The Sierra Club Foundation is working to support a new environmental movement: one that recognizes that all people deserve a healthy planet as well as equal protection under the law, educational and economic opportunity, a voice in our democracy, and the right to live free of discrimination and violence. The Foundation provided seed funding to the Sunrise Movement Education Fund to elevate climate change as an urgent priority and to expose the corrupting influence of the fossil fuel industry on our democracy. The Foundation also provided grant support to the 100% NGO Network to organize a national solutions tour in collaboration with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign to showcase frontline community leaders who are creating quality jobs and affordable housing as they advance a 100 percent clean energy vision in their neighborhoods.
While the past year brought unprecedented challenges, we also built unprecedented people power. With communities and lands increasingly under attack, people across the country united to successfully resist the Trump administration’s worst attempts to undermine and dismantle environmental and social progress. The cumulative impact of extraordinary local wins rooted in the strength of our movement propelled us forward, faster.
When Trump’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced plans to open the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to oil drilling, Sierra Club activists and allies turned out in record numbers to protect coastlines, towns, and beaches. Our shareholder activism complemented this federal advocacy by directly pressuring banks to stop funding fossil fuel projects due to serious financial risks and human rights violations.
In our respective organizational roles and utilizing our unique institutional capacities, the Sierra Club Foundation and the Sierra Club are forging strong, meaningful partnerships with new and existing allies to reduce pollution, ensure that the clean energy economy benefits those most impacted by injustices, and provide pathways to good jobs for those currently reliant on polluting and extractive industries.
THREAT: CORRUPTION OF DEMOCRACY
The federal policy landscape changed significantly after the 2018 midterms brought in a new wave of pro-conservation elected officials, who are already setting to work on bold new initiatives to combat climate change and protect public lands. In 2018, Sierra Club’s Democracy Program, fiscally sponsored by the Sierra Club Foundation, worked in partnership with a nonpartisan array of organizations in 22 states to advance voting rights and curb the influence of money in politics.
Transformative partnerships are integral to building an inclusive movement. The Sierra Club worked with communities across the Midwest and South to fight industrial pollution and ensure that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color also benefit from a transition to a clean energy economy. We also supported clean energy job training programs, including a union training center in the African American community of North Minneapolis, to provide pathways to family-sustaining careers.
The Sierra Club led organizing efforts against the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, driving turnout at listening sessions across the country and submitting more than 56,000 public comments opposing the highly polluting replacement plan.
Sierra Club members and supporters, along with advocacy by the Sierra Club Foundation among its peer philanthropic and investor institutions, called directly on financial institutions to stop funding dirty fuel projects.
After the new offshore drilling proposal was released, the Sierra Club and allies organized massive turnout at hearings up and down the U.S. coasts. More than 500 people came to the hearing in North Carolina, the largest turnout ever seen by officials on the East Coast, despite the five-hour drive inland for many coastal residents.
SOURCE: 5. THE DATA IS A SAMPLE REPRESENTATION OF OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, AS WE CONTINUE TO BUILD AND EXPAND OUR PARTNERSHIP AND COALITION WORK AROUND THE COUNTRY.