The recent hard-won ban on fracking in New York demonstrates how well-trained grassroots activists can build power to win seemingly impossible, against-the-odds campaigns. Members of our management team were there, and helped design and implement the campaign that fostered this historic win. Now that New York has paved the way, California has a similar opportunity to stop toxic forms of extreme extraction, and get the state on a path to real sustainability and 100% renewable energy. But to seize this moment, we’ll need to apply the lessons learned in New York and mobilize grassroots activists to build power in different ways, and on a far greater scale, than ever before.
As a servant-leader advocacy organization, Rootskeeper identifies, trains, mentors, and connects new tribes of grassroots leaders and provides them the skills necessary to learn, develop and grow into becoming the kind of leaders they themselves would follow. These leaders will foster cooperation and generate an unstoppable movement with strong values and deep mutual respect. They will grow local groups, fostering new advocates and activists, while also working between fellow Rootskeeper groups to build communication and grow the overall network. These groups will in turn work closely and build power with coalitions like Californians Against Fracking and organizations like Sierra Club, NRDC and others, as well as with elected officials, faith institutions, and labor groups to push for policy changes. These relationships, nurtured by an ongoing emphasis on training and development, will allow the groups to increase power and grow into a formidable political force. Through this work, a volunteer driven grassroots movement will be built which will wear away at institutional resistance, and will usher in a new age of sensible energy policy in California. Eventually, in time, this movement will alter the course of history.
Rootskeeper recently completed its first statewide action. On August 1, grassroots leaders from all across California spearheaded 18 distinct actions as part of a Clean Not Extreme day of action. Our shared mission was to urge Governor Jerry Brown to put a stop to fracking and other dangerous methods of extreme extraction, and put us on a pathway to 100% clean energy. The actions were very successful, generating coverage from 15 different media outlets. The local leaders we’ve started to work with are excited to take the next steps, and are committed to the long-term struggle. They’re eager to learn how to organize in their communities, and build this movement.
The management team at Rootskeeper is ready to develop these leaders, support the local groups they’ll form, and nurture the extensive cooperation that will be necessary between these groups and the existing network of anti-fracking organizations. Between us, we have years of organizing experience, and numerous contacts and friends throughout the non-profit, political, and public policy world. We’re excited by the opportunity for a major victory in California, which is not only the nation’s largest state, but the eighth largest economy in the world. We’re ready to build an unstoppable popular movement that will change the way this state produces and uses energy.