Although the holiday break is just around the corner, we're keeping busy as we gear up for the 2019 legislative season. Our team has been building power in states across the country to set us up to #PutAPriceOnIt in 2019. Read on to see what our leaders have been up to, and join us to make 2019 the year we win on climate.
We are so excited to share Our Climate’s 2018 Annual Report with you. It has been a transformative year for our organization, and we couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve done together. We hope you’ll take a moment to read it, celebrate our accomplishments, and consider supporting Our Climate as we gear up to win state-level climate policy in 2019.
Zina Precht-Rodriguez is a senior at Columbia University where she is majoring in Human Rights with a concentration in Sustainable Development. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Zina delayed her entry into college to work at the front lines of a start-up museum focusing on climate change solutions called the Climate Museum. As an associate to the Director, Zina developed a passion for climate social enterprise and policy. She is currently pursuing her thesis focusing on the "right to the city" in sustainable development models. She was an Our Climate Fellow in the Fall of 2017.
Zina with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Our Climate is a network of students and young people deeply concerned about the future of our planet. As it is our generation and future generations who will bear the worst consequences of climate change, we believe that policymakers must take immediate steps to decarbonize our economy. This week, Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), John Delaney (D-MD), Francis Rooney (R-MD) and Charlie Crist (D-FL) introduced H.R. 7173 the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act” (EICDA) into the House of Representatives. Another Republican, Dave Trott of Michigan, has also co-sponsored the bill. The bill establishes ambitious pollution reduction goals and charts a viable path forward for the U.S. to transition to clean energy. We are proud to support it.
By now you’ve probably heard that I-1631, which would have been the country’s first carbon fee, did not pass. Big oil spent an unprecedented amount of money—over $31 million—to defeat us. It was a punch-in-the-gut reminder that we are up against the most profitable industry in the country, and they will do whatever it takes to protect their bottom line even if it threatens our health, communities and future.
While there are still many votes to count, initial returns are not as strong as we had hoped for Initiative 1631, the carbon fee ballot measure in Washington State. We will continue to watch closely as votes come in; currently only 64% of precincts are reporting, and we anticipate that strong youth support will be reflected in later returns.
Nicol is a rising Junior at Skidmore College where she studies Environmental Science and History and is the President of Skidmore’s Environmental Action Club. She has been volunteering with Our Climate since February and is excited to work on supporting carbon pricing, which she views as a real and tangible solution. Nicol is particularly interested in pursuing environmental health-related fields upon graduation and enjoys watching bad game shows, doing yoga, writing and taking photos of her cat, Pepper, in her spare time.
Allison is currently a senior at Binghamton University where she is double majoring in political science and environmental policy with a minor in immigration studies. She has long had a passion for environmental advocacy and spent her last two summers working at summer camps trying to instill the same passion in our youth. She spent a week this summer in Washington lobbying for carbon pricing and learning climate advocacy skills that she is excited to use during her fellowship. Her career goals include working with climate refugees either at a non-profit or in government. When she is not advocating for the environment, she directs the SA Advocates program on her campus (a program designed to assist students going through conduct violations) and is currently working on a congressional campaign in her home district.
Summer Dean is from Brush Prairie, Washington. She is entering her fourth and final year in the environmental studies program at Portland State University. Summer believes that climate change is the biggest problem our species will ever face. Our natural systems are unraveling, and many communities are already suffering around the world. She cares about climate change action because not only is it necessary for our survival, but it presents an opportunity for us all to unite on a common issue and transform our society into something better than we could ever imagine. She sees climate change action not just as a response to suffering but an opportunity to fix the broken, oppressive system that caused this crisis in the first place. She is working with Our Climate this fall because we need a rapid transformation of our energy system, one that requires effective climate policies like Washington’s Initiative 1631.
Jordan Stevenson is a Fall Fellow with Our Climate studying at Eastern Washington University. She is from Vancouver, WA.