Sunrise Movement: Theory of Change

Our​ ​theory​ ​of​ ​change​ ​(the​ ​thinking​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​plan) Stopping​ ​climate​ ​change​ ​means​ ​completely​ ​updating​ ​our​ ​energy,​ ​transit​ ​and​ ​food​ ​systems. This​ ​will​ ​require​ ​aggressive​ ​action​ ​at​ ​every​ ​level​ ​of​ ​government,​ ​sustained​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years​ ​in​ ​a row.​ ​History​ ​shows​ ​that​ ​two​ ​ingredients​ ​are​ ​needed​ ​ to​ ​make​ ​this​ ​type​ ​of​ ​sweeping​ ​change:

1. People​ ​Power:​ ​a​ ​large,​ ​vocal,​ ​and​ ​active​ ​base​ ​of​ ​public​ ​support

2. Political​ ​Power:​ ​a​ ​critical​ ​mass​ ​of​ ​supportive​ ​elective​ ​officials

Recent​ ​experience​ ​demonstrates​ ​clearly​ ​that​ ​one​ ​without​ ​the​ ​other​ ​is​ ​not​ ​enough:

● In​ ​2008,​ ​climate​ ​advocates​ ​enthusiastically​ ​supported​ ​President​ ​Obama’s​ ​campaign, only​ ​to​ ​be​ ​disappointed​ ​when​ ​he​ ​failed​ ​to​ ​live​ ​up​ ​to​ ​his​ ​promise​ ​of​ ​strong​ ​climate action.​ ​Without​ ​enough​ ​people​ ​power,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​way​ ​to​ ​hold​ ​our​ ​supposed​ ​allies​ ​in Washington​ ​accountable.​ ​Political​ ​power​ ​without​ ​people​ ​power​ ​was​ ​not​ ​enough.

● In​ ​2016,​ ​the​ ​climate​ ​and​ ​environmental​ ​justice​ ​movement​ ​was​ ​stronger​ ​than​ ​ever before,​ ​having​ ​built​ ​tremendous​ ​people​ ​power​ ​through​ ​efforts​ ​like​ ​NoDAPL,​ ​Keystone, divestment,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​People’s​ ​Climate​ ​March.​ ​But​ ​all​ ​this​ ​people​ ​power​ ​was​ ​helpless​ ​to stop​ ​Trump​ ​from​ ​rolling​ ​back​ ​our​ ​major​ ​victories​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​he​ ​took​ ​office.​ ​People power​ ​without​ ​political​ ​power​ ​was​ ​not​ ​enough.

We need both. Here’s how we’ll get them:


 

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