Austin Texas Joins Growing List of Cities Declaring Climate Emergency

Today, amid a week of massive flooding in the nation’s capital, The Climate Mobilization (TCM) joined the offices of Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in announcing the introduction of a nonbinding resolution seeking to declare the climate crisis an official national emergency in the United States.

Resolution Marks the First Climate Emergency Declaration in a US Southern City

Contact: Malik Russell / malik@climatemobilization.org  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, TX (August 9, 2019)—Last night the city of Austin, Texas became the first Southern city in the United States to join the over 941 governments/jurisdictions around the world to declare a #ClimateEmergency with a unanimous vote by the City Council.  

The resolution calls for “declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.”

In addition to declaring a climate emergency, the resolution calls for the following: • The creation of an accountability and reporting structure to clarify climate leadership responsibilities • Amplifying Austin’s external and community engagement on climate policy to make the climate crisis a priority • More aggressive targets to reach Austin’s current net-zero goals • Innovative policy ideas to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis currently being felt • An alignment of emergency management plans around the climate crisis, to prepare for and respond to natural hazards.

Sponsored by Councilmember Alison Alter, along with Councilmembers Leslie Pool, MeAnn Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, and Gregorio Casar; local advocates view declaring a climate emergency as not simply a scream to wake up those asleep to the dangers our communities face due to unnatural warming; but as a means to weigh in on the policies and actions necessary to do something about it. 

“The first step in solving any problem is to name it,” said lead sponsor Councilmember Alter. “The climate crisis is an emergency. We must treat it like one. An emergency threatens our very being. In an emergency, we marshal all our resources towards solving the problem. As local elected officials, it is our job to call the emergency as we see it, respond accordingly, and invite our residents to be part of the solution. That is what this resolution does.”

“We support Austin, Texas in declaring a climate emergency,” said Ezra Silk, Director of Policy and Strategy for The Climate Mobilization – a national organization committed to organizing a national WWII-scale mobilization of resources to combat global warming.

“We are hoping this resolution will also lead to a citizen’s assembly on the climate emergency, getting to zero greenhouse gas emissions city-wide before 2030, by implementing a carbon removal strategy and creating a city-wide climate emergency plan,” added Silk.

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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 and Managing Director of Climate Mobilization Project

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 Executive Director of Climate Mobilization Project

Margaret leads organizational strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. In this role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide Climate Emergency Movement. 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 climate change. She is author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform yourself with Climate Truth available from New Society Publishers in April, 2020.

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.