Los Angeles Moves Toward Mobilization

This action by the City of L.A. is concrete progress towards the kind of WWII-scale mobilization that is necessary to drive down emissions, capture excess carbon, and protect L.A. residents as the climate emergency accelerates. 

 The Skirball Fire engulfs parts of Bel Air next to the 405 Highway on December 7, 2017
The Skirball Fire engulfs parts of Bel Air next to the 405 Highway on December 7, 2017

On Wednesday July 3, by 13-0-2 vote of the City Council, the City of Los Angeles became the first government in the world to create and fund an official City Office and City Commission to develop and implement a mobilization plan, in response to the climate emergency. 

This vote enacts the following:

  • Creation of the Office of the Climate Emergency Mobilization, with a director who will help design and implement the city’s mobilization plans;

  • Establishment of a representative Climate Emergency Commission;

  • Initiating Community Assemblies to bring traditionally marginalized voices into the decision-making process;

  • Formalizing L.A.’s declaration of Climate Emergency within 60 days.

This action by the City of L.A. is concrete progress towards the kind of WWII-scale mobilization that is necessary to drive down emissions, capture excess carbon, and protect L.A. residents as the climate emergency accelerates. 

“L.A.’s vote today to initiate a funded, large-scale climate emergency program shows the way forward for the hundreds of local governments across the world that have declared a climate emergency, including New York City,” said Ezra Silk, Director of Strategy & Policy for The Climate Mobilization (TCM).

This effort was led by Leap L.A., a coalition of frontline community groups and environmental justice organizers, which has been working for three years towards a vision of L.A. as a zero-emissions, resilient city that prioritizes environmental justice and a just transition. A key component of a just transition is ensuring that workers displaced by the move away from fossil fuels are prioritized for retraining, education, assistance and job placement in positions of comparable pay in clean energy industries. 

Current Leap L.A. coalition members include Communities for a Better Environment, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Esperanza Community Housing, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, The Leap, 5 Gyres, and representatives from the American Indian Movement. TCM has played an active role in the coalition and this effort for over two years as a steering committee member and is now an ally organization to Leap L.A.

  Infographic on Neighborhood Oil Drilling in greater Los Angeles.
Infographic on Neighborhood Oil Drilling in greater Los Angeles.

Leap L.A. organizations, their members, and allies have been working with the Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice Committee of the L.A. City Council. Leap L.A. has consistently advocated for a solution that would democratize, detoxify, and decarbonize L.A.’s economy, which is heavily based on fossil fuels and petrochemicals.

The Climate Emergency Commission will consist of an appointee from each of the three historic local tribes of indigenous people — the Gabrielino-Tongva, the Fernandeño-Tataviam, and the Chumash — as well as seven appointees from communities classified as most impacted by environmental injustice by the CalEnviroScreen, and two youth appointees. Representatives from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the City’s Petroleum Administration will also be appointed to the Commission, as well as a representative from the labor community and a small business owner. The commission is to be rounded out by additional City agency representatives and three policy experts on climate science/air quality, toxics, and workforce. 

Community engagement and collaboration with local communities across Los Angeles has been prioritized by  the City Council with this vote. The revised motion calls for the initiation and funding of Community Assemblies, which will empower marginalized and frontline communities to provide direct input on proposed policies and programs proposed to address the Climate Emergency. “We will immediately launch Community Assemblies by which our frontline communities will be engaged in the effort so they can lead us where we need to go to serve them most effectively,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, who has championed this effort from the beginning. Community Assembly participants will receive training that will enable them to develop proposals for pilot projects that would be undertaken by the CEMD.

Next Steps

TCM’s Silk wants to see the city go further. The Climate Mobilization applauds this important step of providing funding and creating new, representative decision-making bodies, and encourages the City Council to quickly adopt the full proposal submitted on March 15 by Councilmember Koretz and Leap L.A.

“We hope that L.A. deepens its commitment to climate emergency action by ending neighborhood oil drilling and establishing a city-wide Climate Emissions Budget and Climate Emergency Mobilization Department (CEMD) with all the necessary authority to plan and coordinate a city-wide mobilization to transform L.A. to zero emissions before the 2028 Olympics, and to catalyze a global mobilization to restore a safe climate,” Silk said.

A Climate Budget would account for present and historical greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants and would be developed alongside the City’s financial budget. The Climate Budget would be used to establish L.A.’s allowable annual emissions levels and requirements for carbon drawdown in order to meet the City’s climate targets.

TCM’s ongoing Climate Emergency Campaign has been pushing local governments to declare climate emergency across the globe, with over 700 having done so to date. Declaring a Climate Emergency  is the first step toward climate mobilization, but tangible action must follow. The communities and their elected representatives in Los Angeles have been working to lead and to help define what mobilization means in one of the largest cities in the U.S. This action by the City of L.A. represents a significant advancement in the governmental response to the emergency.

Watch a short video on the concept of climate mobilization, featuring speakers from a kickoff event in Los Angeles in 2017. 



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Zakaria Kronemer

Climate Survival Farming and Food Sovereignty Coordinator

Zakaria Kronemer is a farmer from Richmond, Virginia with roots in community organizing and climate activism. In 2017, he began working with farmers and other communities in rural Virginia to develop a robust campaign against the construction of two fracked-gas pipelines. It was through this struggle —and the relationships built along the way—that connections between food, land, and climate justice were revealed to him. He teamed up with other BIPOC farmers and set out to build an alternative, regional food-system founded on sovereignty, security, ecological stewardship, and human dignity. Zakaria most recently worked as a field manager and program lead with Real Roots Food Systems—an emerging organization striving to increase participation in our food system. He envisions a food system that people can meaningfully participate in without needing to become a farmer, chef, or professional, in which nutrient-dense, healing food is not a luxury or a lifestyle, but a right.

Daisy Carter

Kentucky Movement Incubation Coordinator

Daisy Carter (she/they) is a New Orleans native, queer multi-disciplinary artist and climate justice organizer working at the intersections of mutual aid, disaster resiliency, African-American herbalism, and grassroots organizing. Daisy is inspired by the black radical movements of the so-called U.S and African diaspora, reimagining what healing + self-determination look like for frontline, BIPOC (black, brown, and people of color) communities who are most vulnerable to climate disaster. For the past few years, they have been organizing around mutual aid, environmental + climate justice, and building BIPOC and marginalized leadership throughout Kentucky. In 2021, they founded Rise and Shine, a community-led mutual aid organization building power and solidarity with low-income, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities in Bowling Green, Kentucky and beyond. She has also led numerous political campaigns, direct actions, and led outreach + communications strategy for organizations such as The Sierra Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival. At the Climate Mobilization, she is supporting programming, the development of the Movement Incubation Program, and the creation of climate survival outreach projects.

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

Co-Leader and Director of Operations & Programs

Emmett manages operations and leads Climate Mobilization’s intersectional organizing around transportation justice, where he works with local community groups to build commitment, alignment and action among frontline constituents who rely on public transit and active transportation modes. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to activate power towards equitable, climate-friendly transportation systems, build mutual-aid-based community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition. In 2021, Emmett developed an online platform for collaborative, community-scale visioning of a just, zero-carbon future. In 2022 he helped launch a transit riders union in Sonoma County, CA, which has engaged in mutual aid, storytelling, and a successful campaign to win fare-free buses and expanded frequency.

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

Co-Leader and Network & Movement Building Director

Mariyah is a first-generation Pakistani community organizer who is on a life-long journey of working to create alternative, anti-capitalist models of collective healing, popular education, community organizing, and mass movement. She has been inspired by studying social movements and organizing in many movement ecosystems and geographies – most recently in Cape Town, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, and currently in Los Angeles. At Climate Mobilization, she started as a Network Organizer where she leads programming, coaching, and other resource development for a learning hub of 43+ local decarbonization and climate justice campaigns. She also recently developed strategy for youth, BIPOC-led, climate movements alongside the Network Support Team at Power Shift Network, and organized with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to base-build in Wilmington and San Pedro alongside low-income API communities most impacted by extractive industries in Los Angeles. Mariyah has spent the past 7 years leading campaigns for Just Transition, abolition, food sovereignty, housing justice, undocumented workers’ organizing, reproductive justice, and Palestine solidarity as well as being involved in mutual aid projects, across more than 15 geographies.


Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization

Rebecca has been with Climate Mobilization since 2019 leading our organizing efforts. In this role, she has coached dozens of local climate groups, coordinated organizing trainings, and launched the campaign for a national Climate Emergency Declaration. In July 2021, she collaborated with Acton, MA residents to launch Housing and Climate Justice for Acton, a renters rights and climate justice group led by public housing and Section 8 renters and other low-income residents, and has already won several campaigns. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca previously worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools and as the 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.