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A Press Conference and Vigil to Oppose Coal in Oakland, Feb 16

dreamstime_Coal trainThere will be a press conference sponsored by several faith and environmental groups at 4:30.   Then the vigil will be held from  5:00 – 6:00 pm at Oakland City Hall (Frank Ogawa Plaza). The Oakland City Council needs to hear from people of faith about our deep concern about the negative impacts on the health of our brothers and sisters in West Oakland if this proposed project proceeds. (See below for City Council members you can contact). For more information contact Rev Laurie Manning, revlauriemanning@gmail.com.

Pastor Laurie’s statement on coal in Oakland.

Some organizations supporting this:

350BayArea.org http://www.350bayarea.org/coal-free_oakland_city_council_20160216

OccupyOakland.org https://occupyoakland.org/event/no-coal-in-oakland-city-council-meeting/

Article in New York Times

WHERE:

Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza, in front of

Oakland City Hall. (1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza)

WHAT CAN I DO?

City council members really need to know how the people that they represent feel about Coal so that they may take action and stop this disastrous plan. You can;

1.     Sign the MoveOn petition to tell the city Council to stop Big Coal

2.    Copy this email and send it to your neighborhood listserv if you live in Oakland. Otherwise, forward it to everyone you know in Oakland

3.     Call and write Oakland city council members.   Email is easy to ignore, a phone call isn’t.  It doesn’t hurt to do both

Below is a brief script for calling and the text of a sample email. Feel free to personalize them.

To find your council district click here:

District 1 Dan Kalb   

   238-7001 dkalb@oaklandnet.com

District 5 Noel Gallo

238- 7005 ngallo@oaklandnet.com    

District 2 Abel Guillen

238-7002 aguillen@oaklandnet.com

District 6 Delsey Brooks

238-7006 dbrooks@oaklandnet.com

District 3 Lynette Gibson McElhaney

238-7003  lmacelhaney@oaklandnet.com

District 7 Larry E. Reid 

238-7007

lreid@oaklandnet.com

District 4 Annie Campbell Washington

238-7004

ACampbellWashington@oaklandnet.com

At Large Rebecca Kaplan

238-7008 rkaplan@oaklandnet.com

 

Mayor Libby Schaaf 

238-3141 lschaaf@oaklandnet.com

Phone:

“Hi, My name is _____________ and I live and vote in your Council district. I’m concerned that the city of Oakland could become a terminal for shipping coal. West Oakland does not deserve the negative health and toxic environmental impacts of mile-long coal trains shedding coal dust. Coal must be prohibited from the new export terminal. I call on you as my city council representative to pass an ordinance banning coal on health and safety grounds.”

Thank you

Email:

Subject:   Coal trains

Dear Mr./Ms./ council member,

My name is _____________ and I live and vote in your Council district. I’m concerned that the city of Oakland could become a terminal for shipping coal. West Oakland does not deserve the negative health and toxic environmental impacts of mile-long coal trains shedding coal dust. Coal must be prohibited from the new export terminal. I feel strongly that it would be a terrible mistake to expose our community to this toxic commodity.  I call on you as my city council representative to pass an ordinance banning coal on health and safety grounds.”

Thank you 

  This action section was prepared by Heather MacLeod, Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network (A-ICAN)

Don’t Ship Coal Through Oakland

dreamstime_Coal trainWhy Rev. Laurie is against coal in the Port of Oakland..

The “Golden rule” of all the world’s religions teaches us to care about our neighbors.  Who doesn’t care about the kid down the street breathing dirty air?

As Flint has made us all aware, these are matters that particularly impact poor children of color. West Oakland has many parallels. This is a local health issue, especially for the children of West Oakland who are already contending with fumes & noise from the heavy volume of diesel trucks & other pollution from the port. What if it were your children?  Jess Dervin-Ackerman of the Sierra Club points out that “major organizing victories squashing export proposals in Oregon and Washington mean that Big Coal has turned its sights on California.  Bay Area communities are already burdened by poor air quality caused by our five oil refineries and the shipping industry. We even have some coal snaking through our neighborhoods by rail and shipping out of a private terminal in Richmond. Now Oakland is in Big Coal’s crosshairs.”

It’s a bad investment for Oakland, for both the short term and the long term.  The coal industry is rapidly failing, and demand is rapidly falling. Why would you want to invest in something going in the wrong direction, even in the short term, as major coal companies are going bankrupt? We’re living in a time when you can make good financial arguments about it. Things have really shifted because, in many states, renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel . The second line of defense from the fossil fuel industry is denial, and the first line of defense is money – it’s going to cost us too much. However, as  Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize economist, has recently noted, fossil fuels are way of past, renewals are way in the future – if we care about the future, we care about switching.

In 1987 the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice published an explosive report entitled Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States. People of color, especially African-Americans, the report demonstrated, are the most likely victims of industrial pollution. Based on the findings, Reverend Ben Chavis helped launch the movement against “environmental racism.”

 “Environmental racism is racial discrimination in environmental policymaking. It is racial discrimination in the enforcement of regulations and laws. It is racial disccrimination in the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste disposal and the siting of polluting industries. It is racial discrimination in the official sanctioning of the life-threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in communities of color. And, it is racial discrimination in the history of excluding people of color from mainstream environmental groups, decision-making boards, commissions, and regulatory bodies.”

– Rev. Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

“Environmental justice advocates are not saying, ‘Take the poisons out of our community and put them in a white community.’ They are saying that no community should have to live with these poisons. They have thus taken the moral high road and are building a multicultural and inclusive movement that has the potential of transforming the political landscape of this nation.”

– Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

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