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Grassroots Organizing

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None of our work would be possible without giving credit to the company we keep.

Start:Empowerment Understands that community is "family" and that "extends far beyond last names and DNA. it's the love we show when we show up for those who need us, and say 'Hey, I'm here for you. What do you need? How can I help? How can I support myself?' Thank you for being in community with us, and thank you for showing up. We need one another because climate change is here, and we must be resilient" (uprose).

See the initiatives we've supported with both under our organization and through our co-founders.


Climate & Community Investment act (CCIA) 

What is it?

In a nutshell, the Climate & Community Investment Act (CCIA) is a Just Transition bill paid for by a polluter penalty.​

The Argument

The fee on pollutants would hit businesses and industries that are carbon producers and be felt at the gas pump, and advocates claim that the fund would rake in up to $15 billion in revenue per year. They also claim it would create thousands of jobs and potential higher energy costs would be offset with rebates of up to $1,200 annually. However, critics have noted that gas prices may spike by as much as 55 cents per gallon, putting an undue burden on those who commute by car and businesses that operate fleet vehicles.

Why it matters

The CCIA would impose a fee on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and siphon it into a fund to be invested in environmental justice communities, mass transit, and alternative clean energy. Supporters say it is the best option to provide the revenue needed to achieve the state's ambitious emissions reduction mandate of 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

the current context

The CCIA has drawn fierce criticism from Republican members of the Legislature and business groups throughout the state, Last month, testifying before the Legislature, the Business Council of New York State criticized the bill as unsustainable. The Council represents several fossil fuel companies, along with other energy-intensive industries like logging, forestry, and paper mills and is staunchly opposed to the CCIA.

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Policy Organizing

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Courtesy of NY Renews of which Start:Empowerment is a member.

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Photo Credits: Mike Von


Photo Credits: Donovan Valdivia

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