Alycia Bacon is the New York Community Organizer for Mother’s Out Front and the 2023 winner of ecoAmerica’s #EveryoneEveryDay photo contest.
Last year my community hosted a rally at the state Capitol in support of the Climate Jobs and Justice package (CJJP) from NY Renews. It was one of many actions that we have taken in support of the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in New York State. Outside our group, it feels like not enough New Yorkers know about this amazing law that was passed in 2019. Lots of conversations are going on regarding the future of renewable energy in NY and it’s important that everyone be invested in seeing this law through. As we continue to push forward in the progressive movement, it’s important to remember that we are not alone. We are a community of individuals who share a common goal: to create a more just and equitable society for all. And one of the most powerful ways we can achieve this is through coalition building.
When we come together and unite our voices, we can accomplish great things. We can hold those in power accountable, advocate for policies that promote equality and justice, and create real change in our communities. But coalition building isn’t just about numbers. It’s about building relationships, sharing resources, and working towards a common vision.
The truth is though that we are heavily siloed, and it stifles our energy. Even though our goal is funding the CLCPA, we’re fighting for justice in all forms. The law was written to prioritize underserved and low-income communities, especially those who have suffered from environmental injustice. Still, the law is unfunded and means little yet. Our CJJ package would fully fund and implement the CLCPA while also expanding priorities to include protections for unions and the working class more broadly. It would protect ratepayers against energy increases during the transition and help people become part of the new economy. We can right past harms through climate justice and look forward and plan for a tomorrow where everyone has a home. Climate justice is intersectional because those most harmed are those who have been historically marginalized. And so, we need to work together and be true allies for the progressive movement.
It’s going to take a movement to strengthen our democracy. And so we must embody the future we are striving for. It’s about creating a world where everyone is valued and respected, where diversity is celebrated, and where we all have the opportunity to thrive. And the best way to create this future is to start living it now.
We can embody the future we are striving for by practicing empathy, compassion, and inclusivity in our daily lives. We can support businesses and organizations that align with our values. We can educate ourselves and others about the issues we care about. And we can use our voices to uplift and empower those who are marginalized and oppressed. Let’s come together, create instead of destroy, and inspire! We can build a world that is just and equitable for all.
ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. We help national mainstream organizations elevate their climate leadership, providing them strategy, tools and resources to: demonstrate visible climate leadership, empower climate literacy, engage all constituents, and build collective action and advocacy. We help our partners transform into national climate leaders who inspire others on solutions. ecoAmerica.org
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