2020 is going to be a hugely important year, for the climate and our democracy. Young people across the country are ready to take on the challenge, by registering their friends to vote, taking to the streets, and showing up in state houses to demand that elected officials act to protect our future. There’s no question about it: this is not a year to sit out. Read on to see what we have planned and how you can get involved to make 2020 the year we turn the ship around.
READY TO WIN
After a long wait…we got a hearing in Massachusetts!
Last week, fourteen youth from Our Climate and partner organizations testified before the Massachusetts Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee in favor of an equitable and ambitious carbon pricing bill that has been stuck in committee all year.
On Wednesday, January 29th, we’re organizing an Intergenerational Lobby Day with 150 students from across Massachusetts and our adult allies. We’ll meet with legislators at the MA State House, just one week before time runs out to vote climate policies out of committee. Let’s make sure they feel the pressure to support our shared policy priorities. RSVP here and spread the word! If you’d like to lead a meeting with your legislator, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s up in New York State?
In New York, Our Climate is joining our coalition partner, NY Renews, to host a day of action at the Capitol. We want to bring as many young people as possible to Albany on January 27th to demand money for climate justice in this year’s budget. We need to ensure that the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, a historic policy that passed last year, has a down payment to begin funding a just transition to renewable energy. Plan on a fun-filled day with singing, political education, lobbying and rallying! Can you join us? Please RSVP Here and email Nicole at email@example.com with any questions.
Youth Lobby Day coming in Washington!
Next Friday, January 24th, young people from across Washington State will come together to rally and meet with their elected officials. The morning will start off with breakfast and trainings, followed by a rally with a lineup of youth speakers and performers. Students will then hold meetings with elected officials from across the state to demand bold climate action (specifically, a bill to strengthen the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals to reflect the latest science) in the Evergreen State. The day will end with a raffle and celebration! Can we count on you to be there? RSVP at YouthLobbyDay.org.
Nebraska youth are stepping up
Our Climate leaders in Nebraska have been turning up the heat as the legislative session kicks off. In addition to holding demonstrations on the capitol steps to demand climate action and organizing campuses across the state, one of our leaders, Brittni McGuire, invited friends to her 21st birthday party…at a climate policy hearing (check out the press story here). For Valentine’s Day, we’re hosting another action to secure cosponsors for a bill that will require the state to develop a robust climate action plan and gain support for the Climate Crisis Resolution (which was drafted by middle schoolers).
Join us for an exciting year in Florida!
As we begin the new year, we are excited to welcome a new cohort of Fellows from across the Sunshine State. This semester, they will organize their peers in support of climate policy, register voters, and bring youth climate leaders to Tallahassee. If you’d like to get involved, apply to be a Field Rep! We’re also looking forward to an event on February 6th with Rethink Energy Florida; visit their website for more details and to RSVP.
FEATURED STUDENT LEADER
Eva Milstein-Touesnard is a sophomore at Cornell University majoring in government. She is also pursuing an environmental science and sustainability minor and a social inequality minor. Eva is adamant about pushing for climate policies that combine environmental and social solutions and often advocates for change in her community of Ithaca, NY.
Over the past year, as a Field Representative with Our Climate, Eva focused on encouraging Cornell students to write letters to state representatives to demonstrate youth support for climate policies. She attended and organized meetings with New York representatives and wrote about these experiences for her local paper, as well as participated in a climate justice summit hosted by PUSH Buffalo this past December. In the future, she plans to mobilize more students to meet with their representatives to make sure New York State follows through on the ambitious laws they have passed.
CHECK OUT OUR DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION ACTION PLAN
In 2019, we invited Our Climate leaders to explore how we can grow our diversity and ensure our organization and programs are inclusive and equitable. We are proud of, and humbled by, the participation, learning, and important conversations we held with student leaders, allies, staff, and board members. After months of hard work, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is excited to share a finalized DEI Action Plan. We hope you will read the two pager and check out the full plan on our website, if you haven’t already.
If you have any questions about the process or our progress in implementing it so far, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Deputy Director.
OUR CLIMATE STANDS IN SOLIDARITY
We encourage you to support the work of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Recently, CAIR Washington provided support to Iranian Americans who were detained at the US/Canada border after the threat of war with Iran sparked renewed Islamophobia and dangerous racist rhetoric.
CAIR-WA’s work and rapid response is an excellent reminder to support local organizations working to promote justice and equity in our communities. You can donate to CAIR-WA here.
Our Climate includes a solidarity action in every monthly newsletter. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions on what we should feature in the future.