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Smoke, Flooding and a Chance to Take Action

Fires, Smoke, and Extreme Weather

It has been a terrifying few weeks as we watch the impacts of the climate emergency unfold across the country and throughout the world. We’ve seen the skies turn red in the San Francisco Bay Area from extreme fires across the West, with unprecedented fires continuing to burn throughout the West, including uncontrolled fires in Oregon and in the Los Angeles National Forest. Air quality across the region turned dangerously poor and is only now beginning to improve. Last week smoke from fires blew across the country through the midwest, and all the way to New York City

Meanwhile, hurricanes fueled by warming oceans are churning through the Atlantic and Gulf coasts one after another — so many now that we’ve run through the alphabet of named storms and on to Greek letters for only the second time since the naming of storms began in 1953. Damage from Hurricane Sally alone has reached an estimated $8 to $10 billion, primarily from widespread flooding and water damage. 

We are in a climate emergency, and this kind of calamity is only the beginning unless we act decisively with a massive, all-hands-on-deck Climate Mobilization. 

California Executive Order

Today Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued an executive order requiring that all new cars sold in the state after 2035 must be zero-emissions vehicles. Further, Newsom called on the California legislature to ban hydraulic fracking in the state.  

While a critical first step, this executive action does not go far enough to address the full spectrum emissions of the transportation sector, which make up half of California’s emissions, or the fossil fuel industry’s hold on California’s energy system.

ACTION ALERT – #ItTakesAMovement

Join The Climate Mobilization & Climate Emergency campaigns nationwide for a quick and easy action to kick off #ItTakesAMovement — an exciting new campaign to vote out Trump, inspire people to join Get Out the Vote efforts and defend what is left of U.S. democracy. The kickoff virtual action takes just 30 mins to complete and can be done on your own time, wherever you’re located. Click here to sign up and join the movement!

Montgomery County Spotlight

The Climate Mobilization Montgomery County is holding a speaker series to help locals engage the County government to act faster, bolder and much more inclusively in developing our county’s Emergency Climate Action & Resilience Plan (draft due in November 2020). Learn from their efforts during an online event next Tuesday, September 29 for Pathways to a Climate Positive County: Buildings, consumption and mobility.

Climate Emergency Movement 

Congratulations to organizers in Acton, Massachusetts and Tucson, Arizona, which declared a climate emergency on September 8th and 9th, respectively, both with a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. The declaration in Tucson, a city warming at the third-fastest rate in the country, puts particular emphasis on a just transition for marginalized communities who are already disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of the climate crisis. Contra Costa County also declared a climate emergency on September 22nd, commiting government officials to prepare for a Just Transition away from a fossil-fuelled local economy.

Globally, this movement has achieved 1779 declarations across 30 countries to date.

There is much more work to be done, but the Climate Emergency Movement continues to provide a unifying call to action for organizers across the globe to pressure governments to acknowledge the climate crisis, and take immediate, bold action to address it. 

New Research and Long Reads

Climate Mobilization allies Larry Edwards and Stan Cox have published an updated version of their Cap and Adapt proposal  — a “failsafe,” mobilization-scale plan for a managed decline of fossil fuel use and rapid transition to renewable energy system — in the journal Solutions this month. Read about Cap and Adapt here!

Read about how the environmental movement can become less dominated by white activists and more inclusive in The Guardian’s interviews with activists from across the US.

The New York Times details how Trump’s gutting of environmental protections has and will exacerbate the climate crisis if elected to a second term. 

Executive Director of Climate Mobilization Project, Margaret Klein Salamon, talks about changing the course of her life to fight the climate emergency in this article from Quartz.

Read about late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s record of voting for climate protections in RBG’s death leaves a climate shaped hole in the supreme court from Grist. 

New polling finds that 75% of Americans want to hear about the connection between the climate emergency and the extreme weather disasters in the news. Climate Mobilization ally Genevieve Guenther, writing in The Boston Globe, explores why media outlets have been hesitant to link disasters to the climate crisis, and urges a shift to full reporting of the impacts of the climate crisis across sectors, from weather disasters to business, immigration, real estate and beyond.

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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

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

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

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

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

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.