climate justice

Dear Power Shift Network,

I'd like to share a story with you that I've been trying to tell for a long time. It's the story of becoming a human concerned about plants and animals and resources, despite my origins in an enormous city where resources abound.

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Last month, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to name October 13th Indigenous Peoples’ Day as well as Columbus Day. The following blog was written by Will Steger Foundation Equity Consultant, Joe Kruse, and makes clear as day the connection between Columbus Day and the destruction of the fossil fuels industry.

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This article was originally published on the Huffington Post on Friday, April 25th, 2014.

We cannot build a thriving future out of burnout and exhaustion.

We cannot build a thriving future out of weary hearts, tired minds and burnt out bodies.

But we're certainly trying to, by the looks of it.

I know this from my work as an organizer in the climate movement -- because that's how I was doing it. That's how we all were doing it.

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April has been a month of action toward climate justice at Syracuse University.

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Yesterday, I wrote a post on how 2014 is the defining year of the critical decade to act on climate.  Today, I want to announce a new opportunity to engage in this year's defining climate policy fights: Climate Action Lab.

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When I first heard about the Tar Sands Action, I thought I would attend a rally or two to support the people joining the sit-in and risking arrest. I changed my mind and decided to join them after I researched the Keystone XL pipeline and saw a map of where the pipeline would be placed.

Change We Can Believe InIf built, the Keystone XL will reach from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. It will run from Montana to Texas and Louisiana. The people who will live near the pipeline will be the people who can’t afford to live farther away. They will be the ones too busy working multiple jobs and caring for their families to voice their concern to elected officials. Or, they will be the people who have already been disenfranchised by the political process. A lot of times, they will be communities of color.

This protest is important to me for many reasons. I was a field organizer on the Obama Campaign for Change in Lynchburg, Virginia. We were placed in unsafe conditions, such as when homeowners purposely unleashed their dogs to get canvassers off of their property. But that didn’t matter. We were determined to elect a progressive, climate-conscious president, and we would knock on as many doors as we had to in order to win that election. We wanted change we could believe in.

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