I hope this email finds you in good health and hanging in there! As we continue to adjust to life during a pandemic, we’ve continued to adapt the way we practice our activism and create community.
I hope that the contents of this newsletter help you find a sense of hope during this unprecedented time.
In Safety and Solidarity,
Casey for Fossil Free California
May 26 Just Transition Workshop POSTPONED
We are sorry to say that Fossil Free California needs to postpone our May 26 webinar on Just Transition and the Roadmap to Regenerative Economies, planned for May 26. We look forward to rescheduling this forum later in the year. In the meantime, we encourage you to read Movement Generation’s excellent “Just Transition Zine”.
Because of your interest in a Just Transition, we would like to share with you that several of us at FFCA have enrolled in a four-session workshop on “Transforming White Privilege,” which we see as a core part of effective work for climate justice. As a resource, check out “Why We Can’t Save the World without Addressing Racism and Classism”, by Carolyn Clara of Youth vs Apocalypse.
A key part of our work at FFCA in the past year has been our collaboration with the youth groups Earth Guardians Bay Area Crew and Youth vs Apocalypse. As an organization that is deeply committed to building multiracial, cross-class, and cross-age coalitions and relationships, we are choosing to step back from some of our other work in order to prioritize strengthening those relationships.
We’ll let you know when we are ready for the next webinar. Until then, we wish you health and safety in this turbulent and transformative time.
Vanessa and the Fossil Free California team
CalSTRS May 7 Meeting
At CalSTRS’ first virtual public meeting since the state’s shelter-in-place order and the stock market’s recent collapse, members of Fossil Free California and Earth Guardians waited hours before delivering powerful testimony to the CalSTRS’ Investment Committee. In violation of the Bagley-Keene Act, the committee voted on items without first hearing public comment; they also forced callers to wait almost three hours to speak, and avoided any discussion of the over $1.6B in losses incurred from fossil fuel investments since July of last year.
Big Oil Takes a Back Seat at JP Morgan Chase
After 33 years (19 as Lead Independent Director) Lee Raymond’s tenure on the Board of JP Morgan Chase has been seriously challenged. A group of shareholder activists and environmentalists in the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition mounted a strong campaign to remove Lee Raymond from Chase’s Board by calling for votes against his re-election at the May 19 Chase Annual General Meeting (AGM). After today’s vote, Raymond remains on the Board, but he is no longer Lead Independent Director.
In the run-up to the AGM, JP Morgan Chase promised to appoint a new Lead Independent Director after strong concern from shareholders regarding the re-election of Raymond, a former CEO of ExxonMobil and noted climate science denier, to that post. The fact that Raymond will remain on the Board as a Director is of continued concern to investors. Recently the State Treasurers of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin joined the Pennsylvania Treasurer, the Comptrollers of New York City and New York State, CalPERS, and other shareowners in opposing his re-election. Fiona Ma, State Treasurer of California, sided with the CalPERS staff recommendation against Raymond, and CalSTRS also voted against returning Lee Raymond to the Board.
Last Chance Alliance: Protect Public Health around Oil Drilling
The California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) is giving community members a wide array of tools and methods to make their thoughts known on rules for oil drilling in the state. As expected, Big Oil’s lobbyists are providing plenty of input. If you care about the impacts of fossil fuels on the climate and public health, here’s your chance to speak out against new fossil fuel projects and call for 2500 foot setbacks to protect homes and schools.
This rulemaking process is our chance to urge the State of California to establish a 2,500-foot health-and-safety buffer zone between fossil-fuel infrastructure and homes, schools, and other sensitive sites.
Will you take action with us? Complete these 4 steps to make our demands heard. Read more:
Support During Trying Times
For the month of June, we ask you, our members, to support our work with a monthly donation. The current crisis presents opportunities to steer California’s financial investments toward a just, green recovery, and your support will enable us to make more progress now than ever. The CARES Act has also expanded tax deductions for charitable giving, to encourage non-itemizers to donate more in this time of need. Learn more here.
In addition, we support our many allies fighting for climate justice and human dignity. Jesus Villalba is a member of our sister organization Youth vs. Apocalypse. He is graduating from high school this month in Los Angeles, with a dream of becoming an interpreter for Indigenous communities. He has been accepted to several Cal State universities, but as an undocumented youth, he faces tremendous financial barriers. Please consider sharing his story and supporting the efforts to fund his first year of college.
Meet Lynne! One of Our Dedicated CalSTRS Volunteers
Lynne Nittler is a CalSTRS retiree from Davis, California. She’s been involved in the climate movement since the first Earth Day in 1970 while she was a sophomore at UC Davis! In 2010, she founded Cool Davis to work on local solutions to reduce carbon emissions. Once Lynne personally divested she became more serious about joining the divestment movement by attending CalSTRS rallies. About her volunteer work with CalSTRS, Lynne said, “Now, I’m making Fossil Free California a priority because we need that level of work to shift off of fossil fuels!”
This picture is Lynne with a poster she made during our Digital Art Build with swiss chard from her garden.
If you want to join Lynne in volunteering with Fossil Free California, sign up here!
We are gearing up for June’s Virtual Rally for FireDrill Friday! June’s rally will be bringing together another incredible group of experts to celebrate World Oceans Week.
– Join the Rally Friday June 5th at 10:20am PST – 12:00pm PST
– Go to Fire Drill Friday’s Facebook page to join the rally on Facebook Live