California – On July 31, Occupy Sonoma County hosted a gathering of local climate change activists at the Peace & Justice Center in Santa Rosa. Over 70 people, representing 25 different organizations, attended. Climate change activists are working together in Sonoma County.
Many of the groups, such as Sierra Club Sonoma, Transition Sonoma Valley, the Lite Initiative, the Climate Change Disaster Campaign, The Center for Climate Protection and Sonoma County Conservation Action have campaigns focused on influencing governments to take immediate, decisive action. Democratic Socialists North Bay, Sonoma County Citizens Climate Lobby, 350 Sonoma, Fossil Free California and Friends of Public Banking are using economic pressure, primarily for divestment from fossil fuel companies. North Bay Jobs with Justice is working with the Teamsters on quality waste management with safety and union benefits for workers. Zero Waste and Green Mary were there to address waste diversion as a method for reducing greenhouse gases. The Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the Compost Coalition and Northern California Earth Institute concentrate their efforts on sustainable farming and soil management while the Regional Climate Protection Authority and Sonoma County Transportation Authority are government agencies that deal with local transportation issues. The Center for Climate Protection is working on Sonoma Clean Power. Daily Acts pays attention to the effects of climate change on the health of growing children. Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock supports public banking and is raising funds for legal issues including the defense of water protectors and lawsuits to force divestments. The Green Party has been about protecting the environment since its inception. Occupy Sonoma County talked about their Earth Action Campaign and unveiled their Climate Change Declaration. Local students spoke including a Sonoma State University student, three students from Santa Rosa Junior College who are forming an Environmental Club and a high school Freshman who has formed Schools for Climate Action. The Sonoma County Nonviolent Training Collective, Sonoma Climate Coalition and Climate Mobilization were also present. This is only a summary of some of the groups present and the actions these people are taking. Every group is also involved in educating the public and empowering people to take action.
We ended the evening with a plan to meet again at the Peace & Justice Center on October 30th at 7:00 pm to form action plans and coordinate our efforts.
“It was extremely gratifying to see all the climate change groups taking this important step towards coordinating our efforts. Sonoma County climate change activists have their act together! This dynamic group of experienced activists combined with fresh, new energy from the many youth who attended, gives me hope that we can work together to stop climate change,” said Stefana Morales, Occupy activist.