On Monday, organizers with Ground Game Texas and Sunrise Movement El Paso announced they had secured enough signatures to launch a ballot initiative for a climate charter in the city of El Paso.
The ballot initiative would see the creation of a city-wide climate policy and plan, as well as the creation of a climate department to carry out the effort.
The ballot initiative is being supported by Ground Game Texas, Sunrise Movement El Paso, Earthworks, El Paso Young Democrats and others.
“The El Paso Climate Charter is a groundbreaking policy that will propel El Paso to the forefront of green job creation, conservation, and local sustainability,” said Mike Siegel, political director for Ground Game Texas. “On top of that, this initiative will serve as a model for communities across Texas and the nation to take steps locally to combat climate change and join the race for green jobs.”
More than 37,000 signatures were collected for the initiative, which will be put to El Paso voters in November.
“The people of El Paso have spoken,” said Marlo Holguin, a Sunrise El Paso organizer. “Through this mass-based direct democracy project, I have talked with literally thousands of community members who are ready to see our City transition towards healthy air, green jobs, and a livable future. The Climate Charter represents hope.”
El Paso is the largest city in Texas where local government has not passed any sort of climate action plan.
In June, El Paso City Council began to take steps to create a climate action plan, passing an item on their agenda that ordered the city manager to review the climate plans of other cities and report back in 60 days.
The ongoing ballot initiative is one of ten ballot campaigns being organized by Ground Game Texas. The grassroots organizing group, which launched last year, has already organized successful initiatives to decriminalize weed and ban “no-knock” warrants in other Texas cities.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com