Council 57 Supports Global Student Climate Strike

The AFSCME Council 57 Executive Board approved the following resolution in support of the September Days of Climate Action, which will take place on Sept. 20 as part of a week of actions to highlight the climate crisis:

"Whereas, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined humanity has now less than 12 years to act to avert the worst effects of a climate catastrophe; and

Whereas, climate change is already harming working families and vulnerable populations through extreme hurricanes, wildfire, drought and flooding, increased stress on the agricultural sector, record-breaking heat waves, health imapcts like heat stroke and the spread of infectious diseases; and

Whereas, climate change poses an immediate and long-term threat to all working people, our communities and our economic security, but disproportionately impacts vulnerable and marginalized frontline communities of color and low-income communities, and will leave marginalized communities with fewer economic opportunities and more environmental and health burdens; and

Whereas, climate change will impact this nation's infrastructure, and industrial and agricultural sectors, which will in turn impact jobs, the standard of living, and economic opportunity for workers and impacted communities; and

Whereas, many large corporations, especially fossil fuel corporations, have been putting profits ahead of the common good of workers, the public, and the environment, and these corporations have been granted the unjust constitutional rights and powers of person-hood, and the doctrine of money as speech through activist Supreme Court decisions thereby diminishing democracy and the voice and power of the people; and

Whereas, without taking concrete action now to address the climate crisis, the well-being and economic welfare of our youth and future generations will be severely and irreversibly jeopardized; and

Whereas, many labor organizations, including the Alameda Labor Council, and community allies have passed resolutions and/or supported bold policies, like the Green New Deal, to address the climate crisis and other pressing environmental issues; and

Whereas, the Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO Climate and Environmental Justice Caucus mission statement affirms the council's "historical support of strong economic, environmental and health protections for working families and their communities, and the urgency to take action to transition to a sustainable, just and clean economy now,"

Whereas, AFSCME Council 57 is committed to joining with the larger movement for economic, racial and environmental justice to demand a just transition for workers and frontline communities to a new sustainable energy economy; and

Whereas, every Friday, what started as a one-person protest by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, has grown to a movement of millions in over 160 countries in at least 2,000 locations as a new generation of climate activists has taken to the streets around the world to demand urgent action to meet the climate challenge; and

Whereas, youth, environmental and other social justice organizations, including those in the Bay Area, have called for a "Global Student Climate Strike" on September 20 as part of a week of actions to highlight the climate crisis, declare a climate emergency and demand urgent immediate action, such as the Green New Deal, at all levels of government and society to prevent a climate catastrophe;

Therefore, be it resolved, that AFSCME Council 57 supports the youth in the fight for their future by supporting and publicizing the September 20th Youth-Led Climate Action; and be it further

Resolved, that AFSCME Council 57 urges its local unions to stand in unity with the youth by also supporting, encouraging participation and other appropriate forms of solidarity; and be it further

Resolved, that AFSCME Council 57 will work with Youth vs. Apocalypse and other environmental organizations to help others understand the impact of climate change on our environment, economy, social welfare, health, security and the future of our children and generations that follow, and encourage their participation in the movement to meet the climate challenge by creating a rapid, just transition to an equitable and sustainable energy society.

Demands of the September Climate Actions:

  1. We demand a safe, healthy and just planet.
  2. We demand justice and asylum for people displaced by climate change.
  3. We demand policy based on science.
  4. We demand that people, not corporations, influence politics.
  5. We demand equal rights for all.
  6. We demand that humans protect the rights of nature.
  7. We demand a just transition.

Transition is inevitable. Justice is not. A just transition is the process of getting from where we are to where we need to be by transforming the systems of economy and governance. A just transition requires moving from a globalized capitalist industrial economy to linked local living participatory economies that provide well-being for all.