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News from The Climate Mobilization and the Climate Emergency Movement

The world has been utterly transformed as the COVID-19 coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of our lives and brought suffering to so many. The dizzying speed of news and information continues, with the number of confirmed US cases jumping exponentially each day. Read on to learn how the Climate Emergency Movement is facing the challenge of global pandemic and building a movement to gather strength in a time of crisis.

Climate Emergency Movement updates — by the numbers

The Climate Emergency Movement continues to grow, approaching 1,500 declarations world wide. 829,280,700 people, or more than 10% of global population live in under municipal or national governments that have declared a Climate Emergency.

Some climate campaigners are helping during the COVID-19 crisis by creating mutual aid networks and supporting the vulnerable in their communities, while simultaneously drawing the connections between COVID-19 and the fight to restore a safe climate. Check out the COVID Victory Gardens project helping to provide communities with healthy, fresh food throughout the pandemic, hosted by the Cooperative Gardens Coalition and Experiment Farm Network.

Notably, despite the COVID-19 crisis, cities and prefectures across Japan have been joining the movement and passing Climate Emergency declarations during the month of March. Most recently, the city of Osaka passed the 24th Climate Emergency declaration in Japan, bringing the total national population living in an area with an established climate emergency declaration to over 10%. 

Local campaign spotlight: Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Ann Arbor TCM chapter and organizers from A2Zero won a YUGE victory this week with the release of the city’s A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Strategy, a seven-phase, city-wide strategic plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. The plan, which would commit $1 billion over 10 years toward renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and resource reduction, as well as climate adaptation and resilience efforts. This plan builds directly on commitments made in Ann Arbor’s Climate Emergency Declaration, passed In November 2019 by the Ann Arbor City Council after being introduced by Climate Emergency organizers calling for the city to commit to achieving zero greenhouse emissions across the community. 

This success and the continued organizing and advocacy of the A2Zero coalition will set an example for local campaigns to point to, as they work to bring their local governments into emergency mode! 

The Climate Mobilization in the News

An op-ed by The Climate Mobilization’s founding director, Margaret Klein Salamon was published in The Hill this week, drawing parallels between our society-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to shift into “emergency mode” on climate disruption: “We’re in ‘emergency mode’ for coronavirus – we can do the same thing for climate.”

Margaret is also quoted in this long read from The Guardian: “‘We’ve been trying for years to get people out of normal mode and into emergency mode,’ said Margaret Klein Salamon, a former psychologist who now heads the advocacy group The Climate Mobilization. ‘What is possible politically is fundamentally different when lots of people get into emergency mode – when they fundamentally accept that there’s danger, and that if we want to be safe we need to do everything we can. And it’s been interesting to see that theory validated by the response to the coronavirus. Now the challenge is to keep emergency mode activated about climate, where the dangers are orders of magnitude greater. We can’t think we’re going to go ‘back to normal’, because things weren’t normal.’”

Rollbacks and Power Grabs

In response to industry pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration has pursued aggressive rollbacks of environmental and scientific protections overseen by the EPA and the Department of the Interior — including air quality and emissions standards on toxic pollutants directly linked to respiratory health issues. 

This week, Emily Atkin’s HEATED newsletter also published a new investigation showing that in the midst of Congressional negotiations around a national COVID-19 stimulus legislation, Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia state legislatures passed so-called “critical infrastructure” bills that place criminal penalties on activists who target oil and gas pipelines.

Earth Day Live

Climate Mobilization Project is a Movement Partner of the U.S. Climate Strike and Earth Day Live, April 22-24. This three-day live event will gather people from their homes around the world for virtual town halls, speakers, entertainment, and voter registration. Mark your calendar today to share the link to the livestream on your Facebook or Twitter page, and text it to all your friends. Stay tuned for schedule details, and read more about Earth Day Live in the New York Times.

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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.