Building more just, healthy relationships between people and establishing a more sustainable dynamic with the Earth

Author: Kevin Cross

Don’t Let Your Money be Used to Bankroll Climate Protection – Sign the Pledge!

Big Banks are playing a key role in propping up the oil and gas industry that is polluting our atmosphere. We don’t want our money to be used to bankroll climate destruction. Seventy percent of the country’s financial assets belong to Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, compared with about five percent for millennials. Who can influence the banks? We can!

So, let’s act together and use our collective power. There are two pledges, one for current customers or credit card holders of any of the Big Four Banks – Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and/or Wells Fargo (including, for example, Amazon cards issued by Chase), and one for people who aren’t currently customers.

Here’s the link for current customers of Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo to sign the pledge.

Here’s the link for for people who are NOT customers of Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo to sign the pledge.

This action brought to us by Third Act.

Ask Bennet, Hickenlooper and Neguse to Support the Iran Nuclear Deal

We heard from Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince at the salon on December 10th about the importance of the U.S. rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with Iran, also known as “the Iran nuclear deal.” Now is the time to ask our senators and representative to support this effort.

Negotiations in Vienna to restore the JCPOA are drawing to a close. Reports have shown that if all goes well, a deal may be imminent in the coming days. Securing the JCPOA would be a much needed diplomatic ray of light during a time when wars continue to devastate communities across the globe, including in Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine. Even if a revised JCPOA is signed in Vienna, we may still see a political battle for the fate of the JCPOA here in the U.S. If the deal has significant changes from the original 2015 text of the JCPOA, it may kick off a 30-day legislative fight including votes in Congress on whether or not to reject a deal. 

Please call Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, and Representative Neguse on Tuesday, March 8th, asking them to support the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to call your members of Congress, including a sample script provided by the National Iranian American Council.

Members of Congress are being lobbied hard by our war-hawk opposition –people who would benefit from another war in the Middle East. If we’re going to secure a victory for peace, we need to make sure that Congress hears more from us than they do from them. That’s why NCALF is supporting this national call-in day with organizations like NIAC Action, Win Without War, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Peace Action.

If you cannot call our Senators on Tuesday, March 8th, please do it later in the week, and thanks!

Ask City Council to Support Medicare for All

Larimer County Health Care Action has been hard at work getting Fort Collins City Council to pass a resolution in support of Improved Medicare for All. NCALF has signed on in support of this resolution. Now we need council to hear from all of you!

We are asking you to email city council letting them know that you are a member of this community, you support Medicare for All, and they should to!

Your message can be as simple as asking that they vote in favor of adopting a resolution supporting IMFA. However, personal stories about how the current health care system is negatively impacting our community, your family or your business can be very powerful.

1.     You can easily contact all city council members here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ask-city-council-to-pass-a-resolution-in-support-of-medicare-for-all 

2.     Or you can contact all city council members at cityleaders@fcgov.com

3.     Below are the phone numbers of the council members if you prefer to leave one or more of them a voice message. Go to https://www.fcgov.com/cityclerk/district-boundaries.php to locate which City Council District your home or business is in.

  1. Jeni Arndt, Mayor, 970-413-3146, jarndt@fcgov.com 
  2. Susan Gutowsky, Councilmember, District 1, 970-294-2575, sgutowsky@fcgov.com
  3. Julie Pignataro, Councilmember, District 2, 970-556-2869, jpignataro@fcgov.com
  4. Tricia Canonico, Councilmember, District 3, 970-305-6296, tcanonico@fcgov.com
  5. Shirley Peel, Councilmember, District 4, 970-217-5817, speel@fcgov.com
  6. Kelly Ohlson, Councilmember, District 5, 970-493-7225 kohlson@fcgov.com
  7. Emily Francis, Councilmember, District 6, (Mayor Pro Tem), 970-556 4748, efrancis@fcgov.com

Let Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper Know that Congress Must Provide a Pathway to Citizenship

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is asking for our help to make sure our Members of Congress know that we want a pathway to Citizenship for millions of people to be included in the Build Back Better (reconciliation) bill with or without the approval of the Parliamentarian!

The Senate parliamentarian has recommended against the inclusion of citizenship for millions in Build Back Better. We cannot let a lone, unelected staff attorney derail the hopes of millions of immigrants.  That’s why it’s crucial that we take the following steps to make sure that our Members of Congress hear us:

  1. Write your Senators and ask them to include greencards / a pathway to Citizenship in the Build Back Better (budget reconciliation) bill and ignore the parliamentarian. You can find an online form here that will let you edit a template email and then send it to Sen Bennet and Sen Hickenlooper.
  2. Call your Senators to ask them to include greencards / a pathway to Citizenship in the Build Back Better (budget reconciliation) bill and ignore the parliamentarian! Here are the phone numbers for Colorado’s Congressional delegation and a script for calling Senator Hickenlooper and Senator Bennet.

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to take action! Please share these calls to action with friends!

Tell Fort Collins City Council You Want Ranked Choice Voting

Too often, mayoral and city council elections are a choice between three or more candidates and the winner can win with less than 50% of the votes.  Ranked choice voting (RCV) ensures that the winner of an election will represent the largest group of people.  Let’s ditch the notion of just voting for the lesser of the two evils and start picking leaders that represent our views.  If you support RCV and want to use it for our Fort Collins municipal elections, please email the City Council letting them know you’re a supporter.

A sample letter is provided below.  Please personalize if you can!  And if you’re interested in more information about bringing RCV to Fort Collins, please review the salon materials posted here.

To: CityLeaders@fcgov.com

Subject: RCV in Fort Collins

Dear City Councilmembers,

I am a voter in Fort Collins city elections and a fan of Ranked Choice Voting.

I support the City Council referring RCV to the November 2022 ballot for use in our next city election in April 2023.

I intend to vote YES!

Sincerely,

[your name]

Tell Fort Collins City Council to Provide Adequate Funding for the CAP

The Fort Collins Recommended Budget for 2022 does not provide adequate funding to achieve the City’s ambitious 2030 Climate Action Plan (CAP) goal.  If all items in the recommended budget are funded, community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will drop by about 2.6% in 2022.  In order to meet the City’s goal of 80% emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, GHG emissions reductions for the rest of the decade will need to be approximately 7% each year through the end of the decade.

Please send a short e-mail to City Council (cityleaders@fcgov.com) and tell them that it’s important to provide adequate funding for the CAP.  Here are a few “talking points”:

  • The City has an ambitious goal of reducing community greenhouse gas pollution 80% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.  It’s important that the City’s budget keep us on track to meeting that goal.
  • Given recent record-breaking wildfires, hurricanes, and heat waves, the time to act on the climate crisis is now.
  • According to City staff, if all items in the 2022 Recommended Budget are funded, community emissions will decrease 2.6% next year.  To stay on track to the 2030 goal, we need to reduce our emissions by 6 – 7% annually.  The City needs to do more to protect the climate than what’s in the Recommended Budget.
  • The City of Fort Collins passed a climate emergency resolution in 2019.  It’s important that we match our words with deeds by committing the funds necessary to reach our commitments to reducing GHG pollution.
  • Areas in the Recommended Budget where we can do better are the Utilities Energy Services offer, which provides assistance to help Utilities customers reduce their use of electricity and natural gas, and Transportation and Mobility offers, which fund electric buses, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure.

For more background, see the Fort Collins Sustainability Group’s Statement on the Fort Collins 2022 Recommended Budget, which is available here.  The Fort Collins 2022 Recommended Budget is available here.

Thank you for supporting the Fort Collins Climate Action Plan!

Ask Congress to Support a Strong Build Back Better Budget

When Congress returns from its recess in September, it will resume work on the “Build Back Better Budget.” It’s important that this budget include the investments needed to both to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.  Please send a short letter to Colorado’s Congressional Delegation to make sure they receive this message.

Please write to Senator Michael Bennet, Senator John Hickenlooper, and your representative (see list here) asking them to support a strong “Build Back Better Budget.”  A sample e-message is provided below; please personalize if you have time.  If you don’t have time, just copy, paste, add the appropriate names, and send.

Dear Senator/Representative XXX:

Please support a Build Back Better Budget when you return from your August recess that addresses the climate crisis at the scale required.  The science has never been clearer that time is running out to avert the worst harms of climate breakdown.  Drought, wildfires, torrential downpours, heat waves and other extreme weather is battering communities from Arizona to Michigan to Florida, wreaking havoc in rural communities, cities and everywhere between.  We must act now with a climate budget that invests in our future.

The Build Back Better Budget must make bold, ambitious investments in the following areas:

  • A plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants by at least 80%.  The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) has called for 98% greenhouse gas pollution reductions from Colorado’s utility sector by 2030.
  • A gradual phase-out of oil and gas production over the coming decade.  The CCLC has called for 10% per year reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for a full phase-out of oil and gas production in Colorado by 2030.  People employed in the oil and gas sector can be put to work shutting down wells as production declines.
  • More clean energy jobs and a civilian climate corps to provide good jobs addressing the climate crisis to everyone who wishes to work in this area.
  • Retrofitting homes and schools to be energy efficient.
  • Affordable public transit.
  • Tax credits that expand the electric vehicle market and boost manufacturing of electric cars, trucks and buses
  • Charging stations and EV infrastructure

Additionally, the Build Back Better Budget should include a carbon fee and dividend to discourage the use of fossil fuels and return a portion of receipts to citizens and U.S. residents.

The climate crisis and environmental injustice have been ignored for far too long.  This is no time for half-measures; we must act boldly now.  Please do everything you can to pass a strong Build Back Better Budget.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Thank Ben and Jerry’s for its Recent Decision in Support of Palestinian Rights!

Last week, Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would stop selling ice cream in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the statement reads. “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”  This decision came after a long grassroots pressure campaign led by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, and supported locally by Strength Through Peace.

After Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza and its forced removals of Arab families from their homes in East Jerusalem, members of the U.S. Congress and media have given increased attention to what Human Rights Watch and Israel’s respected human rights organization, B’tselem, have described as Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.

Ben and Jerry’s decision hit a nerve in the State of Israel, elected leaders of which have unleashed a fire-storm of criticism of Ben & Jerry’s and calls for legal action under anti-boycott laws in the U.S. That criticism has resonated with some members of the U.S. Congress.

Ben and Jerry’s needs to feel a little love for taking a stance in support of Palestinian rights! Please send a short note to them through their website here letting them know that you appreciate their decision to end sales of their products in the occupied Palestinian territory. And if you’re a fan of ice cream, stop by our local Ben & Jerry’s franchise and enjoy a cup or cone. When you do, make a point of thanking staff for the company’s recent decision.

Keep Climate in the Infrastructure Bill

Tell Colorado’s Senators: No Climate, No Deal!

President Biden’s original infrastructure proposal (more formally, the American Jobs Plan) included major investments related to mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis.  However, the compromise bill designed to make infrastructure spending more palatable to Senate Republicans contains very little in the way of climate initiatives. 

Colorado’s Senators need to hear from us: “No Climate, No Deal!” Please write to Senator Michael Bennet and Senator John Hickenlooper to let them know that infrastructure programs must include a focus on the climate crisis. A sample e-message is provided below; please personalize.

Dear Senator XXX:

Please oppose any infrastructure compromise that does not include major investments in mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis.

The original American Jobs Plan included funding to make the electric grid 100% carbon-free by 2035, to switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles, and to make buildings and other structures more resilient to climate-related hazards.  This represents a good first step for our nation in doing its part to respond to the climate crisis, although much more will be required in the years to come.

The Senate majority should not cave in to the Senate minority’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of the climate crisis.  Spending at the scale needed to address the climate crisis must be approved through reconciliation before any compromise infrastructure bill designed to gain support from climate change deniers is approved. No climate, no deal!

Sincerely,

Your Name

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