9 Years to Zero: Electrification and Your Role in the Climate Emergency Movement

If you’re reading this newsletter, you probably have been following the Build Back Better legislation and COP26 and like us you are probably feeling frustrated and disheartened. We get it, we are right there with you, but it has also made us realize why our work at Climate Mobilization is more important than ever. 

We know that we are at a critical moment where we need a radical shift away from fossil fuels by 2030 to stay below 1.5℃ and survive — the damage that is already occurring and the risk of unstoppable heating are unacceptable. Our federal government and international negotiations are doing too little — soon it will be too late. We need a Climate Mobilization now. 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about our work and asking for your support at this crucial moment in human history. Our small but very scrappy organization fills a key role in the effort to avoid collapse and we need you, now more than ever, to keep us strong and in the fight. Thank you for your engagement and support of Climate Mobilization.


Climate Emergency Movement

The Board of Legislators in Westchester County, NY voted to declare a climate emergency on October 18, 2021. This brings the global total to 2046 declarations of climate emergency. From Argentina to Japan, London to New York City  — advocating for climate emergency declarations across the globe brings organizers and activists together to push for transformative change.

In a transformational policy win, the city of Ithaca, New York has decided to electrify ALL 6,000 buildings in their jurisdiction — including privately owned buildings — by 2030. Ithaca is funding the initiative through a mixture of rebates, private equity, donations, and state and federal funding. The Brooklyn-based company BlocPower will be managing the transition for the city. This is a perfect example of the scale needed to transition off of fossil fuels at emergency speed, and an approach that every local government can use as a guide. 

Climate Mobilization Network

In this overwhelming time of multiple crises and disasters, we’re looking at how organizers and organizations can balance responding to immediate needs with pushing for long term change, while leaning on each other and working in collaboration. Join us  

on November 29 at 4pm Pacific/ 7pm Eastern for a virtual conversation with José Bravo, the Executive Director of Just Transition Alliance, and Allen Myers, the Executive Director of Regenerating Paradise as we talk about organizing in response to economic crisis and climate disasters.

Sign up now for this special event.

Just Transition Alliance is a coalition of environmental justice and labor organizations. Together with frontline workers, and community members who live along the fence-line of polluting industries, Just Transition Alliance creates healthy workplaces and communities.

Regenerating Paradise is working to lead the transformation of Paradise, California in the wake of the Camp Fire. The organization recently released the short film A Message from the Future of Paradise, which puts forward a vision for a disaster-resilient community that ensures housing and employment for survivors.

Electrification News

California has passed a bill to ban gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment by 2024, including leaf blowers, mowers and other machines. This bill is a first of its kind, which promises to reduce air and noise pollution, improve air quality and cut carbon emissions. Critics claim that the $30M in aid to small businesses will not provide enough financial support to help lawn care companies make the transition.

Thanks to a $5.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, the city of Chapel Hill, NC has been able to purchase a fleet of electric busses and cars to serve its public transportation needs. 

Midwestern states ​​Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have created a coalition to facilitate vehicle electrification across the region. The plan will facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles, promising more charging stations and collaboration on regulations and even production of EVs. The coalition acknowledges the need for equity during this massive transportation transition.

Important reads

In a stark reminder of the importance of urgent advocacy for climate justice and a just transition, a new report shows that rich Nations like the United States and Canada are spending 15 times more money on militarized barriers to keep out climate migrants than on the emissions reductions and mitigation measures that would tackle climate change. Learn more about this report here.

From increased flooding to increased deaths from heat waves, record heat in Florida, especially in Miami, is expected to have a massive impact on the state. Due to the climate emergency, the number of deadly hot days is expected to quadruple if nothing is done.     

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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.

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

Climate Mobilization Network Contractor

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

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.

Meghann Beer

Growth Strategy Manager
As our growth strategy manager Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization. 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

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.