Youth Climate Activists to Present Demands to Legislative Committee

At an Oct. 7 hearing 4 ABQ youth climate activists will present their four demands. The blog provides details on the hearing & the full letter presented to the Governor with those demands. We also have a call to action.

NM Youth Activists Present Demands To Governor and to Legislature While Preparing for Civil Disobedience

Youth pack Roundhouse Rotunda with their four demands hanging above left.

Today’s post is devoted to the students across the state and their actions designed to accelerate New Mexico’s efforts to address climate change. They struck on September 20, presented their demands in a letter to the Governor on Monday, Sept 30 (presented in its entirety below), will be testifying Monday, October 7 before the Legislative Interim Committee on Science & Technology (details below the letter) and are planning for future acts of civil disobedience. The post also includes several actions you can take, some right now from home.

While this is a youth led effort, it is important that elders throughout the state support these youth and their demands and so we strongly encourage our Albuquerque allies to attend the hearing and for those who can travel from other parts of NM, to attend as well. We need to sustain our efforts to press the Governor and the legislature to respond to the youth demands.

You can sign a petition in support of the four youth activist demands, by clicking here. But we must do more than petition, we must show up.

  • Call and write the Governor, to Speaker Rep. Egolf and Senate Floor Leader, Sen. Wirth (contact info below and speaking points below the info on the Interim Hearing info).
  • Share this link with friends and encourage them to contact the Governor and Democratic legislative leadership.
  • Show up at the Roundhouse every Friday in October at noon: October 4, 11, 18, 25 and let the Governor know you want her to meet with youth activists, declare a climate emergency, and respond to the four demands with substantial actions.
  • Participate in Oct 19 all-day training in civil disobedience. If you are interested in participating in this training, write to Retake at The training is designed to train a cohort of youth and elders to participate in future non-violent civil disobedience planned in anticipation of the possibility that the Governor fails to sufficiently address youth demands.
  • Mark down Oct 30 on your calendar. More information on the direct action being planned is forthcoming.

In YUCCA’s letter the youth make clear that they are seeking a meeting with the Governor by Oct 30th or they promise stronger actions.

All of us realize that what we are doing in NM, in the US and across the globe is entirely inadequate to address the scale of the crisis and so it is time to ramp up our activism. The inadequacy of our international, national, and state action has become abundantly clear to me as Roxanne and I became grandparents for the first time early Wednesday morning. Looking into the eyes of our grandson in his very first photo, it became even clearer that someday he will look back, hold us accountable and ask: What did you do when something could be done?

Dear Honorable Governor Lujan-Grisham, ​

In New Mexico we have incredible renewable energy resources. We also have long-standing cultural traditions of protecting and stewarding our beautiful environment on which our communities depend.  We appreciate the positive steps your administration has taken to advance renewable energy and increase fuel efficiency standards. We appreciate your January 2019 Executive Order for New Mexico to join the US Climate Alliance that upholds the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and for creating the New Mexico Climate Change Task Force, calling on all state agencies to contribute to a statewide climate strategy. However, in the last year, we have seen increased oil and gas production from our state and do not believe we are on track to meet carbon reduction goals nor end our dependence on fossil fuel revenues. We need a comprehensive plan to achieve carbon neutrality in the state of New Mexico and we need it now.  

As you may know, the world’s leading scientists have warned that we have only a decade to drastically reduce our carbon emissions or face the existential threat of runaway climate disruption. In New Mexico, we are already experiencing increased drought, water scarcity, and wildfires. Around the world, we are seeing the devastating impacts of severe weather events and increased temperatures caused by climate change including death, injury, food & water shortages, forced displacement, extremely costly damage to infrastructure and people’s homes, ecological collapse, and the beginning of the 6th mass extinction. We are faced with a climate emergency and we need to start acting like it.

All our lives we’ve heard about the impending climate collapse threatening our future, yet very little, almost nothing has been done. And, in fact, while indigenous and other land-based communities have been warning of the impacts on ecosystems and experiencing the horrors on the frontlines of extraction, and scientists have been warning government leaders about the threat of climate disruption for over 40 years, older generations have continued to burn fossil fuels at increasing rates and have run out the clock for the rest of us.

Finally, for the very first time in our lifetimes, the world is taking serious action. But it is not the politicians who we elected to work for us who are sounding the alarms and taking swift action to protect us. Nor is it the adults who’ve used up our carbon budgets who are taking responsibility to redress the negative impacts of our current energy systems. It’s the kids – scared for our future and fed-up with the inaction of those who came before us. 

On Friday, September 20th and in the week following, over 7.5 million young people around the world sent a powerful message — we will no longer accept a business as usual approach to the climate crisis. We have declared a climate emergency and we are calling on our government leaders, like you, to follow our lead. More than 5,000 students from across Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Silver City, Española, Taos, Farmington and Indigenous Nations in the region walked out of their classrooms and took to the streets to demand urgent action. 

Collectively along with our adult allies and partnered groups across the state, we call on you to take urgent action; 

  1. Immediately declare a Climate Emergency in the State of New Mexico 
  2. Create A Just Transition Fund from Oil & Gas Revenues to support the research, planning, and implementation necessary to end NM’s dependence on fossil fuel revenues, to achieve carbon neutrality for our state by 2040, and build a sustainable economy that works for all New Mexicans — no more sacrifice zones. 
  3. Pass a moratorium on fracking to protect our water and our health and preserve the countless sacred Indigenous sites threatened by fracking.
  4. Pass community solar legislation by 2020.
  5. Ensure New Mexico is powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The science is clear. We only have a few years left to rapidly shift to a carbon neutral economy. We see the extraction of fossil fuels in New Mexico as a threat to our future, and we recognize that our state is ripe with potential for renewable resources. New Mexico can be a leader in the necessary shift to a carbon neutral economy with the leadership of our elected officials. So we call on you, as our Governor, to help us achieve this. We ask you to declare a climate emergency in the state of New Mexico today. Further, we ask you to take action in the next month to demonstrate your commitment to implementing our public policy demands. Please meet with us before October 30th and share with us how you plan to treat the climate crisis as the emergency it is.

Thank you for sharing our concern for our future and we are looking forward to working with you as we fight to protect it and all life on Earth.YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) with the Climate Strike Northern NM and the ABQ Climate Strike Youth Organizers. To find out more about the international, youth-led climate crisis movement, click here

Monday, Oct. 7, 12:30 pm Working Lunch. Interim Legislative Committee on Science & Technology. New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired 801 Stephen Moody St. (5) Proposals for State Action to Mitigate Climate Change

  • A. Create a Just Transition Fund from Oil and Gas Revenues to Build a Sustainable Carbon-Neutral Economy for All New Mexicans
  • B. Convert New Mexico to 100% Renewable Energy Use by 2030
  • C. Impose a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing
  • D. Pass Community Solar Legislation in 2020 —

Testifying for the Interim Committee on Science & Technology will be: Emese Nagya, Student, Amy Biehl High School —Olivia Gonzales, Student, Public Academy for Performing Arts —Mariluz Lebkuechner, Student, Public Academy for Performing Arts —Andre Miller, Student, Central New Mexico Community College

Contact Info, Speaking Points

I have confirmed that both the Senator and the Speaker have office staff to accept your calls even out of session. You do NOT need to be from Sen. Wirth or Speaker Egolf’s district to leave calls, they are Democratic leadership for the entire state.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Senator Peter Wirth

Speaker Brian Egolf

Speaking Points

  • Use your own words, be concise; long messages/emails will not be reviewed;
  • Let leadership know that you are a Democrat and that not only do you vote, you are very engaged in legislative sessions;
  • Do not be inflammatory; convey how you understand that with so many needs in NM, we are very reliant on gas and oil revenue and so the transition will not be easy, but that that is all the more reason we must fund developing a just transition plan.
  • Thank leadership for their education moonshot and any other bills that you supported that were signed into law in 2019, e.g., gun violence prevention, voter registration reform, etc.;
  • Insist that we begin addressing the need for a just transition and so you want the Leadership to put on the call: 1) Community Solar legislation; 2) Local Choice Energy legislation, and 3) funding for a planning study of how to initiate a just transition for our energy and our economy; and 4) that the Governor declare a climate emergency;
  • You also want to ask Senator Wirth and Speaker Egolf to assign these bills to no more than two committees and not to committees known to be where good bills die, i.e. NOT Senate Corporations or Finance or House Appropriations;
  • Indicate that passing Community Solar and Local Choice Energy contribute to meeting the goals of the Energy Transition Act and bring good paying jobs to NM;
  • Let all of our leaders know that by passing Community Solar, Local Choice Energy and a bill funding development of a plan for a just transition, they will send a message to youth climate activists that they have been heard; and
  • Close by thanking them for their service and promise that should leadership put all or any of these bills on the call, you will be at the Roundhouse to support the bills and them.

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7 replies

  1. At a town hall in Silver City yesterday, I submitted a written question specifically asking the governor to declare a climate emergency and to put Community Solar on the legislative call. It was not one of the questions she chose to respond to publicly.

  2. CORRECTION! The phone number for Senator Wirth’s office is (505) 986-4727.

  3. This sound good, but we have to hold them accountable and scrutinize their actions.

    I hope that the governor explains that we will rely on facts and science, here in NM. The state might need the money, but the oil and gas industry took full advantage here, interfering in our politics, spreading lies, misinformation, and division. The “kids” don’t have the financial resources or the backing of mass media, contrary to the corporate media’s “both sides’ reporting.

    The “Emperor has no clothes” and this farcical nonsense needs to be called out. The fox is in charge of the hen-house, and oil and gas industry failed to rein it in. They have corrupted and undermined our democracy. When the administration called for fracking Chaco Canyon, none of them came out and countered it, or called for common sense. These ghouls cheered on the tear gassing of Native Americans at DAPL. They were just fine with the authoritarian tactics, violations of human rights, and the recruitment of mercenaries, who promoted violence, on our soil. It is Native American soil, but this is America, so it is all of our Soil. The one sided violence they incited against those unarmed water defenders was clearly anti democratic, yet they had the full force of corporate media behind them.

    Check out the Albuquerque Journal, they have ads for “Free Trump Hats.” They have a gorgeous blond with lots of makeup, enticing readers, wearing a trump hat. The ads go along with the toenail fungus cures and lies about diabetes. They are collecting information on anyone gullible enough to click on it all. Local media in their quest for profit, will go to any lengths to make a buck and spread misinformation. There used to be laws against this garbage years ago.

    The “erudite” around here were not exposed to a lot of this misinformation campaign. Back in 2016, only the “deplorables” were exposed to the magazines at Walmart and the Dollar Stores. Every check out stand had an image of Hillary with horns. No one took any of it seriously, just like the way Google distorted search engine results to help Trump. It was no accident. Facebook is showing the true alliances of these monopolies,

    The people here in New Mexico, need the facts, about subsidies to the oil and gas industry, both on the state and federal level. For years this state subsidized the oil and gas industry, dollar stores, and gal-mart, taking money away from education, healthcare, and protecting children. Now we are going to have to pay to clean up the unintended consequences. No one has done a cost benefit analysis on all of that. Thirty years of Neo-liberal polices, that attacked the very foundations of our democracy. They are gas Lighting us all, pretending it never happened, just like on the federal level, where the chickens have come home to roost.

  4. I’m trying to tweeze out where and when our physical presence might support this effort.

    First, on Monday, 10/7, four youth leaders WILL present their demands. Do they need backup? If so, where? What time?

    Next, they presentED their demands in a letter on Monday. So was that 9/30?

    There is also a working lunch involving demands at 12:30 at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Are we needed there? If so, what is the date? (This is in bold type, but not clearly an invitation.)

    The four youth leaders testified at an interim meeting of the Science and Technology committee. That was probably last Monday.

    So the only explicit PHYSICAL invitations I’m finding are for the four Fridays, 10/4, 11, 18, and 25, at noon at the Roundhouse.

    I’m sorry to be so nit picky but am unsure I sorted out dates that might require additional ally action from those the youngsters have covered.

  5. Why isn’t SB459 on the list of bills to “put on call?”

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