The Sunrise Movement is a group of young people working to pass a Green New Deal that will end the climate crisis and create millions of new jobs to restart our economy. At Sunrise Boston, we are fighting for progressive leaders and policies to promote environmental justice in Massachusetts and across the country.
Ayanna Pressley on unprecedented pain and unprecedented hope
In 2020, we’re all asking how we get through this. I think all of us are searching for some hope, trying to find ways of looking at the world that could help us chart a path to a better future even when times are this bad. Ayanna Pressley is someone who shows you that path forward even when things seem bleak. She helps us imagine how much better life could be if we collectively have the will and determination to make the right changes. And in a sense, she inspires you with the fact that there is so much to do exactly because so much is going so wrong. To talk to her is to realize three things. Firstly, a recognition of the massive historical injustices that people of color face and that continue to play a huge role in our society. Secondly, the fact that these injustices didn’t happen by accident. They were choices, they were decisions, they were laws that were put in place on purpose to establish an unjust system. And third, the empowerment that can coexist with a recognition of these deep harms and the realization that it is finally within our grasp to set some of them right. So, listen to what Representative Pressley has to say and then plug in and do something about it. Make a plan to vote. Text bank. Send some postcards. We have a bigoted climate arsonist to eject from office and swing states with working phone lines. We have a senate to take back, a house to hold, and even after all that work is done, a country to convince that we need real changes now.
Nichole Mossalam on what matters most
Nichole Mossalam ran this fall to represent Medford and Malden in the MA State House. We had this conversation before the election. She didn’t win, but I wanted you to still hear this because I don’t think she is going anywhere. She is a leader in the Muslim community, she does interfaith outreach, she organizes events promoting charitable causes and religious tolerance, she worked with Our Revolution, and she ran a creative, energetic campaign against an entrenched incumbent where she called attention to some of the deep injustices in Massachusetts right now. Injustices like inadequate school funding, dangerous lead pollution in playgrounds and in local drinking water, bad decisions about funding for transit transit, predatory housing practices, racist policing, and the need to reform our prison system. Nichole knows that these issues are too important for her to be deterred by one election, and I for one am excited to see what she does next. To read a transcript of this interview, head over to Medium.
Ed Markey on Resolutions and Revolutions
Senator Markey stands out in a lot of ways. He has been one of the most steadfast allies of Sunrise, he was one of the authors of the GND resolution and sponsored it in the senate. But he’s not new to this fight. Like he points out in this conversation, he’s been calling for a transition to renewable energy - a “Solar Society” he used to say - for 44 years. And that’s not the only place he’s been ahead of the curve. He’s passed more than 500 laws, and they are complex, detailed pieces of legislation that have reshaped the relationship between corporations and everyday people in industry after industry. It’s hard to read about him and not see him as some kind of wizard with knowledge of the future, who knows what has to be done before it’s obvious to anyone else. And we need his magic now more than ever, because while the politics of the past decades were largely about managing unprecedented growth, the climate crisis reminds us all that if we don't act now we are on the brink of unprecedented destruction. Beyond that, the people who were denied their share of the pie when times were good will be the most impacted when things turn bad. We have an opportunity right now, at this moment in history, to stop the climate crisis and remedy entrenched injustices. But to do that, we are going to need Ed. Read a transcript of this interview on Medium. Early voting for the primary has already started, so please do whatever you can to help send Ed Markey back to the senate. Get involved at www.edmarkey.com
Robbie Goldstein on the systemic roots of societal crisis
If elected, Robbie Goldstein will be the only infectious disease doctor in Congress. But the fact that we need him to win goes a lot deeper than that. Robbie is running because when he talked to patients, he realized that their health outcomes were largely the downstream consequences of systemic problems. Problems like pollution, food insecurity, bad housing, and lack of access to Transportation. A lot of the personal tragedies people experience have systemic causes. The economy increasingly operates to divide interests, optimize for profits, and cast the arc of a human life as nothing but the consequence of that individual’s decisions. Then when you get hurt by something bigger than you - like COVID, systemic food insecurity, or injury during a flood caused by a changing climate - it’s doctors who have to pick up the pieces and try to put you back together. And Robbie decided picking up the pieces wasn’t enough. In congress, he’s going to champion the kinds of systemic change that will keep people whole. Read this article on Medium and please help us send Robbie to congress. Donate, phone bank, and vote. The MA primary is on September first. Get involved at Robbie’s website: www.robbieforchange.com/
Damali Vidot: Hero of the Mystic River
A few years ago, Boston Magazine ran a story contrasting the history of the Charles and the Mystic rivers. Both used to be extremely polluted, and in the 90's the Charles river got cleaned up. But people living along the Mystic river, in communities like Chelsea, Charlestown and Everett, don’t have the kinds of resources of people in the Back Bay and as a result, the Mystic is still a dumping ground for carcinogenic, toxic waste. That article closed with a call to action, asking for a hero to emerge willing to fight back and champion these communities. I hope this interview will convince you that Damali Vidot is that hero. In the last at-large city council election in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Damali won the most votes because people in her community know that she will stand up for them. She’s been doing it for years, working with other progressives and across the aisle to build community programs that have helped shape the city for the better. She is a genius when it comes to finding creative solutions and level-headed and strategic when it comes to implementing them. She understands the effects of systemic discrimination and environmental racism because she has lived them. She’s also teaming up with GreenRoots and the Conservation Law Foundation to sue Exxon Mobil and help keep her community safe. So listen to what Damali has to say, and do what you can to support her in the run up to this election. Donate to her campaign, phone bank, and vote. Also read this interview on Medium and get involved at www.votedamali.org
Brandy Fluker Oakley on fighting systemic racism and centering people at the margins
Throughout her career so far, Brandy has demonstrated her commitment to fighting systemic racism in the criminal legal system and dismantling the school to prison pipeline. As a lawyer, she has worked to provide equitable representation to people regardless of their race or background. As a teacher, she has fought to ensure that kids get the support they need. As an advocate on beacon hill, she has successfully lobbied for investments that make our school system more just. As you’ll hear, she has thought deeply about the ways that entrenched racism in our society interacts with policing, housing, environmental justice, and educational and legal outcomes and she has big plans for fighting to reform all of these systems. Something that really comes out in this conversation is how centering people at the margins can be positive sum, and can benefit everyone across society. So please help send Brandy to the State House. The primary is on September first. If you’re voting by mail, turn in your ballot application ASAP. And if you miss the vote-by-mail deadline, you’ll be able to vote early during the week starting August 22nd. Also read this interview on Medium and get involved at www.electbrandy.com/