Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
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Join Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to learn more about their deep canvassing efforts, lessons learned, and best practices from their on-the-ground experience. During this webinar, participants will hear from the folks involved about how deep canvassing can be a powerful tool for bringing new people into the climate justice movement as well as how learnings might be applied to other climate deep canvass and relational conversation programs across the country.
Relying on the private sector to decarbonize is a recipe for abandoning workers. The uncertain labor conditions of the Inflation Reduction Act make it all the more important that labor and climate organizers remain engaged with the process of implementing the new law. State and local organizing can also be more effective in bridging the tension between fossil fuel workers and climate policies. In addition to state and local organizing, another logical step to strengthen labor-climate advocacy is for more environmental and climate organizations to support legislative reforms to make organizing easier, such as the PRO Act. Ending fossil fuel use will require building power through multi-issue, broad-based coalitions—we are stronger together.
New and expanded federal programs can deliver good jobs and environmental benefits. A centerpiece of Joe Biden’s presidency to date is the “Build Back Better Agenda,” a historic multi-faceted plan to rebuild the nation’s economy to be stronger, cleaner, more equitable, and resilient. That agenda—first encompassed in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan—further manifested in the form of two important pieces of legislation. The first, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)—also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)—is a $1.2 trillion investment in repairing and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure that was signed into law on November 15, 2021. Notable provisions in the bill include: the largest federal investment in public transit in history; the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak; the largest dedicated bridge investment since the creation of the interstate highway system; the largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure ever; the expansion of high-speed internet access; the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; robust funding to reclaim abandoned mine lands; the expansion of the electric school and transit bus fleet; and new funding and authorities to build a more climate-resilient and efficient electric grid.
The EV Jobs Hub (EVJH) illuminates not only where new electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing jobs are being announced, but also what those jobs will look like. The EVJH can help labor and environmental advocates hold manufacturers and policymakers accountable for delivering on their investments and promises for good, union jobs in the domestic EV industry. This hub shows the EV jobs announcements—where they are in the US (via a map) and aspects of them, including: manufacturing focus, disadvantaged communities, state and local subsidy, existing union, and congressional district.
Building long-lasting grassroots power requires centering concrete issues and the humanity of individuals you’re organizing. Many organizations in West Virginia are cultivating organizers, building organizations that can sustainably organize local communities according to their needs for years to come, incorporating mutual aid, and more, in an effort to win and wield political power. In this article, The Forge contributor Mat Hanson discussed organizational strategies with multiple people involved in grassroots power building in West Virginia: Katey Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia Can’t Wait; Nicole McCormick, a founding member of the West Virginia United caucus and rank-and-file leader in the successful teacher’s strike; Dr. Shanequa Smith of Restorative Actions and the Black Voters Impact Initiative; and Joe Solomon, the co-founder and co-director of Solutions Oriented Addiction Response (SOAR), a volunteer-based organization that advocates for harm-reduction strategies to the opioid crisis.
Understanding the geography and profit-making process of any big corporation are essential to organizing against it. In the case of organizing against Amazon, it has certainly been strategic to organize labor union(s) at the traditional worker level. However, there have also been labor-community alliances built to organize against Amazon, given the way that the megacorporation affects communities beyond its own workers, by its supports of the carceral state and deportation machine, contributions to climate change, and its role in gentrification. The many different people and groups (especially based on where they are located geographically and their role in the economy) impacted by any bad actor (in this case, Amazon) are where any organizing opportunities exist. And understanding the “value chain” of any target (like Amazon) is necessary to understanding what leverage any organized group of people can have. This article details some cases of groups and coalitions building power against Amazon.
Many people communicating for social change are exploring how to tell diverse and inclusive stories that center marginalized communities while building understanding about how inequality persists. Intersectionality is an important tool to help us tell great stories that help us understand systemic issues. Five guiding principles to telling intersectional stories: Show, don’t tell; Provide historical context; Uplift the voices of marginalized people; Tell whole stories; and, Radically reimagine the world.
There are six key steps to executing the best “one-on-one” conversation—specific to a union organizing setting, but potentially applicable to other settings. Step One: Discover the issues—ask open-ended questions to understand the problems the worker cares most about. Step Two: Agitate—ask provocative questions about the frustrations expressed by the worker. Step Three: Elucidate—provide your worker with alternatives, such as enhancing worker power with a union. Step Four: Make an “ask”—before assuming you will be rejected, ask the worker to take a concrete action. Step Five: Innoculate—prepare the worker for the toxic arguments that the boss will give in fighting union power. Step Six: Follow up—check in after the conversation to try to ensure consistent communication and action.
This series chronicles the Fight for 15 organizing campaigns in various U.S. cities and states over the past few decades. Examples include Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle. Various articles and interviews—written by different authors—describe the history of organizing efforts, policy goals, and organizing strategies behind both victories and losses. Multiple articles focus on the successful Florida 2020 minimum wage ballot question campaign—particularly the role of workers on the campaign, digital and communications GOTV tactics, and what overall lessons leftists and progressives can take away.