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NEXUS: A Call for Unity and Urgency

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for NEXUS: The San Diego Climate Summit last Friday! Our incredible panelists and attendees' energy, ideas, and dedication blew us away.

With your help, we raised over $80,000 to support our fight for an equitable zero carbon future. We are truly grateful to our moderators, panelists, attendees, and sponsors who made this event successful!

The message of NEXUS was clear: this is our moment to work together and secure historic investments for our communities.

Historic funding from both the state and federal governments offers a unique opportunity. It's a testament to the recognition of the gravity of the situation. Yet, securing and effectively utilizing these funds hinges on regional collaboration. When communities come together, they can access these resources and allocate them where they will have the most significant impact.

Climate action falls at the nexus of all sectors, encompassing housing, energy, equity, jobs, and ballot initiatives. Our panelists illuminated pathways to address the climate crisis at a regional level, with each sector playing a unique role. Here are some key quotes and takeaways:

“We need to work together if we’re going to be able to each our climate goals…. We have to define collaboration, coordination, and education region-wide: OC and SD.” — Joe Mosca, Interim CEO at Orange County Power Authority.

"Housing is a human right, but it is too often thought of as a commodity." — Stephen Russell, President and CEO at San Diego Housing Federation.
Aidan Lin, Founder of OTTAUnited, emphasizes that equity requires transformation because our systems were not built with inclusivity; they were built on oppression and exclusion.

San Diego City Councilmember Kent Lee and Chris Castro from the Office of State and Community Programs at the Department of Energy engage in a discussion on the transformative potential of the Inflation Reduction Act, highlighting the significance of pinpointing local priorities and communities for strategic investment.

“Schools are working to prepare kids for the future, but we need to do just as much to prepare a livable future for them. We need to make sure they have a future they can live in.” — Cody Petterson, Board Member at San Diego Unified School District.
"How does a higher-level institution like UCSD start to break down the walls and provide the knowledge, engagement, and capacity to communities on what they're learning, how they're learning, and what that technical skill looks like?" — Derek Kirk, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Climate at the State of California Labor & Workforce Development Agency.

Kumeyaay Elder Stan Rodriguez holds his tribal identification card and explains that Indigenous people are the only people who have to prove who they are. Rodriguez emphasizes that we must uplift Indigenous voices and educate on Indigenous ecology, languages, practices, and more. Indigenous voices need to be centered in all conversations about climate, conservation, and land use.

The time is now. The climate crisis is here. Let's respond with unity, urgency, and unwavering determination to secure an equitable and sustainable future for all.

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