L.A. Votes to Explore Climate Emergency Mobilization Department

Big news out of Southern California: the L.A. City Council has unanimously voted to explore the creation of America’s first Climate Emergency Mobilization Department.

Big news out of Southern California: the L.A. City Council has unanimously voted to explore the creation of America’s first Climate Emergency Mobilization Department.

On Friday, the Council voted to direct the City’s legislative and budget analysts “to report within 30 days on the establishment of a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department with all powers to plan and coordinate all of the City’s climate and resilience responses,” with the report to include consideration of emergency climate mitigation, resilience and adaptation programs, climate emergency public education efforts, an outreach stakeholder process, and an assessment of the proposed CEMD’s authority over other city departments.

This is a significant first step toward shifting the United States’ second largest city into climate emergency mode. Check out the press release from Councilmember Paul Koretz here:

Los Angeles City Council Approves Exploration of New Climate Emergency Mobilization Department

How we got here:

After unprecedented winter wildfires in December burned parts of Los Angeles and the broader region, we worked with the Office of Councilmember Paul Koretz and our Leap L.A. / Mobilize L.A. coalition partners to roll out the proposal for a new city department that would plan and coordinate a city-wide climate mobilization. The department our coalition has proposed would be rooted in the principles of equity and a just transition, and would also have the goal of helping to shift the world into climate emergency mode.

Since then, the L.A. CEMD has received endorsements from leading environmental justice, environmental, labor, community, and indigenous rights groups across the City.*

Our understanding is that the best way to build momentum to fund and pass the L.A. CEMD is to rapidly demonstrate precedent across the country. If a number of cities move forward and establish their own CEMDs, it will create a more favorable climate for victory in L.A.

There is already a robust campaign emerging in Montgomery County, MD for an Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization. We will update you on this soon. In the meantime, please reach out (as an individual or on behalf of a group) if you would like to build a campaign for a CEMD in your city or region. Now that the L.A. City Council has legitimized the idea of an emergency climate mobilization effort, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shift large swaths of America into climate emergency mode.

Carpe diem!


* The L.A. CEMD has received endorsements from Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Esperanza Community Housing, American Indian Movement SoCal, 5 Gyres, The Leap, Communities for a Better Environment, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), Pacoima Beautiful, The River Project, The Center for Biological Diversity, The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, 7th Generation Advisers, Global Green, Heal the Bay, The Trust for Public Land, Grid Alternatives, SoCal 350 Climate Action, South Bay 350 Climate Action, Surfrider Foundation, Californians Against Waste, and Ed Begley, Jr.

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Kristen Cashmore

Senior Director
Kristen brings more than 25 years of social justice advocacy to Climate Mobilization. Her previous positions at human rights, public health, environmental justice, and clean energy organizations inform her work with the variety of stakeholders she is engaging with to bring an accelerated response to the climate emergency. Kristen earned a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley, where she was a teaching assistant in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Malik Russell

Communications Director

Malik leads Climate Mobilization’s press and communications strategy. He formerly served as Communications Director for the NAACP. He is a journalist, author, community-based educator, and former lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communications at Morgan State University. The former editor of the Washington Afro-American newspaper, he has worked as a journalist in the Black Press for over two decades.He has a BA in American history from Brandeis University and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in New York, where he was selected as a National Urban Fellow.

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

Climate Mobilization Network Contractor

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

Organizing Director

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

Operations and Community Manager
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

Growth Strategy Manager
As our growth strategy manager Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization. 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

Organizational Development and Engagement Manager
AriDy brings creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role, assisting the executive director with travel, communication and fundraising. AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist. They have served as a national representative for The Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the Millennials of Color Leadership Bureau, and held writing positions with Advocates for Youth and RH Reality Check. She has worked as an administrative and executive assistant for a myriad of organizations including the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU, the Youth Engagement Fund and the Community Resource Exchange.