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May 28th to June 14th

Generation on Fire: California March

Key Dates During March: 

More event dates are being finalized, but here’s a brief overview of some of the things in store!

  • May 28th: CA march launches in Paradise 
  • June 4th: CA march action in Sacramento 
  • June 5th & 6th: Movement Wide Teach-ins 
  • June 10th: CA march in Santa Rosa
  • June 14th: CA march rally in San Francisco

Why We Are Marching

This is an emergency, but isn’t an accident. The people we love, the places we call home, the communities that ground and support us, the health of our planet–we are all in crisis. A century-worth of crisis and it’s all right now. By the choice of the politicians elected to serve us, we are living on the edge of survival.

COVID destroys our communities and climate disaster brings flood and fire. Instead of rebuilding our homes and providing aid to our communities in need, politicians elect to rescue billionaires and their corporations from a crisis of their own creation. The crisis gets worse, and their friends get richer. The crisis gets worse, and we are left broke, deep in debt, and without safe homes or good jobs.

This crisis is not an accident, it is an intentional choice to value profit over people. It does not have to be this way. Our country has plenty of money, people who need work, and we handed them the Green New Deal as the plan to step us back from this edge and on a path to safety, security, and survival.

We made Biden bend his plan closer to the Green New Deal but it’s not even close to enough. Biden must go further and faster, and Congress must strengthen the current proposed package to match the planetary scale and urgency of the crisis. One that protects the people we love, builds strong the places we call home, and allows our communities to flourish.

So we need to go big, bold, brave and demand Biden and Congress stand on the right side of history with us. We are a movement generation, and if we mobilize, we have the power to win the first piece of the Green New Deal by the end of summer. We can win the first piece of our dream of good jobs and a liveable future: the Civilian Climate Corps.
So we’re going to march: across the Gulf South and across California. This year will define the decade, this decade will define our lifetimes, and it’s so goddamn hot–our generation is on fire. We are going to bring the heat until they feel it too.

California What & Why

Inspired by their friends marching 400 miles in the Gulf South, the Sunrise Movement California is getting into motion: 266 miles from Paradise to San Francisco for the Civilian Climate Corps. Sunrise California will march across the state, and along the way, meet community members most impacted by climate disaster, host visioning sessions about the future of a California with good jobs combatting the climate crisis, and tell the story of young people fighting for a livable future and a survivable right now.  

The story of us: young Californians born and raised in the climate crisis. Each year smoke clouds rise and rain ash on our neighborhoods. We ready our evacuation bags, strap on our N-95 masks, and wait for the first tips of flames to break over the hillside. Each year a fast dump of rain floods the same hills charred and droughted, and neighborhoods are buried beneath a rush of mud. Each year is record hot, heatwaves bake our cities, deserts, and Central Valley past 110 degrees. Each year, our coasts shrink back and cliffs fall into the sea, and king tides rise to our knees. Each year we lose people to fires, heatstroke, air pollution, and mudslide: death by climate disaster. We lose our homes, our schools, and the places we call California.

Each year we watch the state cycle through seasons of wildfire and mudslides, drought and floods, coasts disappear and forests burn black. Each year we watch–but we don’t wait. We act.

Over the past five years, our generation rose to positions of leadership and spoke with the voice of moral authority on the climate crisis. Too young to hold office ourselves, we’ve relentlessly demanded the people elected to represent, protect, and serve the best interest of California in Congress. We’ve demanded a Green New Deal. We’ve demanded that every working family in California has guaranteed job security with a wage fit to raise a family, health and retirement benefits, and union bargaining rights. We’ve demanded these good jobs to build our state strong and ready for the years ahead, because only federal mobilization can match the size, scale, and urgency of the climate crisis.

Over the past five years, we’ve worked our asses off to put the climate crisis on the national agenda–and we did it. And we elected a Democratic president and Congress on a bold, climate mandate. Now, they owe us and the first piece of the Green New Deal is within sight: The Civilian Climate Corps. But if we’ve learned anything from our time as young organizers, it’s that the people in power will not pass the policy we need unless we push them. So it’s time to act again.

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Nancy Pelosi will cheat us out of transformational climate policy, settling for compromises if given the chance. They will sell us short under the excuse of bipartisanship or political practicality. It’s bullshit–and we know it. We can’t stop wildfires, but we can stop politicians from playing with our lives in across-the-aisle games. We can pressure them to pass the most ambitious and transformative Civilian Climate Corps possible, and set the standard high for the Decade of the Green New Deal.

Anything short of a transformative Civilian Climate Corps–millions of good jobs paid at decent wages, with full healthcare and family benefits, working across the country to rebuild and prepare communities to fight the climate crisis–anything short denies the scientific consensus on the immediate crisis of the climate emergency, and robs working people of the basic foundation we all know necessary to make it in America: a good job. 

So in California, we are mobilizing the movement for a 266 mile march set to the beat of generational moral authority. We’ll start in Paradise, the site of the deadliest wildfire in state history, where we will collect stories of the survivors and hear their plans to rebuild their community with economic care and sustainability. From there we will march to Sacramento, where we will be joined by Surisers and local partners to call on the federal government to pass a transformative CCC. We will continue the march to Santa Rosa for a day of local action, and meet with young people who gathered from across the state to march the final four days with us. With our movement fully mobilized, we will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and end in downtown San Francisco, where we will join the Bay Area hub for multiple days of escalated action. 

Let this serve as notice. Feinstein and Pelosi on notice: we’re coming back. This time a little older, a lot wiser, but bolder and braver than ever.

Our Demands

Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have one big priority for the rest of 2021: pass a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package to transition the energy grid, repair our crumbling roads and bridges, build efficient public transit, and jumpstart the care economy of the 21st century. This package will be the biggest piece of legislation passed in our lifetime so far. Everything from paid family leave to electric buses and car charging stations to high speed broadband could be included, but there is one specific program that represents the promise and potential of the Green New Deal, the type of visible and visionary leadership that will turn out our generation in elections to come: the Civilian Climate Corps. 

We’re marching to demonstrate the urgency of the climate and economic crisis, and the need for Congress and Biden to pass an ambitious Civilian Climate Corps by the end of Summer 2021 as an immediate and first-step solution. We need an ambitious Civilian Climate Corps to provide good jobs to address the climate emergency with justice and start the Decade of the Green New Deal for the Gulf South, California, and the rest of our country.

What is the CCC? 

The Civilian Climate Corps is a vision of a federal jobs program (modeled after the New Deal era Civilian Conservation Corps) that will put our generation to work combatting the climate crisis with equity and equality, and scaled to the size of the emergency. You can read more about the Civilian Climate Corps here.

We fought for the CCC throughout the 2020 Presidential campaign, got it into Biden’s climate plan, and now it’s been introduced into Congress by our GND champions as part of the federal infrastructure package that will be signed into law by the end of summer. For Biden and Congressional Dems, passing this multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package is their top priority. Great, right? 

Well, here is the issue: Biden is vague on his vision of the CCC and some Congressional Dems are trying to pass a weak version. We need them to pass the most ambitious version of the CCC possible if this country has a shot at addressing climate and economic injustice at the scale of the crises we face.

What about the GND?

The Civilian Climate Corps represents all the promise and potential of the Green New Deal. The CCC will be the first piece laid in our vision of a Green New Deal, the start of the decade-long project to build the country with justice, with jobs, and to fight the climate crisis. The CCC passed will set a precedent for the rest of the GND programs to come in future legislation.

So that’s where we come in and do what we do best: be brave, act bold, and dream for them until they dream with us.

Our vision for the CCC

Imagine a world where millions of people, recent high school graduates and middle-aged alike, could work on projects protecting communities from sea-level rise, taking care of the elderly, distributing fresh produce in food deserts, restoring wetlands, and rebuilding after climate disasters, while getting paid a living wage, having access to healthcare, and getting apprenticed to continue their career, instead of working a shitty job at Amazon making Jeff Bezos richer? Instead imagine:

  • Jobs that support us: Compensation of at least $15 per hour, full health care coverage, and critical support services such as transportation, housing, and childcare.
  • Educational funding: Complete and enabling educational grants of $25,000 per year of service, up to $50,000, eligible for further education at any level or to pay down student debt.
  • Long term career opportunities: All CCC members will be provided with a job and career pathway during their service through education, vocational training, and partnership with unions and employers.
  • Equitable recruitment and investment: Ensuring that environmental justice communities receive benefits of at least 50% of CCC and Partner Corps projects, and 50% of corps members are recruited from these same communities, with no age limit for participation in at least 50% of Partner Corps.

Description of AOC and Markey’s legislation

Polling on CCC

Support the Marchers

A Civilian Climate Corps is our first piece of the Green New Deal–and we can win it by summer’s end. Our marches bring the heat to the people in power, demonstrate the urgency of our demands, and invite everyone we meet along the way into our vision of our country. We can win it: good jobs, a livable future, and the Green New Deal. It’s within reach. Our movement has run a marathon, and the first prize is on summer’s horizon.

So let’s go. Join us. We need all the help we can get. Here is how you can plug in to our marches right now:

  1. Follow us for live updates from marchers on the ground: IG @sunrisegenonfire and Twitter @smvmtgenonfire for live updates from marchers on the ground
  2. Join the Rays Take action anytime, anywhere. Sign-up here.
  3. Donate. People gave up their time and wages to help make this possible. Donate here.