Though a great deal of energy and planning went into CIPL’s Cool Climate Awards, it was by no means the only focus of our energy in November. Many meetings and events focused on current legislation, community organizing and energy efficiency took place.
CIPL took part in the planning of the Multifaith Thanksgiving Service co-hosted by member congregations Sa’har Zahav and First Mennonite Church of San Francisco and cosponsored by the San Francisco Zen Center, the Indonesian Community Outreach Committee, CIPL and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. The annual event, began after the 9/11 attacks, included the collection of food for the San Francisco Food Bank. CIPL staff invited attendees to take an Energy Upgrade California survey focusing on energy efficiency practices and contributed to the liturgy a poem “The Opening of Eyes” by David Whyte and a song “What we need is here” based on a line from a Wendell Berry poem.
A Latino Health Symposium on December 10 in Lynwood focused on specifically the Latino involvement in climate change and air quality issues. Senator Ricardo Lara and Assembly Member Anthony Rendon joined experts in the field on presenting the public health, economic, and environmental justice aspects of poor air quality, especially in Southeast Los Angeles County. Students from Belmont High School and Lynwood elementary schools, as well as the larger community, were briefed on the current situation and on the myriad ways to respond to challenges.
Last year’s passage of SB 535, the community Benefits Fund, mandates that at least 25 percent of revenue from cap-and-trade auctions benefit highly impacted communities and that 10 percent of the revenue be for projects within those communities. As such, there is a huge movement to ensure that these monies do, indeed, get to the people and projects that need it most to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CIPL staff attended several workshops and meetings, including the Asian-Pacific Environmental Workshop (APEN) in late November on this topic. APEN staff and coalition members did an excellent job in explaining where in the budget cap-and-trade revenue exists, and the qualifications that must be met for a project to apply for funding. For more information on this, click here.
On December 13, CIPL staff gave a short presentation on pressing environmental concerns to the African-American Catholic Center for Evangelization (AAFFCE) at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Representatives of surrounding parishes meet monthly to discuss and take action on pressing issues and to plan for special events, such as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. annual breakfast (slated for January 17 in 2015) and the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. At this meeting, Allis Druffel encouraged Los Angeles congregations to sign up for LADWP’s Direct Install Program, and spoke about the intersection of environmental challenges and public health, economic and educational issues.
CIPL has joined with a coalition of businesses, workers, community and faith leaders and others to support California Delivers, which shows the on-going support for AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Despite an attempt by Big Oil and others to delay implementation of the law, multiple sectors of California came together to defeat the attempt and to show the overwhelming support for it in the new year. You can sign up your congregation or yourself as a supporter here.