By Masada Disenhouse, Cofounder and Executive Director
In December 2011, 15 people got together to celebrate a successful climate action march and decided to create an organization to build the grassroots climate movement in San Diego. 10 years later, we’ve come so far!
I wanted to take the time to reflect on our 10th anniversary, and thank our volunteers and supporters, who make everything possible:
In 2011 our march had about 350 people participating. In the last few years we’ve been able to turn out thousands of people to demand climate action, including 4,000 students in the Climate Strikes this year.
In 2012 we raised a few hundred dollars, cash that our treasurer Janina, a grad student at UCSD, kept in a cookie box under her bed. Now we have a fundraising team, the equivalent of 4 full time staff, and head into 2022 with a budget of about $400,000.
In 2011 we had no teams. The Public Policy Team was our first team, in 2013. Since then, the “PPT” has grown to include about 80 volunteers and 5 committees – working on everything from transportation to state legislation and Building Electrification.
But some things haven’t changed—at all:
- We still believe that building an inclusive, people-powered movement is the way to get the policy, economic and societal changes we need to see—and that every person has the ability to make a difference.
- We remain committed to centering equity in our work.
- We know what we’re up against and we choose to fight the fossil fuel industry and their political allies to achieve a healthier, more sustainable, more just future.
- We find joy and resilience in the community we’ve built and we depend on each other.
There are so many accomplishments to celebrate, that it’s hard to focus on just a few, but I’ll try:
- My conservative estimate is that we’ve mobilized more than 25,000 San Diegans to take action on climate change since 2011.
- We have grown to more than 15 volunteer-led teams, many with their own working groups, and engaging hundreds of active volunteers in ongoing campaigns and efforts.
- Since our youth4climate program began in 2019, it has empowered, mentored, and engaged hundreds of young people in San Diego County through youth-led programs and campaigns.
- We’ve built coalitions with diverse partner organizations to advance climate action, including environmental justice, social and economic justice, youth, labor, faith, and other organizations.
Looking back on 2021 (read about our 2021 accomplishments here), I am amazed at the resiliency and commitment you have all shown. As we continue to navigate the many changes and challenges of the pandemic era, we have all found a new rhythm that allows us to continue our mission to fight for a healthy, equitable, sustainable world while maintaining our deep sense of community.
While we decided to postpone our “Celebration for a Brighter Future” an in-person fundraiser to celebrate our successes over 10 years and raise funds to support the organization’s campaigns, we hope the evolving pandemic situation will allow us to reschedule it soon for sometime in the spring. Stay tuned!
We could not do any of this without the dedication of our volunteers and the generous contributions of our donors. You make it possible for SD350 to be proactive, organized, effective and BOLD! I am so grateful for every one of you!!!
Please join me in celebrating everything we’ve built together as SanDiego350 continues to lead the way on climate activism and movement building in San Diego.