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Historic Environmental Justice Victory: City of Los Angeles is creating a pathway to phase out existing oil and gas wells
Residents, community organizations, and health care practitioners organized for over a decade to protect the health of residents on the front lines of urban oil extraction in L.A. In January 2022, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to draft an ordinance to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling and to phase out existing drilling operations throughout the City of Los Angeles. This resource is based on an interview with Wendy Miranda (she/they), a community leader with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and resident, about the historic victory. The organizing strategy to get this victory involved various lobbying efforts, rallies, press conferences, petition collections, a wide range of community/organization endorsements, phone banking, and social media outreach. Overall, frontline residents providing public comments and sharing their personal experiences were some of the strongest and most powerful tactics. STAND L.A. will continue to be part of the process to help draft an ordinance and direct the City of Los Angeles on how to lead a genuine community participation process. Miranda shares that this victory is proof that frontline communities can lead the change toward a just, equitable transition to a clean energy future.
New Orleans is in the midst of a green infrastructure revolution. In smaller neighborhoods like Hoffman Triangle, residents are leading the way, house by house, block by block. Year-round, New Orleanians deal with a chronic kind of inundation researchers vaguely call “urban flooding.” The goal of “nature-based” (green infrastructure) solutions is to reduce the pressure on pipes and pumps by using landscaping to slow the flow of water. Projects can store water so it soaks into the soil or slowly flows into a storm drain at a rate the system can handle. Plants can also absorb water into their roots, leaching out pollutants in the process. They also come with various added benefits like improved water quality, mosquito control, and increased open space to cool the sweltering Louisiana air. The Urban Conservancy is one organization in particular doing lots of work on nature-based infrastructure in New Orleans.
This new series at The Forge will engage organizers with a deceptively simple question: what’s your power analysis? Powerful actors and institutions are creating and purposefully maintaining unjust political and economic systems for their own benefit. This article series aims for sharper and more shared approaches and language across our movements for describing, measuring, and analyzing power. In this series, this author will talk to organizers and movement leaders — including Doran Schrantz of Faith in Minnesota, Andrea Mercado of Florida Rising, leaders at the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and others from across the progressive movement — about the power analysis that guides their work and their organizations, the power they’re trying to build and exercise, how it’s going, and how they know.
Climate change increases the incidence of practically all forms of human disease. This series of lectures features field leaders in various aspects of climate change and human health, focusing on how different types of extreme weather events and patterns cause both acute, and chronic, morbidities and mortality. Scientists, clinicians and public health policy experts to generate an integrated and comprehensive picture of health threats posed by climate change.
73% of initially planned oil, gas, and coal export projects in the region have been cancelled since 2012. Fossil fuel executives from dozens of companies once seemed to be salivating over the idea of exporting massive quantities of gas, oil, and coal from the Cascadia coast—but local communities, Tribes, environmentalists, and local governments rejected calls to turn Cascadia into a fossil fuel export terminal. They protested projects’ abrogation of Indigenous sovereignty, the risk of oil spills and damage to sensitive ecosystems, the pollution spewing from coal trains, the climate harms of extracting, transporting, and burning hydrocarbons, and the safety hazards of transporting flammable fuels through populated areas—and for the most part, they’ve won. Since 2012, fossil fuel interests have schemed more than 50 large projects to export coal, oil, gas, or their derivatives from Cascadia’s coast in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, and today, 40 of those—a whopping 73%—have been canceled by project backers who faced local opposition, see-sawing energy prices, and regulatory hurdles.
Investing in local organizing is the most important way to build movement power—and it must be linked to influencing national politics. Alongside investment in organizing we need to see support for storytelling and strategic communications work, insight and evaluation and the generation of irresistible ideas that can shift whole systems and paradigms as well as change policy and practice in the medium term. Organizing has the following crucial benefits: provides people with a safe framework to meet other people across the community and to work together with them; gives people an opportunity to engage in political life in a way that other organizations don’t; develops skills and gives local people a chance to learn; and enables people to take part in a range of campaigns on regularization for irregular migrants, properly affordable housing, better community safety and access to living-wage jobs, among others. Movements that win: have the necessary infrastructure to support activity to happen at key moments, allowing them to prepare for and harness external events; are a well-developed ecosystem; and are cultivated over a long period of time and ready to be activated when opportunities arise. This report is focused on the UK but carries parallel lessons for the US.
2021 saw significant activity across the political tech space. This report describes relevant developments and trends. Social media platforms imposed limitations on individual targeting for political ads, forcing campaigns to explore alternative influencer-focused messaging strategies. Given recent underperformance at the ballot box, stakeholders dedicated more resources to studying the rightward shift of the Latinx voter base. Headlined by the acquisition of NGP VAN’s parent company EveryAction, merger and acquisition activity notably increased, demonstrating the growth and maturation of the political tech market. A small number of campaigns began to accept cryptocurrency donations, responding to our nation’s growing interest in emerging Web3 technologies.
There are a handful of key ways to counter ableism in the workplace. Many ableist practices are rooted in capitalist standards of “productivity” and work, and they are rampant in many organizations, even among social justice groups. Ways to begin countering common ableist practices include: create a justice environment to challenge areas of ableism and white supremacy culture; build flexible work policies and practices; make access to accommodations easy; eliminate high-paced working demands; improve workplace culture to avoid exploitation and increase satisfaction among all employees; implement more than the law defines; invest in accessibility along with other Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts; and center the experiences of people with disabilities in workplace accessibility decisions. This 41-page report describes the causes of ableism in the workplace and further breaks down this list of solutions.
When writing an op-ed, you need an audience who is open to change and willing to drive a narrative out to other people. Your base, including activists and members, may be part of your audience, but op-eds typically try to find an audience beyond your base. Identify this audience by doing the following: clarify the people who have the ability to take action and change behavior based on the argument you want to make, get to know them and meet them where they are, learn how they most effectively communicate, and get their feedback. This resources describes the op-ed writing experience of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC), an Oakland-based organization focused on organizing power in communities of Black, Brown and low-income people, when running police reform campaigns in Alameda County. This article also lists many other resources to check out for the various steps in the op-ed development process.
Help people envision more just and sustainable systems. This article looks at efforts in southwest Pennsylvania to oppose plans for gas and plastics expansion in the region. Activists share their strategies, including raising public awareness about the dangers of fracking and plastic, tracking emissions themselves, and advocating for investments in more sustainable industries.