The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day must reignite that dedication to our planet, each other, and to our collective future on Earth. Help us extend the fire and passion for change of that first Earth Day to our marginalized communities who are most deeply harmed by environmental assaults and climate change.
When the first Earth Week took place on April 16 – April 22, 1970, it was a moment that captured the hearts of many Americans who were moved to dedicate themselves to the fight for clean water, land, and air. Fifty years later, people and the planet face a far greater threat in the form of climate change.
The climate emergency requires urgent and immediate action.
The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day must reignite that dedication to our planet, each other and to our collective future on Earth. It must extend the fire and passion for change of that first Earth Day to our marginalized communities who are most deeply harmed by environmental assaults and climate change.
We are calling on everyone to unite – on this day and every day – to stand and act for a healthy, safe, just and sustainable world that protects and supports us all.
We the people Unite Under these Values:
We declare a climate emergency and call on our leaders to address that emergency NOW. Fossil fuel-based energy and petrochemical production will push our planet toward climate collapse.
We honor Mother Earth, the supporter of all life, who provides us with sustenance, clean air, and clean water.
We honor our Ancestors who blessed us with reverence for life. We embrace the Rights of Nature and recognize that we are a part of its interconnected Web of Life.
We value our responsibility to care for our planet and all people now and for the future.
We seek Environmental Justice for all. Environmental work must not perpetuate economic, social, gender and racial inequalities or health and environmental burdens. We respect historic communities and land rights. We support Indigenous self-determination, anti-racism and oppose disinvestment in marginalized communities. We especially value the voices and wisdom of communities of color including African American and Native communities and support their demands for environmental and social justice.
We unite with frontline communities to break down barriers that prevent all people from creating and benefitting from a just transition for those workers displaced as a result of the disinvestment in and closing of fossil fuel companies. We turn to the people in communities most harmed by environmental injustice for their leadership, their voices, and their wisdom.
We call for a new kind of reinvestment in community systems that promote ongoing community education and investment. This reinvestment must emphasize renewable energy; maintain poison-free, fertile soil for safe, local food production; and recycle, reuse and re-purpose non-fossil based materials in circular manufacturing.
We value our inherent and legal rights to clean air and water as guaranteed by federal and state laws. We support the creation of laws that reject putting corporate profits above the health of people and non-human relatives, that ensure workers’ safety and that protect the health of our ecosystems and environment.
We hold that coal mining, fracking, pipelines, plastics, synthetic chemicals, and nuclear waste are poisoning our bodies and the whole planet. We oppose spending taxpayer money for these industries.
We value economic systems and community development projects that will be people-focused, community-driven and inclusive of the next Seven Generations*.
We are pro-union and pro-living wage. We value reliance on local resources and clean jobs that do no harm.
We hold all government officials accountable as stewards for healthy people and a healthy society. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed – especially at the risk of public safety and health.
*Seventh Generation Principle is a key element in The Great Law of Peace of the Hodinoshoni (Iroquois) Confederacy. It is an intentional statement of purpose, accountability and to acknowledge that the actions and decisions we make today should result in a peaceful and sustainable world seven generations into the future.
Pittsburgh Earth Day Demands of Pennsylvania’s Governor and Elected Leaders
Declare a state-wide Climate Emergency NOW. Ask all levels of government to adopt a Climate Action Plan as part of State/County/Municipal Codes.
Stop use of public tax dollars to support fracked gas, oil, coal and nuclear industries on the state and federal level. Invest in renewable industries and in jobs that do not harm workers, communities and people.
Support 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Divest all State Pension funding from fossil fuel investments.
We must honor our constitutional right to clean air and water (Pennsylvania Constitution Article 1 Section 27). Restore strong regulatory protections for air, water and land to protect all citizens from pollution.
Children in Western Pennsylvania are being poisoned by lead and contaminants from coal and other industries in our water and industrial pollutants in our air. We must upgrade infrastructure, aging industrial plants and the region’s wastewater treatment facilities to reduce additional greenhouse gases and pollution, including raising our water-testing standards.
Along with stronger regulations, we must ensure that polluting industries pay meaningful and significant fines for pollution that reflect the harm done to people so that the fines will discourage pollution and not simply be the “cost of doing business.”
Reallocate funding for communities harmed by gas, oil and coal industries. Support community green union and non-union jobs and clean economic development initiatives, ensuring social support and job training for former fossil fuel workers.
Promote local and sustainable agriculture that does not depend on using poisons and chemical fertilizers. Support safe agricultural practices on local, state and federal levels. Protect sources of drinking water and agriculture from contamination by fracking and other extractive industries.
Ban single-use plastics immediately and establish viable substitutes and markets for the re-use of recycled materials to reduce the market for fracked-gas plastics.
Adopt State Building Codes that require all new construction to reduce additional greenhouse gases by incorporating passive solar design and renewable energy systems in residential and commercial buildings.
Increase access, equity and sustainability in the transportation sector. Improve public and alternative transportation infrastructure to increase fuel efficiency, reduce pollution/carbon emissions and ensure safe and convenient routes for cyclists and pedestrians. Ensure affordable public transit fares and accessible public transit routes for all communities.