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Our Car-Addicted Transportation System Blocks Climate Progress

Our Car-Addicted Transportation System Blocks Climate Progress

The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last September sparked a flurry of states, cities, and companies to announce commitments for climate action. California Governor Jerry Brown, signed SB 100, legislation that puts California on a path to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. While SB 100 is a huge victory, it’s not enough to get us to a just, fair, and sustainable future. Our car-dependent transportation system not only impedes climate progress, it makes many of our other problems worse. Transportation is responsible for nearly 50 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions and they are on the rise. A report by the California Air Resources Board found…
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Safety, Liberation, and Racial Justice at #FacingRace2018

Safety, Liberation, and Racial Justice at #FacingRace2018

What’s it like to be 3,500 racial justice organizers deep? It feels like home — and liberation — when you’re at Facing Race. Before I even arrived at the Cobo Center in Detroit, I stopped in Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the largest Muslim population in the country. I saw storefront signs with halal written on them, hijabis were on every street corner. I felt safe, I felt belonging in a place I’ve never been to. To feel that connection is so meaningful, especially in a time when the Ohlone land I was born and raised on often feels alienating. As a first time attendee at the Facing Race Conference,…
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Why Don’t We Riot Over Wealth Inequality?

Why Don’t We Riot Over Wealth Inequality?

Tell people their gas taxes are going up and they will riot, literally.  Tell people that 62 individuals hold the same amount of wealth as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population and we don’t blink an eye. Okay, maybe we do a hard blink but we certainly don’t riot.  Or perhaps gas tax riots are actually severe wealth inequality riots in disguise? France has been embroiled in mass and violent protests to proposed diesel and gas tax increases that have forced France’s government to suspend its plans to increase taxes and to also immediately freeze prices on electricity and home heating fuel.…
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White Supremacy + Capitalism = Climate Change

White Supremacy + Capitalism = Climate Change

The morning after the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) dropped its “Global Warming of 1.5°C” report I felt almost every emotion available: angry, scared, frustrated, heartbroken, distraught. The report calls for “rapid, far reaching, and unprecedented systems change” in order to maintain a global temperature rise of no more than 1.5°C in the Anthropocene — the era of human-caused climate change. 1.5° global temperature increase is key because the catastrophes the world would experience between 1.5° and 2° are stark. Coral reefs would almost entirely disappear with 2° of warming, with just 10–30% of existing reefs surviving at 1.5°C. Our behavior, from the industrial revolution to the…
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The Climate Change Denial Suicide Cult

The Climate Change Denial Suicide Cult

A recent encounter on Twitter with a bunch of climate change denial types sent my memory flying back nearly 20 years to my days as a reporter and an eerily parallel run-in. Now as then, I realized, we’re face-to-face with a suicide cult. Climate change threatens us all, of course, but it’s of special concern here at The Greenlining Institute because low-income communities of color have the fewest resources to deal with its effects and often suffer most from the toxic air pollution generated by our fossil fuel economy.  In addition, these communities most urgently need the jobs and investment that the clean energy economy will bring – or at…
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My Pacoima Community and Speaking Out Against Environmental Racism

My Pacoima Community and Speaking Out Against Environmental Racism

I come from a community — Pacoima, California —  and a family where love, humor, and culture ensure my people’s survival. Mine is a family of home-cooked enchiladas, loud and long-lasting dance fiestas, and unconditional love. We turn to our values to sustain our lives, even as low-income migrants and first-generation folks. Though all odds are against low-income people of color, we resist and survive in the face of environmental racism and other obstacles. Surviving is the only way we know how to live since the power of place has shaped our lived outcomes, for good and for worse. My beautiful Pacoima roots my passion and diligence in the work…
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Show Up and Show Out for Your Health: Three Reasons to #GetCovered for 2019

Show Up and Show Out for Your Health: Three Reasons to #GetCovered for 2019

Let’s get clear on the facts: The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, still stands. Despite the president’s claims to have “repealed the core” of Obamacare, the ACA continues to provide coverage for millions of Americans across the nation. They want you to believe that the ACA is obsolete. Californians can prove otherwise by signing up for health coverage through Covered California’s open enrollment, from October 15, 2018, to January 15, 2019. By doing so, you can ensure that you and your loved ones will have access to quality health care and preventive services. #AlternativeFacts about Obamacare continue to run rampant. In order to clear up any misinformation, here…
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Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Looking for a tasteless Halloween costume? A company that I prefer not to name will happily sell you a “Sexy Women’s 4 Piece Indian Chief” costume for $69.95 plus shipping. And yes, it’s as tacky, demeaning and stereotypical as you might imagine. And it’s just the tip of the commercial bigotry iceberg. Plenty of companies will happily sell you Halloween costumes based on sexist and racist stereotypes. You look at some of this stuff and think, “Really? In 2018???” Yeah, this stuff is still here. In fairness, these sorts of crude stereotypes occur in pop culture less frequently now than when I was a child in the 1960s. I vividly…
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California Ballot Guide, November 2018 — Resist!

California Ballot Guide, November 2018 — Resist!

Californians can #RESIST this November by voting on key statewide propositions that invest in people, not corporations.  Given California’s housing crisis, it is no coincidence that many of our most contested measures relate to California’s housing crisis. Californians can fund key issues related to housing and protect vital transportation funding and say no to giving more tax breaks to the wealthy. Our California Ballot Guide gives the specifics. If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote, you can find out by visiting the California Secretary of State’s voter status page, where you can also find your polling place and other useful information. The voter registration deadline for this November’s…
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Narrative Justice: A Daughter of Black Immigrants Reflects

Narrative Justice: A Daughter of Black Immigrants Reflects

I am of a history of cross-border movements that no right-wing political administration can contain. My folks are the kind of loud, and Black, and women dreamers who everyday disrupt U.S. binaries of “Black” and “immigrant” by being both at the same time: Black immigrants. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, my mother taught me to never forget her island of Trinidad and Tobago. Because of my family’s love for home, I carry my heritage into all that I do. As a Health Equity Fellow in the Greenlining Leadership Academy, I am encouraged every day to seek #ChangefromWithin by bringing the fullness of my identity into my work. My experience…
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