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New Climate Emergency Declarations and News from The Climate Mobilization

Climate Emergency Movement Updates

The Climate Emergency Movement has gained momentum in recent weeks with four new declarations in the U.S. alone, bringing the total to 111 declarations nationwide within 24 states. 11.3% of the US population now lives in a jurisdiction that has declared, and globally there have been 1790 declarations of climate emergency within 30 countries.

Congratulations to organizers in Saco, Maine where the town council passed a declaration on 9/21, Provincetown, Massachusetts, where a declaration was passed in a town meeting on 9/21, and Yolo County, California, whose Board of Supervisors passed a declaration on 9/30.

The Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County, California also passed a resolution on 9/22 which included a declaration of Climate Emergency. TCM executive director Matt Renner, who lives in Richmond, California, spoke in support of the county’s commitment to moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy in the region, saying in part “The oil industry is in free fall, and demand is not coming back for their product. The writing is on the wall for the four Contra Costa County oil refineries.”

Supriya Patel, climate emergency organizer, Climate Mobilization ally, and 9th-grader, authored an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee calling for a declaration of climate emergency in her city: “The youth have had enough. It’s time to declare a climate emergency in Sacramento County.”

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act has been rated the United States’ most ambitious local climate action initiative, according to a new policy scorecard by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Importantly, 11 of the top twenty cities on the scorecard have declared a climate emergency.

Read more about how climate emergency declarations are driving meaningful climate policy change in local governments across the pond in Are climate change declarations delivering change? 

Politics, science, covid-19, and climate 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), our air pollution crisis is even more deadly than the covid-19 pandemic, resulting in approximately 7 million fatalities annually. Globally, nine out of 10 people are breathing air that does not meet WHO’s guidelines for limiting pollutants, and the outcomes are even worse for people in low-and middle income countries whose governments continue to build their industrial power with environmentally hostile production. The climate emergency is a public health crisis, and it is our world’s poor and disenfranchised who are bearing the brunt of the consequences. 

More than 4 million acres of California have burned this year due to increasingly intense wildfires fueled by climate change — more than double the previous record, set in 2018. Slate details how coverage of wildfires in the west is being influenced by conspiracy theory and anti-environmentalist rhetoric. 

Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) explains how we have increasingly limited emissions pathways to net zero emissions before reaching dangerous levels of global warming, underscoring the absolute urgency of acting immediately.

During Wednesday’s Vice Presidential debate, candidates and the moderator ignored the realities of the climate emergency impacting millions of people across the United States, from fires in the West to hurricanes across the Gulf Coast. Candidates were not asked about how best to rapidly eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the American economy — instead they were asked “do you believe in climate change?”  

President Trump has also refused to participate in the second Presidential debate if it were hosted virtually due to coronavirus concerns. With Trump back working in the White House despite his active infection, E&E News draws connections between Trump’s downplaying of the pandemic and climate denial

Connect with TCM

If you missed our campaign launch and want to take action around the 2020 election, check out last week’s #ItTakesAMovement live stream on TCM’s Facebook page, and sign the TCM pledge to vote, help get out the vote, and defend democracy. Join the campaign here.

Climate Mobilization founder Margaret Klein Salamon is writing a series for the Psychology Today Blog looking at the personal side of the climate crisis and answering reader questions about how to overcome climate-related dilemmas. Have a question for Margaret? You can submit it here!

Join the Montgomery County, Maryland chapter of The Climate Mobilization, who led their county to declare a climate emergency back in 2017, as they explore eliminating fossil fuel emissions locally. The webinar, Pathways to a Climate Positive County – Part 2. Buildings, consumption & mobility: making our buildings, vehicles, and energy network climate positive by 2027 will help organizers from around the country gather insights and build connections for local organizing work. The event is Tuesday, October 13th from 7:30 – 9:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here.

Long Reads

For a bleak look at our possible future, and an invitation to action, check out Three Scenarios for the Future of Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert for The New Yorker.

The online environmental magazine Grist presents an Illustrated Guide to understanding the connection between environmental justice and police violence against Black and brown people. 

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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.