By Ann G. Daniels and Andrea Lum
Once again, our hearts go out to our friends in the north affected by the Kincade and Burris fires, including our colleagues in Indivisible Healdsburg and Indivisible Petaluma. At the same time, we’re outraged, looking at yet another year of environmental and personal devastation. We’re demanding justice, along with offering ways we can all help.
What you can do:
Support the environment and all of us:
California is well-known as an environmental leader. But did you know that the East Bay is on the map for environmental problems? Poor air quality takes a terrible health toll in neighborhoods where people of color live in East and West Oakland, and “residents of West Oakland and Downtown Oakland neighborhoods have higher rates of asthma emergency room visits as well as stroke and congestive heart failure” than other Alameda County residents. Meanwhile, the recent explosion at the NuStar refinery in Crockett sent heavy smoke into nearby neighborhoods, and only the lack of wind kept toxins from spreading.
- Speak up for “The Path to Clean Air in the Richmond and San Pablo Area” clean air at this event on Saturday, November 2 at 10 AM at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. Spanish interpretation and child watch provided. Free; register here.
- Join No Coal in Richmond in their ongoing struggle to – you guessed it, get coal out of Richmond, along with the toxic dust from coal and petroleum coke. Check out their webpage for more info on the group and their activities.
- Encourage your local media and everyone you know to talk about climate change – it’s what’s fueling all these fires, not to mention other recent devastating fires throughout the West.
- California is a leader in fighting against greenhouse gas emissions – and Trump has targeted our state. Tell your Members of Congress to prioritize fighting the Administration’s all-out war against California’s environmental accomplishments:
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
- Sen. Kamala Harris: (email); (415) 981-9369 • DC: (202) 224-3553
- Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: (email); (510) 620-1000 • DC: (202) 225-2095
- Rep. Barbara Lee: (email); (510) 763-0370 • DC: (202) 225-2661
- Rep. Eric Swalwell: (email); (510) 370-3322 • DC: (202) 225-5065
- Not local? Use this link to contact your Members of Congress.
Support immigrants during the crisis:
- According to Rep. Jared Huffman, ICE has suspended immigration enforcement during this crisis. Let’s hope it stays that way throughout the recovery process – and let’s not trust to hope. Tell your MoCs to support suspending immigration enforcement during this crisis and recovery process. See above for contact info for our local Members of Congress, as well as a link to be contacted to MoCs nationwide. What to say:
My name is ____, my zip code is ___, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I understand that ICE has suspended immigration enforcement during the fires in California. Please do everything you can to make sure that immigration enforcement stays suspended throughout this crisis, and through the recovery process.
- You can support these organizations that help undocumented families:
- Corazon Healdsburg is a bilingual community organization providing fire victims with immediate and long-term financial support, gift cards for food and other necessities, hotel vouchers, and a range of support services. 100% of all donations are immediately directed to supporting local families in need.
- UndocuFund provides help for undocumented fire victims in Sonoma County, who cannot get help from FEMA or who are afraid to seek help from governmental agencies.
Help fire victims:
- Check out these compilations/lists of ways to help:
- These organizations offer volunteer opportunities and/or ways to make direct donations:
Important resources for people affected by the fires or PG&E shutoffs, including economically and medically vulnerable individuals:
- Visit the State of California’s new resource website.
- The Governor’s State of Emergency declaration suspends a number of rules and regulations so residents and businesses affected by wildfires and power shutoffs can, for example, get unemployment benefits more quickly or get more time to pay fines or fees.
- There’s a statewide non-emergency hotline to help medically vulnerable residents and health and community care facilities find resources during power shutoffs. Call 833-284-3473.
- Check out these tips for seniors and people with disabilities for during and after a power outage.
- Here’s a list of PG&E community resource centers where residents can go to access services, charge cellphones, or get other help.
- Sign up for alert systems in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to get up-to-date, real-time information on power outages and any services affected.
“Sunset Smoke”, sketch by Cathy McAuliffe, Instagram: @gusmcduffie
Ann G. Daniels’ checkered professional background includes practicing law, reproductive rights advocacy, creating web content for nonprofits and educational organizations, and teaching adult and family literacy. She also designs jewelry, teaches knitting, and sings second soprano.
Andrea Lum works in higher education by day and as the Volunteer Coordinator for IEB by night.