Climate Justice Alliance Demands Every Vote Be Counted, Respect the Will of the People!
Contact: Olivia Burlingame 301-613-4767 [email protected] Kari Fulton 202-340-0976 [email protected]
Across the movement, we join together with sister alliances such as It Takes Roots and the Rising Majority, to demand that every vote is counted and the will of the people be respected. Voters in our communities faced intimidation, suppression, and misinformation during this election season and it is our communities who are hurt first and worst by the lack of political will to address the climate crisis. That is why, even in times of uncertainty like these, we continue to organize for a People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy to protect, repair, invest, and transform our local communities.
CJA is motivated by the people power demonstrated through community organizing and local victories won at many levels. Frontline communities, many of whom are CJA members, from Miami to Detroit, Louisville to San Juan, continue to demonstrate how grassroots-led and community-driven strategies for addressing the root causes of the climate crisis can lead to victories for the people, reminding us all that an election is won community by community, state by state.
Our communities will continue to build power through translocal, place-based organizing grounded in grassroots power. In Portland, Oregon, Khanh Pham – Interim Director of the Oregon Just Transition Alliance – ran on a Green New Deal platform and won to represent District 46 in the Oregon State House of Representatives. In Detroit, Michigan, youth organizers with the East Michigan Environmental Action Council canvassed disenfranchised neighborhoods helping to increase voter turn-out and in Richmond, California, Najari K. Smith- founder and director of Rich City Rides- ran for city council. The power to self-govern takes time, resources, and energy to build; the wins we are witnessing are thanks to Indigenous, Black, POC, Queer, and low income people and community organizers. Centering demands for a Just Transition in the next four years and beyond is critical to the future we are building together, while healing the harm that these communities have endured over generations.
As Acacia “Caci” Maggard, organizer with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition stated, “We can’t let politics limit our imagination.” We are driven by the eternal lessons of our ancestors who guide and inform our resiliency, reminding us of our responsibility to shape and sustain our collective future. Climate Justice Alliance is committed to advancing climate justice policy that centers community solutions and grassroots organizing.
While the US Government recently formally quit the Paris Agreement, there is no quitting for the frontlines, who will continue to be the first impacted by storms, flooding, and wildfires, not to mention racist and economic violence. In moments like these, we are reminded of the strength of rooted local to global climate justice movements led by parents, youth, elders, and neighbors. This fight for the future of our people and the planet will need to continue to be intersectional to confront historic racism, patriarchy, and settler-colonialism.
The President of the United States and Congress, elected by voters, must get to work right away during the transition period to prepare for the January 2021 launch of a bold, transformative agenda to heal communities across the country from the ravages of COVID-19, the climate and economic crises, and white supremacy. The Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) agenda provides a vision for the kind of just economic and ecological recovery we all need. It’s also imperative that we pass and implement The BREATHE ACT, a comprehensive suite of legislation designed to confront and dismantle the myriad pillars of white supremacy and anti-Black racism. CJA and our members are currently working with the drafters to push for its promulgation at the local, State, and federal levels of government.
Regardless of who sits in the White House, the next couple of weeks and months will be a time of truth and reckoning with many of the historical injustices that have plagued the nation for centuries. People power will prevail.