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Over the years community organizing with BIPOC and frontline leadership has helped push Portland and Multnomah County to adopt bold, equity- and justice-focused climate planning and policies, including :
- Climate Action Plan (City & County, 2015)
- 100% Renewables Resolution (City & County, 2017)
- Portland Clean Energy Fund (voter-approved measure 2018, adopted City policy)
- Climate Emergency Declaration (City, 2020)
These were huge wins moving us towards a fossil-free world and climate justice!
But getting the policy passed is often just the beginning. These policies have to be implemented, enforced, turned into real life progress, and safeguarded. Unfortunately, the bold commitments made in resolutions like the 100% Renewable Energy Resolution and the Climate Emergency Declaration can end up being words on paper that are not followed by resources and actions.
Once the spotlight is gone it can be easy for local leaders to stop paying attention, or worse, to start listening to groups like the Portland Business Alliance who will try to water down and hobble policies that they don’t like.
So we need to be vigilant and keep the spotlight on this important work. In short, we need to watchdog.