Mothers Out Front California was proud to join "more than 750 public interest groups from California and around the world" to kick off a campaign "urging Governor Jerry Brown to stop the build-out of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure, keep oil and gas in the ground, and take immediate action to protect those most vulnerable to climate change or lose their support for the global climate action summit that he will host five months from now in San Francisco."
"We, the undersigned environmental, health, justice, faith, labor, community and consumer organizations from California and around the world, strongly urge you to champion a vision for California that looks beyond the oil and gas industry to a future that is safe and healthy for everyone," the letter says."
Sixteen women, including a grandmother-daughter-granddaughter trio, attended the first-ever Mothers Out Front house party in San Francisco on Sunday. When sharing what inspired them to attend the house party, a common theme emerged: a deep commitment to social justice, and a growing realization that social justice and climate justice are deeply intertwined. Many moms also shared that they’ve been concerned about the climate crisis for quite a while, but just didn’t know what to do about it, beyond personal changes to their own lifestyles. They were excited to learn how to become “influencers,” as one guest put it, to help drive policy changes for a much bigger impact, in ways that are manageable within busy lives.
This week, Mothers Out Front South Bay gave public testimony in favor of SB 100 (the CA Clean Energy Act) at a Cupertino City Council meeting. Also speaking in favor of a city resolution supporting the bill were Tara Shreekrishnan, Krish Ellath, and three De Anza College students. After hearing our public comments, the City Council voted unanimously to express their support for SB 100, barring any hostile amendments. They also urged the bill's author, Senate Pro Tem Kevin De León, to move the target dates for zero-carbon energy even earlier, noting that Cupertino was able to transition to 100% clean energy in just one year! Come on CA, let’s go carbon-free, fast!
Pictured (in alphabetical order): Kiran Aftab, Tiffany Basrai, Linda Hutchins-Knowles, Jurisa Praour, and Tara Shreekrishnan
Along side San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Mothers Out Front South Bay co-founder Linda Hutchins-Knowles spoke at a press conference unveiling the city’s ambitious new sustainability plan, called Climate-Smart San José. One of just four speakers at the press conference, Linda was tapped to represent the San Jose community because of Mothers Out Front's vital role in mobilizing public support for a key component of the plan, SanJose’s new community choice energy program. Climate-Smart San José positions San Jose as one of the only major U.S. cities to release a detailed and comprehensive blueprint for how to achieve the emissions reductions goals of the Paris Climate Agreement—and in a way that seeks to uplift and enrich the entire community including those of limited economic means.
Left to right: Audrey Rust and Michael Kutelik of San Jose Community Energy Advocates; Linda Hutchins-Knowles, Kat Baumgartner and Jane Mulcaster of Mothers Out Front.
Mothers Out Front South Bay (San Jose) partnered with 350 Silicon Valley, Acterra, and the Asian Law Alliance to attract a standing-room only crowd to a town hall on climate change with local Assembly Members Evan Low and Marc Berman. The evening kicked off with the delivery, by two children, of 94 hand-signed postcards collected by the South Bay team asking these Assembly Members to support SB 100, the California Clean Energy Act.
Click below to watch the 350 Silicon Valley Facebook live broadcast of the event. At about 5 minutes in, you will see Linda from Northern California Mothers Out Front and two young activists deliver their postcards at the town hall.
Six members of our San Jose team, Mothers Out Front South Bay, recently met with California Assemblymember Evan Low as part of their ongoing campaign to promote the California Clean Energy Act (SB 100). The mothers passionately conveyed their concern about increasing climate impacts, like the recent California wildfires, and asked Asm Low to prioritize ensuring a safe climate for all children.
As SB 100 gets reintroduced in January, Mothers Out Front South Bay will continue to partner with local allies like 350 Silicon Valley, 350 Bay Area, and the Sierra Club to mobilize support for its swift passage. When passed, SB 100 will accelerate California’s renewable energy targets, making the Golden State the largest economy on earth committed to getting 100% of its power from wind, solar, and other clean alternatives by 2045! (California residents, click here to show YOUR support!)
Mothers Out Front showed up to support the youth plaintiffs, ages 10-21, of Our Children’s Trust (who are suing the federal government for the right to a safe planet) as they appeared for a hearing at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on December 11. Mothers Out Front Expansion Organizer Linda Hutchins-Knowles took the train up from San Jose to attend the rally and press conference. Afterwards, she met climate scientist James Hansen, whose granddaughter is one of the plaintiffs; Julia Olson, legal counsel for the youth; and some local mothers who are interested in starting a Mothers Out Front team in San Francisco. All are eagerly awaiting the court’s ruling. You can learn more about this historic case and watch the fascinating hour-long hearing here. More about the San Francisco hearing and rally here.
At the press conference:
Mothers Out Front South Bay sent a representative to testify at a key meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco on December 6th. BAAQMD is the agency charged with regulating air pollution and emissions in the wider San Francisco Bay Area, including those produced by the East Bay Oil Refinery Corridor.
Representing both Mothers Out Front and the Silicon Valley Climate Action Alliance, Linda Hutchins-Knowles gave a passionate speech urging the Directors to protect local frontline communities by ending pollution trading and credit programs for toxic pollutants—especially by phasing out emission trading of particulate matter PM 2.5—and by reintroducing and strengthening proposed Rule 12-16 that has overwhelming public support.
Linda reminded the Directors that “we parents are counting on you to ensure healthy air today and a livable climate tomorrow. The actions you take will impact current and future generations for years to come.”
On October 17, 2017, Mothers Out Front presented the case for Community Choice Energy (CCE) to Tustin City Council. This was the first time a community organization was asked to present CCE to a city council in Orange County!
What is Community Choice Energy?
Here’s the scoop on what Community Choice Energy does:
Cities (or groups of cities) set up a non-profit entity to purchase electricity for residents and businesses.
Empowers the community to decide where their electricity is generated.
Reduces a city’s carbon footprint by as much as half.
Stabilizes rates by introducing competition into the electricity market.
Can offer residents additional rebates on electric vehicles or invest in other programs like community solar to lower utility costs for renters
Mothers Out Front South Bay (San Jose) recently organized a very successful and creative event called Just Desserts: Discussing Climate Justice with our Local Representatives. A standing-room-only crowd of 70 people enjoyed delicious desserts while sharing with Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Ash Kalra their ideas for how to promote climate justice in California.
Young people in middle and high school formed a significant portion of the audience and put to good use the opportunity we gave them to ask questions first. Many of the comments reflected a deep desire for a just transition to renewable energy in a way that includes and uplifts frontline communities. Senator Beall and Assemblymember Kalra took note of participants’ ideas and committed to continuing to champion climate justice in upcoming legislative season starting in January. People with suggestions for bills are encouraged to contact Mothers Out Front South Bay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A large crowd gathers for Mothers Out Front South Bay’s Just Desserts climate justice event at a library in San Jose. Speaking in front is Assemblymember Ash Kalra and to his left is Senator Jim Beall.