The Battle for Climate Justice
By Jon Sievert
At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, former Vermont State Senator Ben Ptashnik discusses climate justice and the formation of the Justice Action Mobilization Network to create a united front to battle corporate interests.
By Ben Ptashnik
Sun, Jun 28, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15
The past two decades have seen the erosion of hard-won progressive gains in the social safety net, race relations, voting rights, and women’s rights as special interests have gained ever more control of Congress and the courts. Several weeks ago, on Mother’s Day weekend, more than a hundred leaders from environmental and social justice organizations participated in a three-day conference that took the first steps to create the Justice Action Mobilization Network (JAMN). Many of the speakers and participants who attended concurred with the premise of the conference that to succeed, the climate justice movement must empower, and be empowered by, the vital issues of social justice, including (but not limited to) mass criminalization, immigration rights, voting rights, the corruption of democracy, and economic disparity. The five-year goal of the organization is to develop a mass movement and electoral strategy for comprehensively addressing climate and social justice through educating and organizing in the election cycles of 2016, 2018, and 2020. JAMN’s mission is to fuse the various silos of social justice and climate justice movements to reach the critical mass of people-power needed to prevent climate chaos.
Ptashnik is a full-time resident of SMA who lives at the San Miguel Center for Ecological Sustainability, AC. As a former state senator from Vermont, he spearheaded Vermont’s campaign finance reform laws. He is currently the Director of the National Election Integrity Coalition, which works against voter suppression and elections corruption. As a founding member of JAMN, he is organizing and working with the Progressive Democrats of America, who started the Run Bernie Run! Campaign. He also works with members of the Progressive Caucus in the US Congress through People Demanding Action.