June. The resolution suggests ways the city could work toward creating a more sustainable future, according to an article from The Herald-Times.

The students argued it’s about time West Lafayette catches up and passes the resolution too.

“(Bloomington) just passed their resolution so I feel like that’s kind of a really good thing to push us along with the next month or two,” O’Donnell said.

Whether the resolution passes or gets delayed, O’Donnell said the students are thinking of organizing a resiliency clinic. The resiliency clinic would gather different department heads and environmental specialists and invite people to brainstorm ways to reduce the carbon footprint.

O’Donnell said the group plans to look over West Lafayette's Climate Action Plan for better understanding of the plan at their next meeting.

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