We envision a future in which frontline communities - LGBTQ communities, indigenous communities, communities of color, and youth - are leading the Just Transition by building a culture of change and mobilizing for concrete victories that address the intersectionality of structural racism, economic inequality, environmental degradation and all the failures of the corporate-led, extractive economy.
Our mission is to create a future in which a
Just Transition is achieved by a social movement that simultaneously and strategically dismantles the five pillars of the extractive economy while building a new regenerative, community economy that puts people and planet first.
In short, we commit to stopping the bad and building the new. Our movement is rooted in principles of energy democracy and climate and ecological justice. And our way forward is guided by a belief in the sacredness of the following core values:
Shift economic control to communities
Democratize wealth and the workplace
Advance ecological restoration
Drive racial justice and social equity
Relocalize most production and consumption
Retain and restore cultures and traditions
We stop the bad by building organizing capacity, then organizing and mobilizing frontline communities to expose and oppose efforts by the fossil fuel industry, investor-owned utilities, real estate developers, and banks to extract value from the natural environment and profit from the exploitation of our people, often through false solutions to the intersecting crises of climate change and racial capitalism.
Through our organizing we build the economic, political, and cultural power needed to win real policy solutions at all levels of government and other systems of power. Our efforts consistently center frontline individuals, families, and communities directly and indirectly harmed by the extractive economy, the militarization of our streets, and the worsening climate crisis. As we engage in the struggle for both structural reforms and transformative change we hone our ability to self-govern - if we’re not ready to govern, we’re not ready to win.
Our efforts to build a new economy begin in Buffalo’s neighborhoods and with its people. Through training, education, and leadership development, we realize a capacity for collective self-governance and hold space for members of directly impacted communities to articulate and lead the implementation of solutions. We draw inspiration from place-based models, like the Green Development Zone on Buffalo’s West Side and the F.B. Community Land Trust in East Buffalo, as we set out to create community controlled and community-owned infrastructure critical to the maintenance of just human relationships and the restoration of ecological systems.
We believe that place-based work can serve as a model for the deep democratic revival of our city as a whole. Place-based work for a Just Transition is grounded in education, practice, experimentation, shared decision making, mutual accountability, healing, and love. It positions our communities as learning laboratories for other post-industrial cities around the world seeking to develop alternative community economies, built on community-owned renewable energy resources, green affordable housing, equitable food systems, and accessible public infrastructure including regional mass transit. Our neighborhoods are places where residents can remain and return to. They are places where people can work living wage jobs or cooperatively own businesses and land that create multiple benefits to the environment and the people. We preserve and expand frontline arts and cultural institutions because we know when diverse people are brought together by arts and organizing they find community, and cultural and political voice. We will protect the waters of our region and the homes of other species.
The movement for a Just Transition is trans-local. We seek alignment with allies and partners, and work to cultivate right relationships with frontline communities, from the coal mining towns of Appalachia to the sacrifice zones in the Bay Area to the indigenous communities fighting for recognition and survival in Alaska. Working together, in different network formations, we create a home for our movement and the Just Transition we seek to achieve.