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Mayor Bloomberg met Kevin Wall when we premiered our first nine Live Earth short films at the Tribecca Film Festival a few weeks ago. As he was preparing the program for the dinner to kick off the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, he realized that Live Earth was the perfect topic for the mayors of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest cities, and invited Kevin to speak at the event. Cities are responsible for three-quarters of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s energy consumption, and as such, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest cities have a critical role to play in the reduction of carbon emissions and the reversal of dangerous climate change.
We arrived at Gracie mansion in a brand new black Prius, went through security, picked up our name badges and went inside. The mansion was beautiful and volunteers were giving tours as everyone arrived. Steve Howard from The Climate Group was there, along with Frances Beineke from the NRDC, Michelle Wyman of ICLEI, and members of many other environmental organizations.
Dinner was held in the ballroom with roughly 100 people in attendance. Mayor Bloomberg greeted everyone and thanked us for coming. Mayor Bloomberg introduced Kevin as the founder and producer of Live Earth, saying: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you don't know where you should be on 07/07/07, you'll know soon.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Kevin gave the history of Live Earth, elaborating on how he was inspired by Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, and how he then asked Gore to be involved. He told the mayors that this will be the deepest media penetration ever for an event, and asked all the mayors to declare 07/07/07 Live Earth Day. It was an exciting and moving speech; everyone responded enthusiastically!
At our table was the Deputy Mayor, working to make July 7th Ã¢â‚¬Å“Live Earth DayÃ¢â‚¬Â in New York and to support a major event viewing experience in Times Square. Also at our table were the mayors of Sydney and Tokyo as well as Bob Fox, a green architect who is building the new BOA building in NY, which will be a platinum-certified LEED building! Yolanda Gonzalez, founder of Nos Quedamos and recently profiled in Outside Magazine, was also dining with us. Nos Quedamos is an organization that brings green living to YolandaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s community in The Bronx.
The evening ended with a couple of songs performed by the Broadway stars of The Color Purple. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in the event and reach out to so many mayors.
Betty M., Live Earth