In 2013, environmentalists and organic farmers in southern Oregon’s Josephine County introduced a grassroots effort to ban local cultivation of genetically modified plants. They gathered enough signatures to put the restriction on the tally, and fought back when Big Ag corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta shoveled money into a campaign to defeat them. In May 2014, citizens passed the ban in a 58 percent to 42 percent landslide.
” It was an amazing win for the community,” remembers Vanessa Ogier, a 28- year-old Josephine County climate activist who supported the ballot step.
However the accomplishment was brief: In 2015, business sugar beet farmers took legal action against the county, which postponed imposing the ban. In 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals blocked the restriction entirely, ruling that a statewide law restricting county-level GMO restrictions made it difficult to impose.
” That radicalized me,” Ogier states. “That’s when I realized that we require climate sympathizers inside the government to get any severe work done.”
According to a December 2019 national survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Zogby Techniques, 74 percent of citizens ages 18-29 want state and city governments to do more about environment change, specifically in the face of the Trump administration’s denial of the crisis and rollbacks of Obama-era climate policies. For the previous couple of years, 10s of thousands of youths have been ending up at marches, sit-ins, and demonstrations to demand that elected authorities take environment action.
In 2020, many youths have decided to bring the youth climate movement inside as well. Throughout the country, they’re going to change the sorts of local lawmakers who have actually long minimized, rejected, or neglected their demands on a host of progressive reforms, including climate action.
They include a 27- year-old accountant and not-for-profit volunteer named Nicole Hamm, who is running for a seat on the Jacksonville City Council in Florida, along with Rayonte Bell, a 22- year-old community activist on the tally in Michigan for the Berrien County Board of Commissioners. In southern Oregon, Ogier intends to become the youngest individual on the city