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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts: Bill Wellhouse bwellhouse@gmail.com (619) 201-9002 
  Mark Hughes writers_mark@sbcglobal.net (858) 245-8028 
 
THOUSANDS MARCH IN SAN DIEGO “PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH”

Marchers called for resisting climate-denying policies and urged strong local action, including 100% clean energy, in solidarity with Washington DC and sister marches

San Diego, CA – On April 29th, thousands of San Diegans joined the People’s Climate March under the slogan “Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Healthy Earth”. The marchers called on local leaders to support a just and rapid transition to 100% clean energy and to oppose federal efforts to rollback climate policies that protect our families.

The local march, organized by a coalition of environmental, social justice, labor, and faith organizations, took place in solidarity with the People’s Climate Mobilization on the same day in Washington DC. Hundreds of other sister marches were also held around the country and the world.

The event ran from 10 am to 2 pm, beginning with a rally at Waterfront Park, in front of the County Administration Building. Speakers included Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez, and Rev. J. Lee Hill, Jr., Senior Pastor of the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church (United Church of Christ). The event also featured live music, a Native American ceremony, a Kid’s Zone with games and facepainting. Opening speeches were followed by a lively, colorful loop march, and after regrouping at the park, additional speakers and a call for action. 

According to SanDiego350’s Mark Hughes, the march was a call to action. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “We must protect our health and be good stewards of our planet. San Diego can lead the state and the nation. We marched for climate justice, clean energy jobs, and the health of our communities. And we were louder and stronger than ever before.”

Organizers say that the administration’s failure to take climate change seriously denies San Diegans - and their children and grandchildren - the nation’s enshrined freedom to pursue the American dream. Coming on the 100th day of the Trump administration, this march was a rejection of the policies that threaten our freedom, future, health, and communities: policies that reject climate science and strip protections based on gender, race, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, and disabilities.

The climate march was a call to action to stand up to the Trump administration and Congress, to protect loved ones and the Earth and support our fundamental human rights: to live, survive, and thrive. These rights are threatened when we are denied access to clean air and water, healthy food, as well as access to housing, education, and jobs. Organizers affirmed the right of all to have clean air, clean water and healthy food, as well as affordable, convenient public transportation, living wages, justice and equality.

Rally speaker, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher said “The federal government is out of step with the needs of our families, our communities and the planet. The progress we’ve made in California on workers rights, immigration rights, and reducing carbon pollution is too important to let them stop us. Californians are resisting rollbacks and are fighting for 100% clean energy, access to transit, protection for immigrants and healthy communities - and by demanding a more democratic and accountable structure for San Diego’s transportation agency.”

The climate march organizers support policies that reduce energy consumption, defund fossil fuel projects, minimize pollution from transportation, and invest in 100% locally-made clean energy that creates green jobs. The march endorsed legislation in the California Senate to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045, and supported the water protectors in North Dakota and their rallying cry: “Water is life!” and the upcoming Labor Justice march on May 1st.

College students Mukta Kelkar (UC San Diego) and Willow Lark (SDSU), who worked to mobilize a large student contingent for the People's Climate March, said in a joint statement “In our lifetimes, we will witness climate change and its dire effects first hand. But that is not our only battle. What we fight for - environmental justice - is an intersectional struggle. The future of our children, our communities, and our planet will be determined by what we choose to do today.”



September 2014 People's Climate March San Diego - photo courtesy of Dan McCormack
 
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SanDiego350 is an inclusive volunteer organization devoted to inspiring a movement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and climate injustice. We strive to create a future that supports a livable planet and just society through education and outreach, public policy advocacy, and mobilizing people to take action. We are affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.
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