Last Wednesday, June 1st, on the same day that Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the Portland, OR, City Council and Multnomah County Commission committed to a just transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and to meet all energy needs, including transportation, heating and cooling, and electricity, with 100% renewable energy by 2050. Both of these resolutions were adopted by unanimous votes of those present. (Councilor Amanda Fritz was absent from the Portland City Council meeting.)
This is a very big deal! These 2 landmark 100% Renewable Energy Resolutions are among the strongest resolutions of their kind in the nation.
At the bottom of this post there is a list of articles about the resolutions which will help you understand how important they are.
Before the hearing there was a rally with speakers, among them, Beyond Coal Organizer Laura Stevens, pictured here. Photo Credit Colin McClean
Both floors of the Portland City Council Chamber were filled, requiring the city to open up an overflow room with over 200 people in attendance. Photo Credit Colin McClean
If you would like to read the resolutions that were adopted here are links to the Portland resolution and the Multnomah County [link coming soon] resolution.
We owe our success in getting these strong resolutions passed in large part due to the groundwork laid down during the work on the campaign to block Portland General Electric (PGE) from adding 2 new fracked gas powered plants to the Carty-Boardman site (read the blog post on that campaign ). That campaign was organized by first reaching out to partner groups and then developing a campaign plan based on inputs from all member groups. When it came time to develop a campaign plan for these 100% Renewable Energy Resolutions we repeated this process and added new partner groups.
This victory was made possible by the work of our amazing Sierra Club volunteers along with the work of hundreds of other dedicated volunteers from our allies.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who contributed to this effort by:
- Talking to People About What is Important to you
- Comment Card Collecting
- Comment Card Processing
- Phone Banking
- Submitting Email Comments
- Encouraging Your Circle of Contacts to Submit Email Comments
- Calling Elected Officials
- Making Banners and Public Hearing Props
- Helping to Stage Rallies and Hearings
- Planning and Attending Rallies
- Planning, Testifying and Attending Hearings.
Individually, each of these actions does not seem like it’s accomplishing much.
But look what happens when you put them all together!
The next time someone asks you: “What can one person do to make a difference?” You can tell them:
Join the Sierra Club!
Activism Makes a Difference!
There is one more important point that needs to be understood. Getting these strong resolutions passed is not the end of this work, it is the beginning. We need to be a part of the process of implementing these resolutions in a way that is true to their intent. Strong implementation is critical to getting what we really want:
An Energy System Free From Fossil Fuels Closely coupled with: A Just Equitable Transition Where All Members of Society Have Their Voices Represented and Can Thrive
If you want to be a part of this important work, contact one of the following people:
Nakisha Nathan, Climate Justice Organizer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Stevens, Beyond Coal Organizer, email@example.com
Gregory Monahan, Chair, Beyond Gas & Oil Team, firstname.lastname@example.org