2020 Accomplishments and Goals for the New Year

By Masada Disenhouse, Executive Director of SanDiego350

As 2020 comes to a close, I could not be more grateful for every one of you and for how we have come together in this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pivotal election (is it over yet?), and an inspiring racial justice movement. Together we navigated and adapted to a rapidly changing world, innovating new ways to continue our mission to fight climate change and climate injustice while maintaining hopefulness and a sense of community. 

I wanted to celebrate some of our accomplishments of 2020, and take a look at our plans for 2021. 

1. We didn’t let Covid stop our core movement building and mobilizing work

Despite covid, we mobilized thousands of San Diegans to act. Hundreds of people provided input on climate policy at local and state meetings. Our petition for better energy Franchise agreements was signed by 1,500 people. Over 2,500 people participated in the Virtual Climate Uprising. 

In fact, in 2020 we educated, skilled up, and empowered more San Diegans than ever before. We delivered four leadership and strategy workshops for volunteer leaders. We held more than ten educational events on key issues, including transportation justice, energy franchise agreements, just recovery, and the ballot measures. And we joined with other 350 affiliates nationally to offer virtual training on organizing, messaging, and protesting safely.

We also significantly grew our volunteer capacity to more than 20 volunteer teams and over 100 team leaders and core members, welcoming 4 new adult volunteer teams (Fundraising, Marketing and Communications, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Building Electrification) and several youth teams. We also welcomed new staff, including our volunteer coordinator, Nicole Muñoz-Proulx.

2. We strengthened our campaign work

We organized hundreds of San Diegans to take action on key climate issues – pushing for a better energy franchise deal, laying the groundwork to establish a regional building electrification coalition (the coalition’s first meeting included more than 20 organizations), and began planning out a strategy to weaken Sempra and SDG&E’s political influence that has blocked bold climate action for too long. We also pushed for an inclusive public process around an MTS initiative. Though it was halted by COVID, the work we did will help the next initiative move forward. And though we did not prevail on state legislation, losing on AB 345 which would have created health buffer zones around oil drilling sites, we engaged at a stronger level than ever before and laid the groundwork for the next round. 

3. We empowered more than a hundred high school students 

We held a virtual Youth Climate Summit in April, a Virtual Summer Camp over the summer, and we’re holding weekly calls for youth activists. We hired 2 college interns to manage a fellowship program with five high school fellows who are organizing dozens of students across San Diego County to learn about the issues, practice new skills, and take action. These smart, diverse, inspiring high school and college students are the climate leaders of tomorrow, and they make us hopeful. 

4. We deepened our commitment to racial justice 

We educated ourselves on the issues, shared informational resources, stood in solidarity with BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) organizations and held 2 anti-racism training sessions. We hired a justice & equity intern, Rachal, who’s supporting the new Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Team and leading anti-racism work and training.

As we look forward to 2021, we face new possibilities and challenges. We’ll continue to navigate this pandemic together and find new ways to build a stronger community. 

We are starting out strong with the support from all of you: SD350’s passionate, dedicated volunteers. 

In the new year, we’ll focus on several high-impact priorities

First, we will run hard-hitting, effective, bold campaigns to hold our newly elected representatives accountable to take action. These include building a strong regional coalition to electrify buildings, advocating for a county climate action plan, for transportation justice and a regional transportation plan that reduces carbon emissions, and, exposing our investor owned utility and its parent company as bad actors and preventing them from stalling progress on climate policy. 

Second, we will continue to build the breadth and depth of the regional climate movement. This includes mobilizing and empowering San Diegans to act and strengthening our connections to coalition partners. 

Third, we will equip and empower hundreds of teens to be climate leaders through a robust Youth4Climate program, a youth climate action summit, summer camp and fellowships. 

Finally, accomplishing these goals require us to be strong internally as an organization. In the coming year, we will empower volunteers to step into leadership through training, coaching, and peer learning. We will cultivate an inclusive organizational culture and build leadership that’s more representative of San Diego. And, we’ll grow our staff to better leverage our powerful volunteer base. 
2021 is a year for us to be bold. We know we can make a significant impact together. I can’t wait!

About Masada D

Masada Disenhouse co-founded SanDiego350 in 2011 and serves as its Executive Director. She is passionate about engaging volunteers and growing a powerful climate change movement.

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