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California Teens to Demand Sen. Feinstein Back a People’s Bailout and Green New Deal in Virtual Office Takeover

CALIFORNIA — On April 20, 2020, youth from across California will take over Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) office in a day-long action titled #GetGreenFeinstein, demanding a People’s Bailout, short-term economic relief and support for people and community health, and for Sen. Feinstein to treat the climate crisis as the emergency it is by backing the Green New Deal. Due to stay-at-home orders across the state, teens from California Sunrise Movement hubs will be taking over the senator’s office virtually—by flooding the senator’s phone lines, social media, email inboxes, and sidewalks across the state.

“As we face a public health crisis we were vastly unprepared for, we’re seeing the need for unprecedented change to be prepared to combat future crises,” said Ozzy Simpson, hub coordinator of Sunrise Sequoyah and founding member of Sunrise L.A. Youth. “People are struggling now and need immediate government support. Congress must act now to protect workers and communities, not corporate executives. Our response to this crisis must fight inequality, not double down on the unjust status quo.”

The group of teens are demanding that Sen. Feinstein back the Green New Deal to heal America from this crisis and rebuild the economy via worker power & solidarity and be prepared for crises in the future, such as the climate crisis, which has the potential to be more deadly, more widespread, and harder to contain than anything we’ve ever dealt with. The day-long takeover will start at 10 AM PDT with a brief livestream, and culminate with an hour-and-a-half long livestream starting at 3:30 PM PDT where youth will share stories, call in live, and more.

“Sen. Feinstein says that she is committed to protecting our climate. If she wants to live up to this commitment, then she should back the Green New Deal,” said Claire Donahue, hub coordinator of Sunrise L.A. Youth. “What is stopping her? Perhaps the over $1.3 million she has taken from the fossil fuel industry over her congressional career. It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to choose our future over her climate-denying funders and stock accounts.”

The Green New Deal, while it does center on climate action, has the potential to be applied to a variety of crises, including the coronavirus public health crisis. Medicare for All, which would eliminate private health insurance and expand Medicare to all Americans, is an integral part of the Green New Deal that would help solve health insurance gaps that are fueling the spread of coronavirus, especially among historically oppressed frontline and vulnerable communities.

When U.S. unemployment rates are set to hit 30% due to the global pandemic, the Green New Deal also offers the opportunity to create millions of good paying jobs while creating a just transition to renewable energy sources.

#GetGreenFeinstein is being organized by a coalition of teens and youth leaders concerned about the climate and coronavirus crises, including members of Sunrise L.A. Youth, Sunrise Sequoyah, and more.

On the morning of Monday, April 20, tools and guides will launch at the #GetGreenFeinstein website for those interested in taking action. In the lead up to the day of action, people are encouraged to sign up for a time on Monday to call in live on the livestream.

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Pasadena Youth to Hold Climate Action Forum for Pasadena Mayoral and City Council Candidates

Pasadena, CA — On February 4, 2020, Pasadena voters will gather at Robinson Recreation Center (1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.) to attend the city’s first-ever youth-led Climate Action Forum. All mayoral and city council candidates have been invited to attend the forum and discuss their ideas and vision for how Pasadena can be a leader on the climate crisis and be a more sustainable, climate-resilient city.

“Pasadena is in a unique position to be a leader on the climate crisis, and cities like ours have a responsibility to lead during a period of federal inaction,” said Ozzy Simpson, a senior at Sequoyah School and co-organizer of the Pasadena Climate Action Forum. “Local, systemic change—such as enhanced public transportation systems, cleaner and renewable energy, and energy-efficient buildings—from mayors and city councilmembers is required.”

For the first time in Pasadena history, the forum’s moderating panel will be composed entirely of people under the age of 35, highlighting that young people have the most at stake in addressing the climate crisis. Pasadena’s youth vote is also expected to surge in the March 3 elections, given mobilizing issues like the climate crisis and Pasadena’s elections sharing the same ballot as higher-turnout statewide and primary elections. 

Mayoral candidates will participate in their own portion of the forum from 6 to 7 PM, while city council candidates will participate from 7 to 8 PM. Prior to the forum, local environmental groups will table to share how concerned voters can get involved in their organizations. 

The Pasadena Climate Action Forum builds on the recent momentum from local students who led the September 20 and December 6 climate strikes at Pasadena City Hall in an effort to make the city take serious action against the climate crisis. At the December 6 climate strike, three city council candidates and one mayoral candidate signed the Green New Deal pledge, committing themselves to championing the legislation on a federal and local level as well as not accepting donations of over $200 from the fossil fuel industry. The sitting mayor and councilmembers were asked by local students to sign the same pledge on December 9.

The Pasadena Climate Action Forum is being organized by an intergenerational coalition of local organizations concerned about the climate crisis, including the newly formed Sunrise Sequoyah hub, Pasadena Environmental Advocates, Day One, Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, and more. If other organizations are interested in joining, please contact Ozzy and David at the numbers listed at the top of this press release.

RSVP to the Pasadena Climate Action Forum at sunrisesequoyah.org/ClimateActionForum

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Pasadena Students Behind September, December Climate Strikes Form Sunrise Hub

Pasadena, CA  After organizing two climate strikes at Pasadena City Hall this year under the name Pasadena Climate Strike, a group of nine students from Pasadena’s Sequoyah School recently formed a high school hub of the Sunrise Movement.

“Forming this hub will allow us to focus on other actions besides climate strikes and build our momentum in the lead-up to the 2020 elections,” said Ozzy Simpson, Co-President of Sequoyah’s student council and Sequoyah’s Sunrise Hub Coordinator. “I’m excited to see our hub grow and encourage change locally.”

In September, over 500 people joined the strike led by Sequoyah students and participated in a die-in. In December, about 100 people joined in another strike, die-in, and march. Over 100 people signed a petition recently asking Pasadena City Council to champion a Green New Deal and get fossil fuel money out of local elections, that students from the Sunrise Sequoyah hub presented at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The new hub has already started working on their future actions, including a climate action forum with Pasadena’s mayoral and city council candidates in February in partnership with other local environmentally-concerned organizations.

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Sunrise is building a movement led by young people to stop climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. We’re transforming our generation’s anger and frustration at witnessing a lifetime of political inaction on climate into a mass movement to build the political consensus for the real solutions to the crisis. We’re building the bridges between protest, youth organizing and electoral politics.

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Pasadena Students to Join Global Climate Strike on December 6

Students will join activists at Pasadena City Hall in demanding Pasadena City Council members pledge to support a Green New Deal and not accept donations from the fossil fuel industry

Pasadena, CA — On Friday, December 6, as world leaders gather at the UN’s annual climate conference in Madrid, Pasadena students will participate in a climate strike from 10 AM to 2 PM at Pasadena City Hall. Led by a student committee from Sequoyah School, protesters will be demanding Pasadena City Council members support a local Green New Deal and pledge to not accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies or executives. Strikers are also demanding respect of indigenous land, environmental justice, protection of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and more.

“After a successful climate strike on September 20 at Pasadena City Hall, it’s time for us to show Pasadena politicians that we’re serious when we ask them to treat the climate crisis as an emergency and to stand with students to fight for a Green New Deal,” said Ozzy Simpson, Co-President of Sequoyah’s student council and one of the students leading the Pasadena Climate Strike. “We will not stop striking until governments take swift action to combat the climate crisis we face.”

During the strike, leaders will be collecting signatures for a petition that they will deliver to City Council members at the December 9th City Council meeting asking them to officially pledge to champion a Green New Deal and not take contributions of over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, or PACs and instead prioritize the health of families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.

“We are in the midst of the sixth great extinction,” said Milo Knell, a member of the Sequoyah student committee planning the strike. “200 species of plants, insects, birds, and mammals go extinct every day. This is 1,000 times greater than the resting rate of nature. And if we don’t act soon, we may soon become just one more tragic species on this list.” 

The December strike builds on the momentum of September 20th’s historic Climate Strike, the largest youth-led climate mobilization in United States history. With over 500 people in Pasadena striking, 650,000 people in the United States striking across over 1,300 events, and 7 million worldwide, September 20th was a call for elected officials and world leaders to rise up and address the climate emergency with swift and effective policies.

In September, the Youth Climate Strike Coalition released five policy demands: respect for indigenous land, environmental justice, protecting biodiversity, the implementation of sustainable agriculture, and a Green New Deal.

The Youth Climate Strike Coalition, coordinated by Future Coalition, includes organizations such as Earth Guardians, Earth Uprising, Fridays for Future USA, Extinction Rebellion-Youth, International Indigenous Youth Council, Sunrise Movement, US Youth Climate Strike, and Zero Hour.

The Climate Strike is a multigenerational and intersectional movement, with youth-led organizations leading national organizing efforts with support from an adult coalition, including organizations such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Greenfaith, Hip Hop Caucus, NRDC, SEIU, and March On.

Find out more information about the national strikes at www.strikewithus.org 

Find out more information about the Pasadena strike at www.pasadenaclimatestrike.com

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Sequoyah School Students Will Join Climate Strike on September 20

Students will join activists in a public die-in at Pasadena City Hall

Pasadena, CA – On Friday, September 20, three days before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, high school students from Sequoyah School will participate in a climate strike and die-in. Led by a student committee, students will march from Sequoyah’s high school campus at 301 N. Orange Blvd. to Pasadena City Hall starting at 11 AM. They will remain at City Hall for an hour to participate in a public die-in, a form of protest where activists will simulate the act of being dead. Sequoyah students will be striking alongside other members of the public to demand a Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land, environmental justice, protection of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and more.

“Climate change is the biggest threat we will likely face during our lives, and with only a few years (or even months) to act, we must treat it as an emergency and combat it in every way we can,” said Ozzy Simpson, Co-President of Sequoyah’s student council and one of the students leading the Pasadena Climate Strike. “With more disastrous weather events, rising sea levels, and changing landscapes, we need to make significant changes to save this planet, and quickly.”

In the morning leading up to the strike, students at Sequoyah’s high school campus will also participate in workshops and discussions led by high school students and faculty. Discussions will focus on the causes of climate change, why people deny climate change, and how to combat climate change as individuals, among other topics.

“Climate change is a frightening, imminent reality which we are all facing, and as students, even global citizens, it is imperative that we stand together and fight for the future we want to see,” said Julian Suh-Toma, who serves with Simpson as Co-President of Sequoyah’s student council.

The Climate Strike on September 20 is part of a growing movement of youth and adults, institutional and grassroots organizations, climate-focused and social justice groups, that are coming together as a unified front to demand the change needed to protect the future of the planet. Nationally coordinated by Future Coalition, this effort includes youth organizations such as Earth Uprising, Fridays for Future USA, Extinction Rebellion-Youth, the Sunrise Movement, US Youth Climate Strike, Zero Hour, Earth Guardians and International Indigenous Youth Council. The Youth Climate Strike Coalition is steering the national campaign, with the active support, participation, and collaboration from an Adult Climate Strike Coalition, which includes leading national progressive organizations such as 350.org, Greenpeace, SEIU and March On. 

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Sequoyah offers an innovative college-preparatory curriculum in a student-centered, experiential, humanistic environment. Our community of learners thrive in a diverse community, appreciated for their individuality, and supported by a progressive approach to learning. Learn more at sequoyahschool.org.