21. Create urgency for public investment

Elected officials focus on an impending crisis or other newsworthy events. Our trees rarely demand the same attention as crime, health care or damaged schools. We need elected officials to recognize the importance of investing in our future urban forest today. We must show them the sense of joy, safety and community that trees and our canopy contribute to more livable neighborhoods.

Areas of Interest: Connecting with Government, Networking, Writing
Ingredients: Pen and paper, telephone, loud voice
Directions: Find out when your city council or county board meets and attend the meetings. Take pictures of the trees that add beauty and benefits to your community. At the appropriate time, present the pictures to your council to encourage preservation and additional plantings. Offer a proposal of actions you would like your city or county to take.
If possible, set up appointments with your mayor, council member or district supervisor. Ask them to share what they value about the city’s trees. Invite them to take a tree walk with you and your neighbors. Express the importance your local forest holds for you.
Most importantly DO NOT STOP! Officials respond to repeated calls and regular attendance at meetings. Invite them and their administrative assistants to all of your meetings and events. Once on board, these officials offer connections to resources and services.
The time is always right to do what is right. – Martin Luther King, Jr.