[by Jeremy Brecher, original posted at the Nation.com]
In an era in which our political system is dominated by plutocracy, grassroots social movements are essential for progressive change. But too often our movements find themselves at loggerheads over the seemingly conflicting need to preserve our environment and the need for jobs and economic development. How can we find common ground?
Dylan Beckett, a third grade student at the ACCESS Academy, has organized a climbing fundraiser at the Portland Rock Gym to benefit organizations that promote awareness of climate change. “I was hearing scary things on the news that made me worry about the planet,” Dylan said. “Even if you do something small, it can have a big effect. Now it’s gotten even bigger than I ever thought it would!”
Dylan enlisted his parents, the school principal and other students at ACCESS Academy, and the staff at Portland Rock Gym, to organize a 3-hour Climb-A-Thon on April 4. Participating students who climb will earn pledge money for every ascent that they complete. All pledges will support the local nonprofit 350 PDX and the national organization 350.org.
“I want to show people that even if you’re a kid, if you’re worried, you can do something. You can help,” said Dylan.
On February 7th, students from the group Fossil Free Reed met with the Board of Trustees, presenting the case that fossil fuel investments run counter to the values that Reed espouses. In reply, the Board promised to give consideration to their proposal, as reported in the Portland Tribune.