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Power Station

Jul 8, 2019

Sunrise Movement is a rapidly growing organization that is changing the conversation about this nation’s climate crisis and what can be done to turn it around. It builds on the work of scientists and advocates who have long warned about the consequences of our reliance on fossil fuels, the inevitability of environmental degradation, and the influence of industry lobbyists on our elected representatives. And a surge of devastating wildfires and floods due to rising sea levels, which displaced whole communities, has shifted our collective consciousness about the change that needs to happen. College student Yasmeen Pauling is devoting her considerable talents and energy to Sunrise Movement as a Policy Fellow. She talks to Power Station about the experience of organizing across issues and sectors, for climate and economic justice.

 In the wake of the 2018 mid-term elections, Sunrise Movement, led by the dynamic Varshini Prakash, and powered by a legion of young organizers, has generated scores of local town halls and meetings with policy makers on Capitol Hill. They are building support for the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan that will end our dependence on fossil fuels and create a clean energy economy. And while some political detractors dismiss their credibility, Sunrise has champions as well, in particular, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. Sunrise Movement’s latest strategy is to advocate for a climate debate among the 2020 presidential candidates. Their efforts, including a 3-day sit in at the National Democratic Committee, is paying off. At the end of August, the DNC’s executive committee, will vote on whether to endorse a climate debate.