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First in the nation: Sonoma County united in acknowledging climate emergency

Sonoma County, CA — On March 9, 2021 the Rohnert Park, CA City Council passed a Resolution “…Endorsing the Declaration of a Climate Emergency and Immediate Mobilization to Restore a Safe Climate.” With this action, Sonoma County became the first county in the U.S. in which all of its cities, plus the County itself, have now passed a Climate Emergency Resolution. 

With a population of 500,000, the County of Sonoma and its 9 cities join 23 nations including Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, and the entire European Union, along with 139 cities across the U.S., including Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco, and over 1,900 governments worldwide in declaring a climate emergency. [Source:]

In recent years, residents of Sonoma County have endured heat waves, devastating wildfires, “atmospheric river” rainfall events, and punishing droughts whose frequency and intensity have increased due to levels of CO2 and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases that far exceed those seen at any time within the last 800,000 years.

Climate Emergency Resolutions acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis and commit jurisdictions to bold, equitable climate action through reducing current emissions to zero and “drawing down” existing atmospheric carbon dioxide, while concurrently preparing for the inevitable consequences of a rapidly warming planet. Several of the cities have set a 2030 target date for carbon neutrality, far in advance of the State’s goal of “…carbon neutrality as soon as possible and no later than 2045,” as stated in Governor Jerry Brown’s 2018 Executive Order #B-55-18.

In passing a Climate Emergency Resolution at its September 17, 2019 meeting, County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins remarked, “We have to stop acting like business as usual is cutting it, because it’s not. We need a transformation. We need a dramatic change. We really have ten years to dramatically transform ourselves into a post-carbon economy… It is critical that we pass a Climate Emergency Resolution and that we follow it up with meaningful and substantive change and that we act like our planet is on fire, because it is.”

The County of Sonoma is unique in California in having a Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) — a joint powers authority, or JPA, tasked with coordinating climate protection efforts among the County’s nine cities and multiple agencies. In recognition of strong community support for bold climate action, at its March 8, 2021 meeting, the RCPA Board approved a Sonoma Climate Mobilization Strategy that establishes a goal of “carbon neutrality by 2030,” establishing the region as a global climate action leader.

Passage of the Climate Emergency Resolutions resulted from elected leaders responding to the voices of a concerned and engaged community. 

All ten of the Climate Emergency Resolutions in Sonoma County passed unanimously.

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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

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 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.

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

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.