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.

Ezra Silk

Deputy Director

Ezra is co-founder of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. He authored The Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan, an influential exploration of how the federal government can organize and implement a mobilization to save civilization from the Climate Emergency and ecological crisis. This document directly shaped the demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the Green New Deal framework. Ezra was also a lead author of the climate emergency declaration resolution introduced in Congress in July 2019. A former newspaper reporter, Ezra has a BA in history from Wesleyan University.

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.

Laura Berry

Research & Policy Director

Laura brings over a decade of experience to Climate Mobilization in climate advocacy, organizing, research, and policy. She has worked on climate, environmental, and sustainability issues from local to global scales with organizations including the Stockholm Environment Institute, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and 350.org. She is passionate about deepening democratic engagement in response to the Climate Emergency. Laura has a BA in human ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MSc in global environment, politics, and society from the University of Edinburgh.

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.

Sydney Ghazarian

Digital Organizer
Sydney leads digital strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization project. She is also a founder of National Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group and worked to establish climate as a primary focus of the American Left. Sydney has previously worked in journalism and in academic research. Sydney received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

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.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD

Founder and Board President

Margaret is the founder of The Climate Mobilization (TCM) and Climate Mobilization Project (CMP) and helped catalyze a worldwide climate emergency movement through her work with both organizations. Margaret now serves as Climate Awakening Program Director. She is the author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth (New Society Publishers, April 2020) and several influential essays. She is also a member of the Climate Emergency Fund’s Advisory Board. Margaret earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and a BA in social anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving the Climate Emergency.

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.