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TAKE ACTION: A Community-Led Climate/COVID-19 Recovery

On Saturday, Join an Online Conversation to Help Develop a Community-Led Climate/COVID-19 Recovery for San Antonio.

{EDITOR’S NOTE, 10.30.2020: Thanks to all who attended. View full event video here.}

A recovery plan that is capable of meeting the challenges of today’s many colliding crises must center the needs of those most exposed to the violence of accelerating extreme weather, exclusionary and racist city planning, and public health threats like COVID-19. The Community Forum for a Just Climate/COVID-19 Recovery in San Antonio will use the principles of environmental justice to explore community-based solutions around the struggle for equitable water, energy, and food systems; racism, public health, and policing; just employment; and housing security.

San Antonio Community Forum: A Just Climate+COVID-19 Recovery
2PM-5PM Central, October 24, 2020
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We will learn from our neighbors here in San Antonio as well as friends helping lead the way elsewhere in the US.

Speakers Include:
Diana Lopez, Southwest Workers Union
Doug Melnick, COSA Office of Sustainability
Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Ironbound Community Corporation (NJ)
Greg Harman, Sierra Club
Jovanna Lopez, SA Food Policy Council
Meredith McGuire, Professor Emerita
Alfred Montoya, Trinity University
Cris Eugster, CPS Energy
Kari Fulton, Climate Justice Alliance (DC)
Marisol Cortez, Author, ‘Luz at Midnight’

It’s been a year since the San Antonio’s City Council adopted the San Antonio’s Climate Action and Adaptation plan to reduce our contribution to the climate crisis while preparing our residents for accelerating extreme weather. Since that time, the damages wrought by pandemic, intense heat, and entrenched race- and class-based disparities have laid bare our city’s vulnerabilities with deadly results, especially for the low-income and residents of color.

It is more clear than ever that San Antonio needs a plan to rapidly eliminate the harms created by structural inequities and our power utility, while maximizing the opportunities CPS Energy can bring to housing security, public health, and jobs in a comprehensive and just COVID-19 recovery. It’s time our Mayor and Council demand that CPS become a central part of the solution to structural inequality as the city recovers from COVID-19.

Five key policy recommendations captured in a recent Open Letter sent to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Council offers a head start on this work.

Community members and 23 community organizations called for:
  • End the Policy of Utility Disconnections for Most Vulnerable Families–Permanently
  • Prioritize home improvement and rooftop solar (and jobs) in historically neglected communities.
  • No Rate Increases Until Our Utility Rate Structure is Fair
  • Develop Community-Driven Resource Planning
  • Shut Down the Spruce Coal Plant by 2030

But there is yet much to learn from one another.