exc-5ae0f2428a922d7abb8ae15b

The Climate Mobilization Begins in Los Angeles!

Last Wednesday was historic for the climate mobilization cause in Los Angeles: we joined Naomi Klein, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, Republican Mayor of Lancaster, CA, and a coalition of leading Angeleno community organizers to announce the formation of a Clima...

Allies,

Last Wednesday was historic for the climate mobilization cause in Los Angeles: we joined Naomi Klein, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, Republican Mayor of Lancaster, CA, and a coalition of leading Angeleno community organizers to announce the formation of a Climate Justice Mobilization 2025 working group.

Its mission: to achieve a carbon-neutral Los Angeles by 2025, through a WWII-scale climate mobilization rooted in environmental justice and the principles of the Leap Manifesto!

The Climate Mobilization team has been working with Councilmember Koretz’s office and the Leap team on this effort behind the scenes for months, and we are very excited to see L.A. citizens taking on the concept of climate emergency mobilization and adapting it to the needs of their own communities.  I am thrilled that Angeleños are taking on the imperative of WWII-scale mobilization and aiming enthusiastically for carbon-neutrality by 2025 plus drawdown. This is easily the most excited and hopeful I’ve felt since Nov. 8.

This is the most ambitious advocacy of a rapid transition to zero emissions, plus a major carbon drawdown effort, of any major metropolitan area in the United States. And I am thrilled that the 2016 Democratic platform language calling for a WWII-scale emergency climate mobilization played a key role in motivating this effort.

I am also cautiously optimistic that, if we succeed in this daunting effort, the L.A. mobilization effort could catalyze emergency climate mobilization on a massive scale, far beyond the confines of Southern California. To learn more about the L.A. climate mobilization and to stay in the loop, click here and sign up:

Mobilize.LA

The withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, while discouraging to many, may be the best thing that’s happened to climate politics in a long time. The illusion of meaningful global climate action has been shattered. As the world community stares into the abyss, an opening has emerged for heroic mobilization aimed at restoring a safe climate.

Last Wednesday, the courage of Paul Koretz allowed us to seize that opportunity. I spoke with the councilmember after the press conference and came away convinced that he understands we have a 10-year window at most left to transform our entire economy. He assured me that failure is not an option. We discussed how his father Erich escaped Nazi Germany in 1939; the councilmember grasps the consequences of abrupt civilizational breakdown.

The press conference gave me hope that the level of threat we face is becoming more widely understood. Rex Parris, a one-man climate mobilization who is leading his city of 160,000 rapidly toward net-zero energy, warned that runaway global warming poses 10 times as great a risk to Americans as the Axis Powers of the ’40s.  

And Naomi Klein, who has a new book out called No Is Not Enough, embraced the call for a WWII-scale climate mobilization, describing how we can confront our many social emergencies as we overcome the climate emergency by organizing with an intersectional perspective in mind. This is the goal of the L.A. Leap Manifesto, a forthcoming platform document that will help guide the L.A. Climate Mobilization effort. 

Why focus on Los Angeles? As the Trump administration’s war on the climate accelerates, the world is looking to California, and its largest city, to protect humanity from catastrophe. According to Coral Davenport of The New York Times, “California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment.”

When it comes to mass movement organizing and economic mobilization resources, few areas in the world best Los Angeles. World War II created modern L.A., and the city remained on a war footing from Pearl Harbor through the end of the Vietnam War. The L.A. metro area contains the largest collection of engineers in America, an army of designers, and a huge number of Ph.D. scientists employed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTech, and other institutions. And Hollywood, which played a key role in promoting war bond drives during WWII, continues to dominate global culture.

Los Angeles, once a bastion of reactionary politics, WASP privilege, and sprawling land use, has transformed in recent decades into the densest overall metropolitan statistical area in the nation, home to the leading edge of the American labor and justice movements, a majority Latino population, America’s largest Catholic archdiocese, and perhaps the most diverse array of cultures and ethnicities found anywhere in the Western world. The City’s extreme inequalities and injustices have sparked powerful movements and uprisings for spatial, environmental, economic, and racial justice, often led by coalitions of community, labor, and university groups. L.A. is a national hub of cutting edge organizing and coalition-building methods.

As Councilmember Koretz said, “Los Angeles took on the needs of the entire United States and much of the world during World War II by embracing wartime mobilization. Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles residents not only contributed massively to aircraft and ship manufacturing, they also volunteered to aid the Red Cross by the tens of thousands.”

“I’m calling on all Angelenos to mobilize once again. We need a World War II-scale mobilization in order to keep our City safe and our planet habitable and resilient. And we need to ensure that we do it in a way that honors frontline communities, ensures equity, and protects workers. I’m asking the creative minds of Los Angeles to join with the grassroots activists in creating the City of the future, not some fictional Tomorrowland, but here, on the ground, in the City of Angels we all love.” 

An actionable L.A. Victory Plan is in the works that would radically transform the City across sectors on an emergency basis; we hope to work with the incredible organizers of L.A. and a broad-based coalition to inspire the City to mobilize on the scale of WWII, while rapidly disseminating knowledge and advanced organizing techniques acquired during the effort across America. We expect major pushback from a range of hostile actors; according to the Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles is “the largest urban oil field in the country,” with “thousands of active oil wells in the greater Los Angeles area…located near and among a dense population of more than 10 million people.”

Make sure to check out the videos of the other excellent speeches from the 6/21 press conference. And if you are interested in getting involved in the L.A. climate mobilization or launching a climate mobilization in your own city or state, please click the Join Us button and fill out your information here.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. As Councilmember Koretz said, the climate mobilization starts here, now. It’s time to start the intense work of organizing an unprecedented movement for WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate and rebuild our communities. And let’s rejoice now that Los Angeles, one of the world’s great cities, is beginning to embrace climate truth.

Sincerely,
Ezra Silk 

You can watch the full event here:

And at Mobilize.LA, find more clips of the inspiring speakers — including Councilmember Koretz, Naomi Klein, Republican Mayor of Lancaster, CA, Rex Parris, The Climate Mobilization and LA’s own Russell Greene, and many other amazing LA organizers, including Martha Dina Arguello of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Bill Gallegos of Communities for a Better Environment; Aura Vasquez, LADWP Commissioner; Anthony Rogers-Wright of the Leap; Lydia Ponce of American Indian Movement Southern California; Yvette Lopez of Pacoima Beautiful; RL Miller of Climate Hawks Vote; Steve Wicke of Sierra Club; Jack Eidt of SoCal 350; Joe Galliani of SouthBay 350; Alex Nagy of Food & Water Watch; and Eugene Shirley of Pando Populus.

Share this post

Scroll to Top

Alexia Leclerq

Network Coach

Alexia (she/they) is an environmental justice organizer based in Austin, TX. They graduated summa cum laude from NYU (’20), where they self-designed a major titled “The Politics and Economics of Inequality.” Their research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, AAPI communities, inequality, postcolonialism. As an organizer and researcher they have spent the past 5 years working on various issues from preserving the Colorado River, water rights, fighting land use policy and zoning that enforces race-based discrimination, conducting ethnographic research on climate health, to organizing mutual aid, youth programming, and shaping national legislation alongside members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance; today Alexia continues to work as an organizer with PODER, a grassroots EJ org. Alexia is also the co-founder of Start: Empowerment, a BIPOC led social and environmental justice education non-profit working with youth, educators, activists, and community members to implement justice-focused education and programming in schools and community spaces. S:E curriculum and programming has reached over 2,000 students, been recognized by the NYC Department of Education, and taught in universities. In 2021, their work was recognized by the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Emmett Hopkins

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

Suha Dabbouseh

National Organizer

National Organizer Suha Dabbouseh leads national strategy for The Climate Mobilization. They are originally from Chicago but have lived, organized and rebel-roused in seven states and 11 cities. Suha received their law degree from CUNY-School of Law where they focused on social justice lawyering representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. While practicing law, Suha had worked to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, transgender clients and fighting employment discrimination. Their passion is building people power and organizing to dismantle structural inequities.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization

Matt has worked as a nonprofit executive in clean energy, climate policy, and journalism for over a decade, focusing on the near-term social and economic impacts of climate change. He leads organizational expansion and works closely with the communications and organizing teams. Matt earned a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, where he was deeply inspired by the work of Professor George Lakoff.

Mariyah Jahangiri

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

Rebecca leads Climate Mobilization organizing efforts. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca he has worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools. Most recently, Rebecca worked as Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, an immigrants’ and workers’ rights organization. She is a 2017 graduate of the Reframe Mentorship in strategic communications and a 2019 participant in the Anne Braden Organizer Training Program.

Marina Mails

Co-Leader and Director of Operations
Marina manages operations and volunteers for both The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. She brings broad experience working in non-profit organizations, health care settings, and running her own private counseling practice. Before joining Climate Mobilization, Marina maintained a practice focusing exclusively on climate-related emotional coping, helping people make bold choices for lifestyle and professional change in response to the Climate Emergency. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Counseling from UNC Greensboro.

Meghann Beer

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization and Strategy

Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. For over a decade Meghann has worked as a nonprofit consultant helping organizations expand their capacity, secure revenue, develop successful strategies, and effectively evaluate their programs, enabling them to create greater positive change in the world. She has also worked as an executive director, designed and facilitated international service learning experiences, and taught university courses in fundraising and nonprofit management. Meghann earned a MPA in Nonprofit Management and Comparative and International Affairs from The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Cris Lagunas

Strategy Director

Cris is helping to grow the Climate Emergency Movement by supporting creative campaigns and extending the reach of the movement’s message. Cris is a co-founder of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization dedicated to using direct action tactics to expose, challenge and dismantle the immigration detention system.Cris got his start in organizing when he was 15 years old, getting involved in a local group of fellow undocumented youth.

Zack Burley

Policy Associate

Zack provides policy support for the Climate Mobilization team, and brings a versatile set of policy skills and experiences in labor organizing, journalism, legislative politics, and legal practice to the climate emergency movement. Zack earned a JD from Denver University Sturm College of Law, is a founding organizer of the Political Workers Guild of Colorado, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly.

AriDy Nox

Co-Leader and Director of Narrative Strategy

 AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt. They create out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. They have over a decade of experience as a young social activist and organizer, within reproductive justice and racial justice frameworks with organizations like the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, the Toni Cade Bamabara Collective at Spelman College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. They bring creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role and deep belief that times of apocalypse are opportunities for rebirth. We need first imagine the world we want in order to create it.