At the end of April, California labor leaders and unionists gathered at the 6th Annual Progressive Labor Summit in San Diego, CA., an annual event that brings together members of the San Diego Labor community with left-of-center activists. The event drew roughly 500 panelists and participants.
LNS California Organizer Veronica Wilson presented in the breakout session “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall: Climate Resiliency *Is* Economic Resiliency” along with fellow panelists Joe LaCava (San Diego Community Power, San Diego City Council), Cristina Marquez (IBEW 569), Norman Rogers (USW 675), and moderator Jim Miller (AFT 1931). Miller’s thoughtful questions focused on labor’s role in addressing the climate crisis, to which panelists responded that it will take workers in many sectors and industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and close gaps of racial, environmental and economic inequities.
Underscoring in the discussion that workers and communities experience climate hazards today, there was wide agreement on urgency, requiring all-hands-on-deck. At the same time, the exchange added a precautionary note, warning against relying on corporations that have profited from polluting industries on the backs of workers and poor communities to remedy the crisis. In sum, the conversation was an opportunity to begin talking through the nuts and bolts of specific proposals that leaders in San Diego and beyond can turn into action.