Giving Thanks: Updates from Fossil Free California

We’re Sprinting! 

As wildfires rage up and down the state, many of our friends and families are once again under mandatory evacuation orders. Those who are still safe are taking in climate refugees. We are more determined than ever to call out the big investors—like CalPERS and CalSTRS—who continue to support fossil fuels.

2019 has been a time of growth and change for Fossil Free California, thanks to the energy of new team members and the youth activists from Earth Guardians Bay Area Crew and Youth vs Apocalypse, who have added so much heart and soul to our Divest CalSTRS campaign. We are still largely volunteer-led, and we are sprinting fast.

With ongoing support from our donors, plus grants from the Wallace Global Fund, Clif Bar Foundation, and the Rose Foundation, we have been able to rent an office space and amplify our outreach with part-time paid staff.  In July, Vanessa Warheit became our first Executive Director, and Casey Loosbrock was named Volunteer Coordinator and Communications Manager. Volunteer Cynthia Kaufman joined the Steering Committee as co-leader of the Divest CalSTRS campaign, whose intergenerational justice actions have been shaking things up at CalSTRS. See their Bios.
Want to help us sprint faster?  Become a sustaining donor.

Donate to Fossil Free CaliforniaThis harvest season is a time of giving thanks for our allies, and for the youth activists who are returning to CalSTRS on November 6. On November 1, we are having a party at the Berkeley City Club with the theme “Honoring Our Ancestors, Protecting Our Future”. The MC will be Josh Kornbluth, a great supporter of local nonprofits and climate activism. Here’s a link to the invitation, in case you are in the area or just want to support.

Green Fondo Recap

Riders pedal Rock the Bike's speakers at the afterpartyThe Climate Ride’s Green Fondo weekend in Marin County featured good riding and great camaraderie. Walker Creek Ranch, owned and operated by the Marin County Office of Education, is home to the Marin County Outdoor School and Conference Center.  Our 5-member team—David Peattie, Jeff Rosenbloom, Sandy Emerson, Jean Peters, and Chris Cocca—raised almost $6,700, ranking us #6 out of 29 teams.  David Peattie, superstar, raised $3,585 from 58 donors!  We all enjoyed Marin County’s lovely and hilly routes, and the after-party with “Bicicletas por La Paz” and speakers powered by Rock the Bike. Riders faced 30mph headwinds on Day One, which only added to the challenge.  All told, the Green Fondo raised $188,431 for climate-friendly nonprofits.

Donating Stock to Fossil Free California

If you’re over age 70 1/2, you know that you need to take an annual Required Minimum Distribution from your retirement account.  Donating appreciated shares turns the Required Minimum Distribution into tax-free support for a charity, plus a tax deduction for you. At any age, you can avoid capital gains tax on highly appreciated shares by donating the shares to a non-profit such as Fossil Free California.

Donating appreciated stock is a painless way to support your favorite charity. You pay no capital gains tax, and you can still deduct the full fair-market value of the assets you donated from your income taxes.

Fossil Free California has established a brokerage account to receive stock donations; the account comes with a dedicated broker who can answer questions and help you fill out a simple form. For more information or to set up a stock donation, contact Sandy Emerson, Treasurer at sandy@fossilfreeca.org.