February 25, 2019 - San Francisco
On Monday morning, youth from 2 groups - Youth vs Apocalypse and Earth Guardians Bay Area, joined together for a press conference near the Hobart Building where Senator Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office is. These are the same young people who rallied with the Sunrise Movement on Friday at this same spot to urge the Senator to vote Yes on the GREEN NEW DEAL when Mitch McConnell brings the resolution up for a vote in the Senate. After their Friday rally, about 12 of these young people along with a few adults, visited Senator Feinstein in her office to urge her to vote Yes and to present her with a letter they had written. The encounter was difficult on a number of levels and instead of agreeing to vote Yes, the Senator handed them draft copies of her bill on climate change that she plans to introduce. A video of the encounter went viral on social media and was featured by many main stream media outlets over the weekend.
The Monday morning press conference, while acknowledging Fridays encounter, quickly brought the focus back to the issues driving their concerns and the reasons for their passionate advocacy.
Hannah, age 15: “I speak on behalf of all the youth standing here that we are not sent here by some adult, we are here of our own free will. This is not some elaborate plan to make Feinstein look bad or to make any other politician look bad for not backing up the Green New Deal. We are just simply a group of youth that understand the urgency and importance of helping our climate. We would also like you guys to remember that our adolescence does not equal our inability to think for ourselves.”
Isha, age 16: “[Senator Feinstein’s] resolution completely ignores science.” And here, the young woman holds up the Senator’s draft resolution… a few stapled together pages that are now covered with ink marks and yellow highlights. “We have 12 years. We do not have until 2050. There is no room for compromise here. We will not take the excuse that the Green New Deal is too pricey. It is too pricey to NOT enact the Green New Deal. The longer we take to take action, the more costly and devastating the impacts of this crisis will be. And you are looking directly at the faces of the people who will be at the forefront of those consequences. You cannot compromise with science. The Green New Deal is the only plan so far that aligns with science AND justice. And right now we need both. [...] Sen Feinstein, I could care less about your tone. I care about your vote. Vote “yes” even if you think the Green New Deal won’t pass. Because all it does is tell your constituents, the American people and all beings on this planet that you stand with us. With science. With young people’s futures.”