Our Power Campaign: Communities United for a Just Transition
The Our Power Campaign will move local and state governments to create millions of climate jobs – jobs that meet people’s needs while caring for natural resources and ecosystems.
The world is confronting two fundamentally interrelated crises today: economic and ecological. In the U.S. alone, over 17 million people are officially unemployed, and despite a recent measure of stability in the financial markets, economists across the political spectrum recognize that global capitalism is in a deep crisis. Meanwhile the most destructive impacts of climate change–such as extreme storms and the disappearance of water sources–are threatening communities world-wide (particularly Indigenous Peoples) who have the least responsibility for climate change and the least resources to adapt to and survive it.
We believe that we can address the root causes of the climate crisis while creating meaningful work and livelihoods for a majority of the 17 million unemployed people in the US. This will require a radical transformation of the economy. AND communities are already beginning to implement real solutions to climate change that chart a path towards a more democratic, ecologically rooted economies. The Our Power Campaign will harness and amplify these community-led solutions while continuing to push for national leadership, especially in regions where “extreme energy” interests have disproportionately impacted communities as the crisis has continued to deepen.
We see our work as part of a global struggle for climate justice. The Our Power Campaign can be a powerful force to help stop catastrophic climate change because the US has the greatest historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions as well as the largest per capita emissions foot print.
Our Long Term Goals Are To:
- End the Era of Extreme Energy. We are creating transition pathways to end the era of extreme energy like fossil fuels, nuclear power, waste and biomass incineration, landfill gas, mega-hydro, and agrofuels, which pose extreme risks to human and ecosystem health, community resilience, economic equity and climate stability. This would reduce carbon emissions in line with what science says is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change while preserving healthy local ecosystems and communities. Mitigation and adaptation must be practiced in tandem, and aligned to address the root causes of the problem.
- Implement a Just Transition to Local Living Economies in which 10 million good, green, and family-supporting jobs are created for unemployed, and underemployed people, and workers formerly employed by extreme energy industries. The goal is to build a national “climate jobs” program in 5-10 years. Our re-localized economies will be ecologically grounded, produce community wellbeing, democratize decision-making, and promote local control of resources (including land, water, and food systems).
The Our Power Campaign will achieve a just transition through:
BUILDING LOCAL LIVING ECONOMIES.
We will build a “local living economy” model that centers on:
- Zero Waste
- Regional Food Systems
- Public Transportation
- Clean Community Energy
- Efficient, Affordable, and Durable Housing
- Ecosystem Restoration and Stewardship
Our goal is to create living examples of how communities can put people to work transforming their localities, while reducing both cost and pollution burden for present and future generations. These local living economy models are being built through just transition Our Power Communities.
BUILDING COMMUNITY RESILIENCE.
We will create climate jobs that will build stronger, resilient, more equitable communities through:
- Grassroots Economies – The best way to ensure that local economies are built in the best interests of local communities is to create structures that workers and local communities collectively control, and allow them to make democratic decisions on how to run them. Cooperatives provide an important model to meet community needs and strengthen worker/community governance.
- Rights to Land, Water, and Food Sovereignty – With a deepening climate crisis, community rights to land, water and food sovereignty are increasingly necessary to both adapt to climate impacts and mitigate the causes of climate change. From Indigenous Peoples’ struggles to retain ancestral water rights, to the creation of local seed banks, to burgeoning urban and rural struggles for local land reform – resource rights are an effective solution for a just transition.
OUR POWER COMMUNITIES: Local Living Economies
In the first phase, CJA will focus on supporting and highlighting a dozen Pilot “Our Power Communities” that are home to key grassroots groups who are poised to take on the extreme energy interests while leading real models of grassroots solutions for a just transition. Over time, they will provide diverse examples of urban and rural areas transitioning to local living economies in ways that address each localities unique challenges and builds on its strengths, culture, and history.
Highlighted Our Power Communities