GAIA is a broad and diverse network of grassroots leaders and organizations in the U.S. and around the world doing amazing anti-pollution, zero waste, environmental justice, health protection, and climate resilience work. The willingness that our members and allies have shown to support and act to help one another over the years is what makes us strong. In the coming year, as President-elect Trump’s words are turned into actions, this need for support will be even greater and we ask for your continued commitment to sustain it.
As 2016 comes to a close and we enter a new and challenging year, we reach out to you with hope and intention for the future.
We recognize that a Trump presidency will worsen domestic and international climate policy, as well as U.S. foreign policy, and thus increase the threats to people and the planet here in the U.S. and worldwide. We affirm GAIA’s commitment to unity, equity, and justice in the face of the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that was emboldened during this election.
Trump has vowed to block the U.S. Clean Power Plan and exit the Paris Climate Agreement, and build the destructive fossil fuel infrastructure projects that many have been fighting and defeating in recent years. With people from dirty energy industries high in the White House cabinet, it will be more difficult than ever to block polluting facilities like incinerators, and the subsidies they can receive from gutted climate policy.
Yet GAIA is a broad and diverse network of grassroots leaders and organizations doing amazing anti-pollution, zero waste, environmental justice, health protection, and climate resilience work. The willingness that our members and allies have shown to support and act to help one another over the years is what makes us strong.
Whether the request is to sign a petition, make a phone call, or testify at a hearing – even if it’s for a cause thousands of miles away – GAIA’s members and allies step up. In the coming year, as President-elect Trump’s words are turned into actions, this need for support will be even greater and we ask for your continued commitment to sustain it.
Since the election, we have spent time surveying the landscape, consulting with allies, and preparing for the future. We already know that our environment, climate, health, and human rights are in jeopardy. The President-elect has selected a climate denier to head the EPA, and perhaps most egregiously our new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has led oil giant Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s top producers of plastic. That is why it is so important that we double-down in our work which models the type of just, safe, zero waste future we want to see, and work to maintain the integrity of existing policies that protect our health and environment.
As GAIA steps into 2017, some highlights of our plans for the year include:
- Increased support for local and regional work, while watchdogging the federal government. We will continue in our support for local and regional campaigns that demonstrate solutions on-the-ground, while maintaining a watchful eye on the federal government as key policies develop.
- US & Canada member meeting. In light of the new threats and opportunities to our work, we feel a real need to bring together our US & Canada network — for the first time in many years — to strategize together.
- Build with our environmental, health, and climate justice allies. It is more important than ever that we are a part of strong coalitions dedicated to protecting our climate and environment. We will continue to work in partnership in others from the Climate Justice Alliance, Building Equity & Alignment for Impact Initiative, and the BreakFreeFromPlastics movement, and will explore broadening our partnerships across sectors.
- Explore new areas of work. GAIA’s focus these last few years have been on waste and climate protection, and supporting local and regional anti-incineration and zero waste campaigns. As this work has progressed, members have expressed concern around several emergent themes that we would like to explore. These topics include: gentrification/anti-displacement work and its intersections with waste; plastics pollution to our water, air, and land; and the potential for zero waste business in the growing new and green economy.
In so many places around the world, and certainly here in the U.S., it feels like we are entering a difficult time. We are so grateful to be in a network that is a constant source of hope and solidarity, and that is building the beautiful world that we need. Thank you for all that you have done to support it. As we prepare to turn up the fight, we ask you to give what you can to sustain our work for the coming years.
In solidarity and deepest appreciation,
Ahmina, Antonia, Brian, Monica, and Christie
The GAIA USA Team
P.S. We are working to raise $25,000 to allow us to provide travel scholarships to our US & Canada members meeting, and to support our members’ engagement with other movement groups. Your gift of $50, $100, or whatever you can afford would make a significant contribution toward this total.