A Momentous Year for Our Climate, Grow with Us!

Licia is the current Board of Directors President and former Program Director for Our Climate. After relocating to Portland from the Chicago area in 2015, Licia joined our staff as the Program Director, leading efforts in our Salmon on the Square and Youth Lobby Day events. She has since started at Lewis and Clark Law School where she is receiving a Masters of Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law and remaining involved with Our Climate at the Board level.

A lifelong environmentalist, Licia received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Environmentally Sustainable Development. Post-college, she became a writer at Groupon where she co-founded a Green Committee and worked with department heads to create and/or enhance the company’s environmental initiatives. She then worked as a start-up consultant for a B-corp in India, Mana Organics, which sells organic tea and produce and uses profits to train rural farmers on organic farming methods.  Just prior to her work with Our Climate, Licia was the executive director for an after-school program and resource center for low-income, Latino families in the Chicago area. She brings her experiences in international development, social justice, and environmental policy to Our Climate and is most passionate about engaging other young people in the process!


Before the year is up, I want to thank you for your continuous support of Our Climate. Your shared commitment to climate action makes Our Climate’s mission -- to mobilize and empower the generations most affected by climate change to pass strong climate policy -- truly achievable.

This morning, I was reminiscing about the event our team organized in Portland, Oregon last year. Over 1,000 climate policy supporters from around the state created hand-decorated tiles displaying their love for Oregon and why they fight to protect it. Together we built a vibrant, 75-foot-long, salmon mosaic --- a symbol that depicted our beloved Pacific Northwest. I was so inspired by the vast number of community supporters like yourself who elevated their voices for strong climate policy and the protection of our environment. It became clear to me that I am not alone in this fight for climate stability. Together our voices are powerful.

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Over the past year, this inspiration has only grown -- and what a year it has been for Our Climate. In February, we organized a Youth Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol, where dozens of students asked lawmakers to support legislation that would protect their future. The award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously joined us to spread the word about Our Climate’s unique, youth-led effort to enact carbon pricing. In August, our commitment to empower young people and to hold polluters accountable expanded to the national level. Our Climate & Years of Living Dangerously collaborated to launch the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign.

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Through the dedication of volunteers, support from donors, and our growing partnership with the Years of Living Dangerously team, the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign has taken off tremendously. Together we have a list of accomplishments to be proud of:

  • We successfully added carbon pricing to the Democratic National Committee platform. This big win came after Our Climate’s co-founder Camila Thorndike presented to a platform committee, and many of you backed her ask with testimony and comments.

  • We've recruited and trained 60 students and recent graduates across the country to actively work toward enacting a price on carbon. The #PutAPriceOnIt campaign is now at 30 universities, where our student leaders have organized dozens of outreach events and held over 60 conversations with state and federal lawmakers to demonstrate support for carbon pricing.

  • We’ve brought the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign to 18 conferences and coalition convenings across the country, to convey the urgency felt by young people to address climate change, and grow movement support for carbon pricing. The partnerships we’ve established, from the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition to Citizens Climate Lobby to state climate coalitions, will allow our work to grow and strengthen.

  • We’ve garnered the support of more than 11,000 individuals through outreach events and online action platforms. All 11,000 of them are ready to keep taking action, to exponentially grow our movement in 2017.

  • Thanks to Years of Living Dangerously’s incredible work, the campaign has reached over 700,000 people on social media, and each week celebrity correspondent Nikki Reed shares the stories of our young leaders with her 1.5 million followers.

  • Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, TreeHugger, and ThinkProgress have all featured the campaign, recognizing the power of young advocates calling for a price on carbon.

Our tireless team of carbon pricing leaders -- staff, fellows, volunteers, supporters, donors, YOU -- has jump-started this movement in a matter of months. The end of the year is often a time when we give thanks, reflect on our blessings, and dream of what’s to come next. While the Our Climate team reflects on how far we’ve come as a movement and community of climate activists, we are also filled with excitement thinking about where we will go together in the future.

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National Field Organizer, Tom Erb, speaking on a World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition panel

Heading into 2017, Our Climate plans to expand student programs and actively support efforts to price carbon in target states around the country. Through creative activism and community outreach, we will continue to grow a diverse and powerful youth coalition. We have already taken steps to gain more support from rural communities by hiring a new development coordinator located in the Midwest, as well as an organizer in New England.

If you are inspired by young leaders advocating for our climate, please consider supporting our efforts and donating before the year is up! I can’t imagine what we will be reflecting on in December 2017, but with your help I imagine we’ll be celebrating the passage of strong, inclusive, and equitable carbon prices all over the country. We hope you’ll join us as we turn the page, and march onward into 2017.


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