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:
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.
* 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.