The Inflation Reduction Act contains billions of dollars for frontline and vulnerable communities. Maximizing its impact will require movement infrastructure -- groups, campaigns, and relationships that match those communities to that money. A new cooperative grantmaking project is attempting to build that kind of infrastructure with a network of small grants to frontline groups. I talked with the folks behind it.
Thanks David for this interview. I was going to reach out to you to ask that you do an episode focusing on the question of where the movement needs to go from here, and this is a great start. Please do more of this.
Health professionals around the country, including our group Healthy Climate Wisconsin (https://www.wiclimatehealth.org), are doing our best to build bridging power of the sort discussed in this episode. In fact in our groups founding we based our tactics and strategy off the work of organizing experts like Hahrie Han and Marshall Ganz. Our theory of change is that health professionals have an effective message, are trusted messengers, and have access to power that we can use both to push progress ourselves and to uplift the voices of our marginalized patients' communities. We do this by trying to shift the climate conversation to focus on human impacts, particularly health, and in conjunction with the rising EJ movement doing the same I think that has been tremendously successful. We try to go straight to the public with that message but also help traditional climate groups to shift their messaging as well. We organize our professional groups like the American Medical Association to bring their power to bear on the issue. We also organize within our workplaces to push the American healthcare sector (responsible for 8.5% of U.S carbon emissions) to decarbonize, adapt, and partner with their communities in decision making. This is critical because, particularly in rural communities, health systems are often among the largest and most visible employers. Their leadership on decarbonization can provide a non-threatening encounter with these technologies in rural areas. Outside the context of healthcare we build power among health professionals to engage directly with policy, including public utility commissions, executive rule making at the local, state and federal level, and also legislation at all levels. Lastly, we use our access to decision-makers and our public trust to uplift the voices of marginalized communities who have too often been ignored in these discussion.
I bring all this up in the hopes that those of you Volts fans who are engaged in movement building and strategizing will make sure to include the health community in your work. There are groups like ours in every state and I'd be happy to connect anyone with the leaders in your state or at the national level.