The mission of the OCAC—a cross-sector coalition dedicated to racial and economic justice—is to engage Oakland residents in creating and implementing climate solutions that strengthen the environmental, economic, and social resilience of frontline communities.
The OCAC pursues this mission by:
- Developing a comprehensive agenda and program for addressing the impact of climate change on frontline communities
- Bringing together and supporting grassroots campaigns and initiatives that build community resilience
- Amplifying community voices and building grassroots power to shape public resilience plans and policies
- Strengthening community resources through neighborhood-based climate education, planning, and organizing
- Climate Justice and Equity–Effective climate action is rooted in social justice and equity.
- Green Jobs and Livelihoods–Effective climate action creates local green job and ownership opportunities, especially for those most vulnerable to poverty and pollution. Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan helps businesses and industries improve the environment and restore our communities.
- Healthy Communities–Effective climate action creates locally resilient sustainable foods systems and provides access to healthy foods, walkable neighborhoods, clean air and pure water.
- Democracy–Effective climate action depends on shared leadership and decision-making authority of impacted communities.
- Climate Adaptation–Effective climate action helps vulnerable communities prepare for disaster, adapt to the effects of climate change, and build community resilience.
- Rights of Future Generations – Effective climate action respects life in all its diversity, recognizes that all beings are interdependent, and that all life has value. We act together to protect our communities and environment for present and future generations.
- Precautionary Principle–Effective climate action is grounded in the ‘precautionary principle’ that a project, policy, or decision should not be pursued if it could have an adverse impact on human or environmental health.
- Polluters Pay–Effective climate action requires that entities responsible for pollution pay to clean up and compensate communities for past and current impacts.
- Community Knowledge–Effective climate action values the every-day experience and knowledge of community members as much as scientific, legal, and policy expertise.
Our membership consists of over 30 other community-based, faith, labor, and environmental advocacy organizations.
The coalition’s strategic direction is set by a Steering Committee comprised of organizations involved in the coalition’s working groups and committees. Current Steering Committee members include representatives of: The East Oakland Collective, Local Clean Energy Alliance, Planting Justice, and the Brower Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies & Action. The Steering Committee guides the OCAC’s policy positions, endorsements and campaigns and conducts general OCAC membership meetings, trainings and assemblies.
The OCAC currently has one part-time staff member to convene the Coalition’s meetings, maintain the OCAC’s information and communications infrastructure, and support the Coalition’s organizing campaigns.
The Coalition is fiscally sponsored by SEE (Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs) to support coalition operations. Two members of the Steering Committee are designated as formal liaisons to the fiscal sponsor, thereby holding fiscal and administrative duties and accountability.
- Colin Miller, OCAC Coordinator
- Crystal Huang, Local Clean Energy Alliance
- Marquita Price, The East Oakland Collective
- Nicole Wires, Planting Justice
- David Ralston and Beth Teper, Brower Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies & Action
- Al Weinrub, Local Clean Energy Alliance
Started in 2009, the Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) is a cross-sector collaboration striving to lead Oakland’s response to climate change—both mitigation and adaptation—through sustainable, equitable, community-based economic development. OCAC has provided research, policy expertise, strategic planning, and most importantly, advocacy, coordination, and organizing for the climate justice needs of Oakland communities.
The Coalition has championed this approach in partnering with the City to develop Oakland’s 2020 Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP), which was adopted in December 2012. Based on a strong commitment to social equity, Coalition members worked with City staff and Councilmembers to shape the content of the ECAP. As a result, more than half of the language of the ECAP was contributed directly through OCAC efforts.
In 2018, The City of Oakland began to develop its plan to create a new Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) to 2030. The City put out a Request for Proposals for facilitators of community engagement in the ECAP. The Oakland Climate Action Coalition, along with two subcontractors (Marybelle Tobias from Environmental Justice Solutions and David Jaber from Blue Star Integrative Studio), were awarded this contract, and the two sub-contractors (Marybelle Tobias and David Jaber) joined the OCAC to become the Equity Facilitator team for the 2030 ECAP.
In early 2019, The Equity Facilitators began the community engagement process for the 2030 ECAP. This included hosting seven Council District-specific community workshops, as well as three City-wide Town Halls on Climate Equity, multiple pop-up educational events, Climate Equity Work days, public speaking engagements, neighborhood canvassing with members of the 20 person Neighborhood Leadership Cohort across Oakland’s seven Council Districts, and more.
In 2020, the Oakland Climate Action Coalition continues to engage the community in public processes and policymaking in order to ensure the strongest and most equitable ECAP possible.