Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

Community solutions take center stage during climate justice mobilizations in San Francisco!

In September, we made history during the Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice march — the biggest climate mobilization the Bay Area has ever seen!

Together, we demanded the real climate leadership California needs by uplifting community rooted solutions to the climate crisis from across the state. Our planet, livelihoods, and democracy are under attack and we answered the call to rise because we need real climate leadership from the grassroots to our electeds to reclaim our future. We know that only by building the power of frontline communities will we see the bold and visionary action on climate change we urgently need. Check out CEJA and our member organizations talking about why they rise for climate in Democracy Now, East Bay Express, The Guardian, as well as Spanish outlets like La Opinion and Telemundo!

We were able to break through the media around the Global Climate Action Summit to show who the real climate leaders are — indigenous and frontline communities!

CEJA was proud to join the frontline contingent and more than 30,000 people in the streets of San Francisco for Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice, and also to have participated in the It Takes Roots Solidarity to Solutions (Sol2Sol) week with our delegation of more than 200 from EJ communities across California.

Indigenous allies from across the world delivered an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown and his Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force at their annual meeting to reject their market based climate solutions. Programs like REDD are a false solution to climate change that will impact our right to health and self-determination. We stand with Indigenous communities in demanding that our leaders uplift community solutions to address climate change because big polluters cannot continue to pay to pollute while our communities suffer.

During the incredible Sol2Sol week, CEJA members also joined community solutions tours hosted by local organizations like PODER to learn how climate change and extractive industries are impacting gentrification and efforts to reclaim public land. PODER’s Urban Campesinx are building community-led solutions like Hummingbird Farm that demonstrate cooperative stewardship of public lands to cool the planet and feed the people. More photos from SCOPE here.

We send our heartfelt gratitude to all the organizations that worked on the historic Rise mobilization, our ITR family including Climate Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice, and Right to the City for their leadership, and all those who supported from afar to help change the story and inspire everyone to take action!

CEJA will continue to move our demands for real climate leadership loud and clear:

  1. Protect communities, not corporations, by divesting in corporate polluters and investing in real community-led solutions that do not trade away our clean air
  2. Phase out fossil fuels and put an end to oil drilling in our neighborhoods
  3. Support a Just Transition away from an extractive economy and build local, living economies
  4. Achieve 100% clean energy in California and build community-owned renewable energy that brings good local jobs
  5. Advance a new vision for transportation and land-use planning policy that is truly climate resilient and prioritizes the health of our most overburdened communities

We took action to challenge and expose Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit for being little more than a trade show, not a venue providing real solutions to address the intersecting crises of our communities and the planet. Check out the media coverage from Democracy NowSan Francisco Chronicle and New York Times!

With Sol2Sol, we created a space to strengthen our multi-racial and multi-issue movements through strategy exchange, relationship-building, and creative solutions. The Solidarity to Solutions Summit was a full day of music, local food, collective healing, ceremony, and community-led workshops on themes of Just Transition Strategies, Protecting the Land and Mother Earth, Supporting Community Solutions, and Building Energy Democracy. APEN led a workshop on Energy Democracy as a Just Transition strategy using examples from CEJA’s campaigns.

We advanced a new narrative for real climate leadership to ensure climate profiteers know that our future cannot be traded and that those at the GCAS are held accountable for continuing to pollute and put our families at risk. Check out this round up video from the Climate Justice Alliance in English and Spanish. Click here for more photos by Brooke Anderson.

More climate talks and negotiations will take place at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Poland and we must remember the power we have and continue to bring it to bear during these important moments. Climate profiteers are on notice, but nothing short of people power will force them to stop polluting at the source and finally put our communities and the planet first.

Now we must keep the pressure on! Heading into November, our sister organization CEJA Action is building the power of frontline communities to elect leaders who will take the bold action on climate change that our communities need and to enact critical propositions on housing, water, and transportation issues that we know are worsening with climate change.

Download CEJA Action’s Environmental Justice Voter Guide on statewide propositions today in EnglishSpanish, or Vietnamese and share with your friends and family and look out for the release of our 2018 Environmental Justice Scorecard on October 18, 2018.