CAMPAIGN 03 - Legislative Advocacy
We are working in partnership with other local legislative advocacy organizations to press for laws that accelerate our society's transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, while at the same time prioritizing benefits and employment for the communities that are most vulnerable. We call this a "just transition." It is crucial that we transition rapidly away from fossil fuels to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. It is also crucial that we transition in a way that doesn't leave low income communities, union workers, and other labor behind.
The global transition to clean energy is actually a huge opportunity, if we do it right, to remake housing stock, communities, and employment in a way that is more just and where power is more evenly distributed.
In order to do this, the market cannot be left to its own devices - we need laws to guide the transition in equitable ways, so as to bring healing and empowerment to places that have been victims of historic disinvestment and oppression by American society. Pressing for these changes is upstream work - it's work designed to change the systemic patterns that have led to unregulated carbon pollution, climate degradation, and the sacrificing of communities with less power in order to benefit those with more.
Our regional organizer works in partnership with two local advocacy coalitions: POWER Interfaith and HERE4CJ.
POWER Interfaith is engaged in a wide range of advocacy campaigns. We are in partnership with them in their Climate Justice campaign, with a specific focus on their PGW Just Transition sub-campaign. In this campaign, we are working to press Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), Philadelphia's publicly-owned gas utility, to transition away from natural gas to a clean energy heating and cooling model using a technology known as networked geothermal. (You can learn more about networked geothermal here.) We have been present at numerous hearings, testifying and pressing lawmakers, gas commission officials, and PGW representatives themselves, to make this transition. A recent victory secured a $500,000 networked geothermal pilot project, as well as upcoming improvements in public accountability.
HERE4CJ (Housing Equity Repair and Electrification 4 Climate Justice) is a climate-oriented housing justice solutions coalition that is an initiative of Green Building United. Our regional organizer is part of the steering committee for this coalition. In 2021-2022, we drafted and had approved a new governmental structure for HERE4CJ. We are now entering into a new fiscal year and determining priorities and campaigns using this new structure. We have been involved in the public support effort for a bill which recently became law called the Whole Home Repair Bill. It will provide a great deal of public money for low income home repair and weatherization work around the state, which will in turn make families more healthy, help them save money, and ultimately reduce regional emissions through increased energy efficiency. You can learn about the Whole Home Repair Bill here.