Our window of opportunity to maintain a livable climate is quickly closing. We MUST make major progress in cutting fossil fuel emissions within the next 8 years. That’s a science-based deadline we cannot negotiate our way out of. 350 Sacramento is working hard to speed up and intensify local climate justice efforts.
“Action is the antidote to despair.” —Edward Abbey
Climate justice, the focus of 350 Sacramento's work, includes more than just the science of climate change. It is interconnected with myriad other crises in our community: inequality, ecosystem destruction, homelessness, racism, lack of healthcare, etc.
We pursue a vision that values people and the planet over profit. We believe it is possible to build a healthier, more equitable future for everyone, including other species. Remember, there is no Planet B.
Despite a pandemic, worsening climate chaos, and a dysfunctional political/corporate establishment, 350 Sacramento continues to chalk up wins in the fight for urgent climate action:
• We worked diligently on providing ~450 DIY air filters since last year. These are free of charge, to the elderly, and those who suffer from respiratory health conditions in Sacramento's underserved communities. This effort is meant to minimize the exposure to hazardous air quality due to wildfires. We plan on distributing another 150 later this year.
• The 350 Sacramento Team worked alongside the Measure A Not Ok campaign opposing Measure A. The measure was poorly calculated, would have increased pollution, and cost taxpayers billions. Volunteers, activists, and community members spent hours every week sharing flyers, banners, and information supported by research that Sacramento voters deserved to know. The grassroots work paid off! Measure A failed and the millions spent by wealthy private interest groups were no match for community activism on the ground.
• The County Supervisors postponed the Climate Action Plan (CAP) adoption, and suggested a number of changes into 2023. The CAP Team has continued analysis and advocacy with letters to staff discussing a seriously flawed measure, and requesting public review of any resulting CAP changes. We followed up with additional letters to Supervisors, cataloging the proposed changes, and repeating our request for a two-week public review.
• In 2021, we trained over 40 youth in our Student Environmental Activist Training (SEAT) program. Young people are leading the way for the climate movement, and SEAT graduates have taken on various climate justice projects, including starting Eco Clubs at their schools. With your support, we will continue to train new cohorts of young leaders in 2022.
• The SEAT program’s success was rewarded with both a grant from the Rose Foundation and a SMUD Shine Grant to fund young interns to pursue their own climate projects.
• After years of our persistent advocacy, SMUD, our local electric utility, approved a Zero Carbon by 2030 plan, the most ambitious carbon reduction plan of any large utility in the nation. They plan to close two fossil fuel power plants within 3 years.
• As a result of our leadership and engagement with the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, the City of Sacramento passed an ordinance that requires all new buildings to be electric, with no natural gas (fossil fuel) infrastructure. This is a critical first step in reducing carbon emissions from the built environment.
• Our Climate Action Plan (CAP) Team has been tenacious in pressuring the County to improve their very flawed CAP, and is closely monitoring the upcoming City of Sacramento Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) to ensure its actions meet the scale of the climate crisis.
• We have other teams working on a variety of climate justice issues. The Mayors’ Climate Commission Implementation Team is working with the City to implement the Climate Commission recommendations. Our Legislative Team advocates for climate-friendly State legislation. The Third Act Team is mobilizing elders over 60 to support youth climate activists and other actions. We also host educational, fundraising, and just for fun events: a weekly radio show, climate coffee, speakers, community presentations, movie nights, and are part of a new Environmental Justice coalition. With your continued support, we will accomplish even more in 2022!
It is thanks to hundreds of incredibly dedicated and passionate 350 Sacramento volunteers that—together—we have been able to accomplish so much.