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Press Release: As Wildfires Continue, Bay Area Officials Call on Cities to Declare Climate Emergency and Commit to Climate Mobilization

Over 120 public officials, government sustainability staff, and environmental justice organizations came together August 24 for a Bay Area Regional Climate Emergency Town Hall to discuss the growing climate crisis and how to accelerate California’s transition to a zero­ emissions, 100% clean and renewable energy, and a just, regenerative and equitable economy.

August 28, 2018 Berkeley, California

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Davila, Vice Mayor, Berkeley: (510) 981­7120
Kate Harrison, Councilmember, Berkeley: (510) 981­7141
Sara Kershnar, Legislative Aide, Vice Mayor Davila: (510) 981­7126

Over 120 public officials, government sustainability staff, and environmental justice organizations came together August 24 for a Bay Area Regional Climate Emergency Town Hall to discuss the growing climate crisis and how to accelerate California’s transition to a zero­emissions, 100% clean and renewable energy, and a just, regenerative and equitable economy.

“As the world is facing intensifying heat waves, floods, fires, storms, droughts, disease, and extreme weather, we in the Bay Area have been devastated by wildfires and are threatened by sea level rise. The emergency continues to deepen as global warming continues unabated,” said Berkeley Vice Mayor Cheryl Davila, who initiated the Town Hall. “Scientists warn that without much more significant action than considered to date, we may quickly pass irreversible climate tipping points.”

The findings in California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment report released yesterday, August 27, confirms this truth. The report led Governor Jerry Brown to tweet: “These findings are profoundly serious and will continue to guide us as we confront the apocalyptic threat of irreversible climate change.”

At the Town Hall, public officials signed a letter addressed to Governor Brown, the incoming California Governor, and other California public officials to be delivered the Global Climate Action Summit being held in San Francisco on September 13, 2018. The letter urges decisive action to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors by 2030, calls on all governments to declare a climate emergency and commit to emergency mobilization in response, and actively oppose projects whose primary purpose is transporting, storing, processing, or exporting fossil fuels.

In addition, attendees made commitments to one or more of the following actions:

●  Initiating Climate Emergency Declarations and Fossil Fuel Free Resolutions in their jurisdictions

●  Participating in a Spring 2019 Bay Area Climate Mobilization Summit

●  Coordinating citywide public Town Halls in their jurisdictions on the climate emergency, the community mobilization, and resilience and disaster preparedness needed in response

At the Town Hall, climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, Patrick Brown, PhD stated, “Choices made today have more leverage on the state of the Earth system than choices made by any previous generation and their consequences will likely persist for thousands of years into the future.”

One of the goals of the town hall was to find a way to mobilize cities to a transition to a zero­emissions economy and beyond in a way that takes into account the needs of historically marginalized communities. “In every action we take, we must reduce inequity and ensure that those most impacted by decisions are the ones making them. If we reproduce or maintain the status quo of concentrated control of land, energy, and other basic resources, its game over,”said Michelle Mascarenhas­Swan, a member of Movement Generation, a group fighting for a just transition.

The town hall was an opportunity for public officials to be updated on the latest science on climate change and hear from ecological and environmental justice groups about the whole­of­society mobilization needed to stop environmental catastrophe and restore a safe climate. “The time for an incremental approach to climate action has come and gone. With hundreds of thousands of acres in California on fire in the past year, and with extreme climate events occurring daily around the world, we must mobilize at a scale not seen before in human history, and we must do it in such a way that the communities most impacted by the daily operations of the fossil fuel industry benefit first from a new, clean energy economy,”said Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz. His office who is working to establish the nation’s first­ever Climate Emergency Mobilization Department in the city of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation.

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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.