How do you stop an oil-rich state from drilling in community backyards?
Despite its record for environmental leadership, California is one of the largest oil-producing states in the nation. Drilling for toxic fossil fuels often occurs in the middle of densely populated communities of color. RALLY works alongside the Center for Biological Diversity to support several coalitions to educate the public on the severe health and climate impacts of California’s oil industry through media relations, event planning, and coalition building. Tackling the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel industry requires consistent and unwavering messaging delivered by trained messengers from frontline communities who carry moral authority to target decision-makers who show false climate leadership. Punctuated by strategic moments of massive, pressure-building direct action, the communications strategy depends upon the leadership and voices of California’s environmental justice communities.
RALLY supports multiple coalitions and organizations in our fight for a phase-out of fossil fuel production in California. In Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest urban oil field, RALLY supports STAND-L.A., a coalition of community members fighting to protect their health and safety from oil drilling in their neighborhoods. Along with maintaining a bilingual website and active social media channels for the coalition, RALLY has led media relations, execution of demonstrations, and provided communications guidance to the coalition since its inception.
Throughout California, RALLY also works with Last Chance Alliance, a coalition of local and national environmental, health, labor and justice organizations, to pressure Governor Gavin Newsom to pursue a phase-out of oil production in California. RALLY leverages the Alliance’s diversity of voices through a decentralized digital strategy. As youth took to the streets throughout 2019 to strike for climate action, RALLY had the honor of working with the Center for Biological Diversity to support Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles as they organized a strike with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. RALLY supported youth organizers with media training and media relations support for the strike, along with designing the branding of the strike’s digital and material collateral.
From facilitating community-led protests to organizing high-profile “toxic tours” led by actors Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio, RALLY has helped drive local and national awareness to the issue of neighborhood oil drilling in California. By uplifting the stories of frontline communities and leveraging moments like the Global Climate Action Summit in 2018 and the climate strike with Greta Thunberg in 2019, we have shifted the narrative around what it means to be a true climate leader in California. In November of 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a suite of actions and the initiation of a rule-making process to address the health and climate impact of California’s oil industry, voicing his support for a managed decline of fossil fuel production.
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