In this time when many of us could become discouraged, Sierra Club Executive Director (and West Chester University graduate) Michael Brune shows the way forward in his blog Coming Clean.
His 11/18/16 post “Resist, Recruit, Train, and Sustain” begins:
Over the past ten days, we’ve had to accept a tough reality. But although it’s definitely going to happen, a Trump administration will never seem normal, nor should it. We already know that the corrupt, cynical, and racist values that he and his inner circle bring to the White House will challenge everything we stand for.
Democrats have never applied those epithets to Republicans in general, many of whom share our own values and have been misled by their own leaders. Brune rightly refers specifically to Trump and his inner circle, with fellow miscreants like Gingrich, Giuliani, Christie (or not), and now it seems Petraeus. As the winner of only 46.5% of the popular vote, Trump should be trying to reflect the country’s diversity in his appointments. But rather than seeking the promised change, he is doubling down on the hard-core right wing and financial sector for his appointments.
Brune then cautions all who care about national issues going well beyond environment:
…let’s acknowledge that although a lot of progress was made under President Obama on many of the issues that we care about, our nation’s challenges run much deeper than any one president. By itself, kicking Trump out of office won’t solve the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that existed before his rise. It won’t eliminate the hatred in our public discourse and in our communities. It won’t magically create a 100 percent clean energy economy, nor will it alleviate the economic pressures that millions of families face in their daily lives. I’m proud of how the Sierra Club has begun to address the intersection of climate with inequality, race, class and gender, and I guarantee that we’ll go even deeper.
Brune goes on to lay out the Sierra Club’s agenda for the next 4 years:
Resist – We will draw on the talents and experience of our staff and volunteers to fight Trump, Congress, and the growing number of anti-environmental governors, every step of the way. This defensive work will play out in the courts, in Congress, in statehouses, in the marketplace, and in the streets — and it will involve nearly every part of the Sierra Club. Part of this resistance will include standing strongly with our allies, particularly communities of color, and continuing to speak out against racism, xenophobia, sexism, bigotry, and hate.
Recruit – In the past ten days, we have seen an outpouring of support from the public in the form of donations, memberships, volunteer recruitment, and social media posts. We will continue to aggressively recruit new activists, new volunteers, and new donors. Our grassroots are the foundation of our strength, and we will work to engage and activate a new generation of Sierra Club leaders.
Train – Having a larger membership and a deeper pool of activists will help, but how we develop those resources is just as important. In 2017, we will invest more deeply in staff and volunteer training than we have ever done before. For example, every staff member and the lead volunteers from every chapter will get training on equity and inclusion as we accelerate our anti-racism work.
Sustain – We have tough fights ahead, but we refuse to be in a defensive crouch for years to come. We will continue to make clean-energy progress in cities, in the private sector, with public utility commissions, and internationally, and we will increase our investments in those areas where we can stay on the offensive. We must be relentless in our fight against fossil fuels and for clean energy and smart transportation policies at the city and state levels.
Fortunately PA does not have an “anti-environmental governor” and our task is to see that Governor Wolf continues in office after his first term. 2018 will be the next big showdown, and although the PA Senate and House are not well disposed to all that Brune sets out, Democrats do hold all the other statewide elective offices and PA is one of the few remaining true swing states.
“Resist, Recruit, Train, and Sustain” is good advice for any organization that cares about CCDC’s fundamental principles: Freedom Fairness Opportunity.