New Proposed City Ordinance Fights for our Rights to a Healthy Climate

Asserting Our Rights to a Clean Environment

“When it comes to our energy future, who has more rights: one large energy monopoly, or the combined citizens of Asheville?” asks Jamie Friedrich, an organizer with local nonprofit Community Roots. You probably guessed correctly. Corporations have been seizing power all over this country, with disastrous effects upon our air, water, and land. Our pro-corporate, heavily Republican state legislature currently has the power to pre-empt any local laws that are in conflict with the corporate agenda. But people are organizing to challenge that, thanks to the work of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) who have been working on Community Rights since the 1990s.

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Press Release – New Proposed City Ordinance Fights for our Rights to a Healthy Climate

Asserting Our Rights to a Clean Environment

“When it comes to our energy future, who has more rights: one large energy monopoly, or the combined citizens of Asheville?” asks Jamie Friedrich, an organizer with local nonprofit Community Roots. You probably guessed correctly. Corporations have been seizing power all over this country, with disastrous effects upon our air, water, and land. Our pro-corporate, heavily Republican state legislature currently has the power to pre-empt any local laws that are in conflict with the corporate agenda. But people are organizing to challenge that, thanks to the work of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) who have been working on Community Rights since the 1990s.

Continue reading “Press Release – New Proposed City Ordinance Fights for our Rights to a Healthy Climate”

Local Initiatives – Asheville’s Climate Bill of Rights

In partnership with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) Community Roots has drafted a Community Bill of Rights stating our right to a healthy climate. We are building a campaign for the City of Asheville to pass this ground-breaking ordinance to begin to process of asserting our right to local-self governance as detailed in the Declaration of Independence  and dismantling the system of corporate rule that has become the norm in modern America.

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Logos and Photos

If you are a member of the press or media and need to access our logo or images from our past events you will find graphics available here. If you are a local or national partner and would like to use our marketing graphics please feel free to download and share. If you are interested in partnerships or in coverage of our organization or event please contact Sarah Benoit at sarahdeborahbenoit@gmail.com.

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Images from Independence from Fossil Fuels: Floating Protest on Lake Julian July 4th 2017

Asheville becomes First North Carolina City to pass Resolution Calling for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

On June 13th 2017 the Asheville City Councilors passed a resolution supporting a State goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050, or sooner, in all energy sectors. It references the Stanford and UC Berkley study lead by Dr. Marc Jacobson, that concluded the US energy supply could be based entirely on renewable energy by 2050 and 80% by 2030 using current technologies while creating green jobs. The resolution acknowledges the inordinate impact of fossil fuel use on communities of color who are often more likely to be exposed to pollution and suffer cancer and asthma.

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Who Decides? July 4th Peaceful Protest

This Independence Day, July 4, 2017, climate activists and concerned citizens will peacefully protest Duke Energy’s construction of a gas-fired power plant in Arden, NC. Local nonprofit, Community Roots are organizing the lake-based event to ask that the City of Asheville and Buncombe county be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050 in accordance with House Resolution 401 introduced to the NC state legislature in March 2017. This resolution has already been passed in Boone, Watauga County and Sylva. Groups across the state are working to pass the resolution through the North Carolina Climate Solutions Coalition (NCCSC) of which Community Roots is a member. The Asheville City Council votes on the resolution in June. Meanwhile Mayor Manheimer, along with 273 other mayors, have already agreed to committed to stay with the goals of the Paris climate agreement and Governor Cooper became the ninth US Governor to publicly stand in support of the Paris climate agreement.

“It is not possible to reach the goal of 100% renewable by 2050 if all our electricity comes from Duke Energy and they continue with their plans to build two new gas-fired plants instead of developing their renewable capacity” said Kat Houghton, PhD, a Community Roots board member, “either Duke need to start investing in infrastructure for renewable energy production or we need our independence from Duke so we can purchase electricity from renewable providers.”

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Tips for recruiting businesses into the First 100

When you go into a business first you want to ask if a manager or the owner is available. Generally someone will either get them or ask what you need. Let them know first that it is a fundraising campaign for the water protectors in Standing Rock and then go into details and information on the first 100. My pitch goes something like, ” I was coming in today to see if your business would like to be a part of a global fundraising campaign for the water protectors in Standing Rock. We have already raised over $20,000 for winterizing gear for the folks out there in North Dakota. Our project is called the first 100 and what we are doing is getting a hundred local businesses signed up to ask their customers if they be willing to donate a dollar or more to Standing Rock. When we get a hundred businesses generating anywhere between 100 and $500 a day that’s a large amount of money daily to support our efforts in stopping the pipeline . The registration process is very simple and straightforward and Is proving to be a great way for our community and business owners to come together to help out with such an important cause”.

Typically I will then show them the first 100 website and get them registered and show them where they can donate. Many places opt for the jar option but there is also a way for them to program a button into their POS system if they are so inclined. I found it helpful to name drop a few businesses as well but also it seems that people who are on board or onboard from the get-go because they feel the same way we do about the Dakota access pipeline.

Once they say yes and they register then we take a photo of them holding the flyer and post it on social media. I like to let them know that will be doing some free marketing and publication for them in that way by posting their business name and photo on our first 100 Facebook page and always encourage them to join our first 100 group on Facebook. It is the best way to stay up-to-date and also answer any questions that they may have. I also leave my personal contact information with them as well.

Of course this is just a pitch that I have found that works for me personally and I would encourage all of you to find something that feels natural for you. This is a Grassroots movement on our part and I think everyone’s individual energies are very important, so speak from your heart and be authentic to who you are.