Young climate activists from Sunrise L.A. Youth rallied on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the offices of four different Congressional House representatives — Tony Cardenas, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman and Grace Napolitano — to continue to push for protective climate legislation and the federal funding of a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC).
Sunrise L.A. Youth is a chapter made up of high school students representing the national Sunrise Movement, a youth-driven organization seeking to stop climate change and create millions of “green” jobs in the process.
A Civilian Climate Corps program by itself would employ 1.5 Americans to build climate resilience, reforestation, and other climate-related projects, according to the organization.
Sunrise L.A. Youth gained local attention on July 15, rallying outside the Los Angles office of Sen. Diane Feinstein, to demand her public support — and others, including President Joe Biden — to pass a fully funded, $132 billion Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act introduced by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) in April. They said they were committed to camp out in front of the office until they got her support.
Feinstein did offer support for the CCC in a tweet, although the message did not specifically mention funding or the pending Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act before Congress.
Buoyed somewhat by the acknowledgement of support from Feinstein, the Sunrise Movement is now attempting to apply similar pressure to local Congressmen and Congresswomen.
“Our overall goal is that, after the victories we had with Senators Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla, to urge our Los Angeles areas representatives to support a funded Civilian Climate Corps,” said Nadia Bashier, 15, a political lead for Sunrise L.A. Youth, and the “action lead” for the rally held outside of Cardenas’ office in Panorama City.
Schiff has a field office in Burbank. Sherman has a field office in Sherman Oaks, and Napolitano has a field office in El Monte.
“We are targeting [these four] today because we know they can become climate champions. They’ve already supported the New Green Deal, and a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps is the next step. We want to make sure we are working toward [that goal].”
The approximately 10-20 activists stood in the alleyway where Cardenas’ field office was located along with other businesses, holding a banner and making brief protest speeches.
“We’re limited in how many we can reach because we’re all young people who can barely drive,” Bashier said. “We got to who we could get to today, but we want people to know we’re watching everyone, and we want people to support [the legislation for] the Climate Corp.”
The organization had also planned a larger rally at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles later.