I did a really fun podcast with Phil Rosenthal and David Wild. It’s called NAKED LUNCH. We weren’t naked but there were many laughs, and great food! We had lots to discuss, so there are two parts. Check them out here: https://link.chtbl.com/v_wO2BFi
I’m popping out of my skin with happiness and pride! Last night, the Jane Fonda Climate PAC saw most of our supported candidates win. I’m posting about this because I want people to see that down ballot races are truly strategic when it comes to confronting the climate crisis. It’s state legislatures, city councils, county executives, mayors, and supervisors where the robust work on climate is taking place these days. Please remember this when you vote in 2024. And we must ALL vote. Voting for someone doesn’t mean you’re marrying them! It means making a pragmatic decision that will make a difference in how hard or easy your life will be. And let’s all remember this: IT’S BETTER TO TRY AND MOVE AN ALLY THAN TO BE BLOCKED BY A FASCIST. In Virginia – 13 out of 14 of our endorsed candidates for Virginia’s state legislature won! That means that Democrats held the Senate flipped the House and won control of the State General Assembly. Take that Gov. Youngkin! We also supported winning candidates for School Board and Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, Virginia! Our candidate for Minneapolis City Council won the first round of ranked choice voting by only 59 votes (which shows that EVERY VOTE COUNTS!) Our goal in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was to flip the County Council in a community that has 6 superfund sites, a proposed gas line expansion and NO environmental oversight committee. Of our 5 endorsed candidates — 4 of them WON! While we didn’t completely flip the Council, we helped elect four climate champions who will fight for their communities. In Allegheny County, PA, our candidate for the County’s new Executive won her general election. These county executive positions can be very important when it comes to climate-related matters. Keep this in mind for future elections. And finally in San Diego County, CA our candidate Monica Montgomery-Steppe won her race for the County Board of Supervisors, making history as the first Black woman to be elected to the Board. If you feel like joining my PAC, please go to JANEPAC.com
I recently attended the first soccer game of my life and the first women’s sports game. The Angel City team of Los Angeles against Seattle’s OL Reign. It was so exciting; I want to make it a regular thing. Thrilled that I got to see Megan Rapinoe, with the OL Reign, play. This happened to be her last game in LA, and her last season, she’s retiring, which makes me very sad as I admire her profoundly on many levels. As much as I admire Megan, I had to root for my home team, Angel City, which happens to be owned by a number of my friends including Natalie Portman, Cindy Holland and Eva Longoria. AND WE WON!
Last year, Governor Newsom of California, signed a bill into law that created a 3200ft set back between communities in California and active oil wells. The largest setback of any oil-or gas-producing state and that distance is what science says is the safest. Over 7 million Californians live within a mile of oil and gas wells, and nearly 2.2 million within 2500 feet. These frontline communities have seen people develop illnesses like cancer, heart and lung disease, preterm births, asthma, nosebleeds and more. They’ve been fighting for decades to have a setback bill to protect them. All of us thought we’d seen a major victory. But shortly after Newsom’s bill was passed, we learned the oil companies were mounting a referendum to kill it. They spent 20 million dollars on signature gathering, paying the people doing the gathering who were then really motivated to get signatures. These gatherers lied to people to get them to sign, saying that if Newsom’s bill went into effect, people would start getting sick in those communities and their gas prices would go up. All baloney. We’ve heard Big Oil will spend $200 million to win this. If they succeed, this tactic will go national. Already the use of referenda to undo elections whose outcomes they don’t like is growing and is a direct assault on Democracy as well as on the communities that have suffered so much over the years. On top of this, if Big Oil wins, this issue. – protecting the lives and health of people in frontline communities by creating setbacks – can never be revived. That’s it. Done. Forever. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We MUST NOT allow Oil to win. Organizers are coming to California from around the country to help build a strong movement here. We need volunteers to canvas, go door to door, help get out the vote. Big Oil has already been running very slick, well produced ads about why this state needs more oil and gas. But the “facts” in these TV ads are deceiving and filled with lies. We will have to be able to counter those with the truth. Please, if you are a Californian, go to the website cavsbigoil.com to understand more and sign up to help. Please follow on social media for additional information and updates: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProtectCACommunities/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/CAvsBigOil/ Threads: www.threads.net/@CAvsBigOil Twitter: https://twitter.com/CAvsBigOil/
Last week I was told by my oncologist that my cancer is in remission and I can discontinue chemo. I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate. I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news. I’m especially happy because while my first 4 chemo treatments were rather easy for me, only a few days of being tired, the last chemo session was rough and lasted 2 weeks making it hard to accomplish much of anything. The effects wore off just as I went to D.C. for the first live, in-person Fire Drill Fridays rally. Thank heavens for that because it was a busy week. Besides the rally, I did some lobbying and spoke twice at the Democracy Alliance all in an effort to stop Senator Joe Manchin’s side deal which climate activists call the Dirty Deal. This deal, called ‘permitting reform,’ seeks to fast track fossil fuel projects, does great harm to bedrock environmental protections and curtails the public‘s ability to have input, basically throwing marginalized communities disproportionately burdened by fossil fuel pollution under the bus. Equally important, this corporate giveaway to the fossil fuel industry is a slap in the face to the record number of young voters and self-identified climate voters who came out in record numbers for the midterms. Democrats courted these voters and should remain accountable to them. No member of Congress can profess to support environmental justice while supporting Senator Manchin’s and Senator Schumer’s effort to silence any opposition and condemn low income, largely brown and black communities locked into fossil fuel created sacrifice zones. 750 environmental and climate justice groups joined environmental justice leaders, including members from the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, sent a letter to Congress voicing their opposition. 400 health professionals joined in raising both the public health and climate risks of this dirty deal, along with the President of the American Lung Association. In September, 11 leaders of environmental, labor, and EJ organizations were arrested for protesting the deal which was defeated on the first attempt and then brought back by Senators Manchin and Schumer a 2nd time. It was defeated again but last week we learned the senators were trying again to attach this horrific side deal to another bill. Please call or write your senator(s) demanding they oppose this Dirty Deal. Thanks for doing that and thanks for sending good wishes my way. I wish everyone a joyful, healthy Holiday.
The seeds of a new Texas are being sewn. I have seen it. This week I went to Austin, Texas, to campaign with candidates endorsed by my Climate PAC. A year or so ago, Piper Perabo, my actor friend who is also a climate activist, told me that the race to watch for when it comes to climate was Texas Railroad Commissioner. What? I thought she was crazy. But then I found out she was simply ahead of most people. You see, in the 19th century the Texas Railroad Commission was created to regulate the railroad but when oil and gas became Texas‘s main industry the job of the Railroad Commission was changed to one that is supposed to oversee and regulate the oil and gas industries in the state. The name of the commission didn’t change though, so a lot of people don’t realize what the commission really does. The problem is and has always been that the three commissioners have tended to work for the industry they are supposed to regulate which has been bad for the planet and recently been tragic for Texans. I’m sure you read or heard about the disaster that happened two years ago when there was an extreme freeze in Texas and the electric generators failed to produce enough power to keep the lights on and heat running. And because natural gas production relies on power, when the power shut down, the production of natural gas also shut down, exacerbating what was already a catastrophe. Texas’s power system is unusual. It is the only state in the country with a totally unregulated grid, making it unable to borrow energy from neighboring states. The grid, unsurprisingly, runs largely on natural gas. In the wealthier communities the power was turned back on relatively quickly but in low-income communities and communities of color like the one I visited in Austin, scores of people who live in public housing went for months without these essential resources. Over 700 people died in Texas during the Big Freeze as it’s called. I talked to people who had neighbors found frozen to death in their living rooms. Pipes burst causing walls and ceilings to collapse. Mold has rendered many apartments dangerous to residents’ health. Even today, unless you live in wealthy areas, homes and apartments are still struggling to get mold removed and repairs made. This is what is meant by environmental racism. None of this needed to happen. Extreme weather had shut down the grid before and the Railroad Commission was told to do its job and weatherize the grid. Nothing was done. And then the disastrous big freeze happened and still the grid has not been weatherized and so remains extremely vulnerable to another disaster. Texas is the largest greenhouse gas emitting state in the U.S. and the oil and gas industry is the biggest contributor to those emissions. Every year, millions of tons of gasses, including the most damaging, methane, are emitted in Texas unnecessarily because the Railroad Commission doesn’t enforce the rules against flaring and venting and capping orphaned (abandoned) wells. When capping orphaned wells, the Commission focuses on the easiest wells to cap, ignoring those that are highest emitters. When fossil fuel companies don’t clean up and cap their old wells, the wells remain dangerous and toxic and taxpayers end up having to foot the bill. These are but a few examples of the ongoing dangers to Texans and the planet that occur because the RR Commission doesn’t do its job. That’s why my PAC and I are enthusiastically campaigning for Luke Warford, the 33 year-old progressive Democrat who is running for Railroad Commissioner. He is brave and will stand up against corporate negligence and greed. He has bold ideas about how the Commission can play a major role in protecting Texans from extreme weather events and reduce Texas’s carbon footprint. He has pledged to reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions by refusing to rubber-stamp flaring exemptions for gas companies and dedicate Commission resources to finding and stopping polluters. He has pledged to combat water pollution by stopping polluters from dumping fracking byproducts in areas that risk contaminating the water supply. This is called environmental justice. Luke’s election to the Railroad Commission will be a potential game-changer and I am thrilled that the Jane Fonda Climate PAC has been able to help him get there. From Austin we drove to Port Arthur, Texas, which has one of the largest concentrations of oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructures in the world owned by the likes of the Koch Brothers, Chevron, and the Saudis among others. My Fire Drill Friday’s team hired a local film crew to follow us as I joined with local resident, John Beard Jr, for a tour of the area where everyone knows someone who has cancer or lung disease. Port Arthur is what’s known as a ‘Sacrifice Zone,’ the largely Black residents viewed as expendable. John used to work in the oil rigs and now is founder and CEO of the Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN). The film will be part of an upcoming Fire Drill Friday. My final time in Texas was spent in Houston campaigning with Judge Lina Hildalgo. I “met” Lina several weeks ago on a Zoom fundraiser, saw right away that this young woman was unusual, and I wanted to help her win re-election as Judge in Harris County. This position basically means top executive in a county that has a 4 billion dollar budget and is more populous than all of Louisiana or Rhode Island. It’s huge and, quite frankly, is currently ground zero for climate change. Lina is a 5 foot 2 inch tall, thirty-one year-old woman whose family immigrated from Columbia. She went to Stanford, became a citizen in 2013 and won her office in 2018. No one thought she could win. Her opponent laughed her off and never bothered to campaign against her. Her victory made her the first woman and first Latina elected to that office and this switched majority control of Harris County Commissioners Court from Republican to Democrat. People have been astonished at how much Lina has accomplished in her first four years, creating transparency in the Commission’s work, expanding public meetings so the public has time to speak to the issues before the Commission which they never had before and there is real deliberation on critical issues. She halted the expansion of interstate 45 through Houston until the federal government can determine if it would increase pollution or violate civil laws. She has made voting easier in Harris County. She has a real climate plan. While fossil fuel plants in Texas produce more than double the greenhouse gas emissions than any other state, Lina believes the energy Capitol of the world can also become the renewable energy capital. If anyone can fight to make this so it’s Lina Hildalgo. And, God willing, with Luke Warford as an ally in the Railroad Commission there’s no telling what bright future awaits Texas. It surely won’t be the same good-ol’-boy-do-nothing network. Don’t forget to make a plan to vote. Research where the officials you are considering voting for get their money and if the candidates have shown courage in standing up against corporate interests. We desperately need officials who will work for people and not for corporations.
It has been absolutely thrilling to be out on the campaign trail in support of brave climate champions running for office up and down the ballot all over the country that the Jane Fonda Climate PAC has endorsed. It fills me with hope and inspiration and my lymphoma is not going to stop me. This election is too important. Last March I launched my PAC with one laser-focused goal: Do what it takes to defeat fossil fuels supporters and elect climate champions at all levels of government. Over the past three years, my weekly Fire Drill Fridays (virtual since Covid) have built a strong following of 11 million people across all platforms who are learning to be activists. But time is running out to avoid the worst-case climate catastrophe and the stranglehold that oil, gas, and coal companies have on American politics is keeping us from passing laws that will save the planet…and us. And so, while I continue my important Fire Drill Fridays, I realized we need to move the fight to avert a true climate catastrophe into the electoral space because too many people in office, Democrats as well as Republicans, take money from the fossil fuel industry and therefore block important climate legislation created the climate PAC. We will never have the kind of funding the Koch Brothers have but we have huge numbers of on-the-ground activists everywhere who know the candidates that will work for people and not big corporations my PAC team is very experienced; and we have influencers and celebrities willing to use their platforms to help. And since we are currently focusing on down ballot candidates, every dollar really goes a long way. What I’ve discovered and what I want to share with you, is that candidates who wield a lot of power over the use of natural resources and control energy budgets are often found in positions you’d least expect. For instance, last week, I campaigned with a true rising star in New Mexico, Stephanie Garcia Richard, who is running for re-election as Public Lands Commissioner, the first female, Latina and educator to hold that position. Stephanie has signed a contract to bring the largest wind farm in the western hemisphere to New Mexico and wants to make her state a national hub of renewable energy. She has been able to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for cleaning up their spent wells and toxic tailings ponds. Due to her tough negotiations, she has earned record-breaking revenues for education every year in office which means free college tuition, more money for the poorestschools and health clinics. And she’s a true champion of a fair transition, feeling as I do, that fossil fuel workers are not responsible for the climate crisis and must be re-trained if necessary and paid union or union-equivalent salaries and benefits as they move to capping wells and building wind turbines for the green energy sector. To donate to Stephanie: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/blog-richard From Santa Fe I went to Detroit to campaign for Attorney General, Dana Nessel, who is running for re-election. Dana, another brave young woman, has fought hard against the Canadian oil company, Enbridge, who want to bury an aging gas pipeline in a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, a disaster waiting to happen. Enbridge has a terrible record of leaks. The company was fined $1.8 million because it didn’t correctly inspect Line 5 and its other pipelines. Enbridge Line 6B spilled 1.1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River after knowing the pipeline was unsafe but not repairing it. Enbridge lied about the status of the protective coating on Line 5. Enbridge Line 5 has spilled 33 times and 1.1 million gallons along its length. Dana is a true progressive who pledges to be the ‘People’s Attorney’ instead of the corporations’ attorney. She’s fighting to stem the tide of Michigan’s biggest environmental crisis in decades – PFAS contamination and was the first Attorneys General in the country to bring legal action against 3M, DuPont, and other manufactuteres of PFAS (‘forever chemicals’). Plus, she won’t enforce a state law banning abortion. She’s taken a lead role in fighting against companies that try to take advantage of Michigan consumers, whether it be through unfair utility rate increases or unscrupulous business practices. Her opponent, Matthew DePerno, is conservative and a favorite of former President Donald Trump who has claimed he will prosecute Nessel if he’s elected. To contribute to Dana: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/blog-nessel This midterm election marks a crossroads: if we elect people who are not indebted to corporate financing, who will truly work to make life safer, easier and fairer for the average person, we can change so many things across this country…including SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY. So please, do your homework, check out the candidates and where their money comes from and make a plan to VOTE. To donate to the JF Climate PAC https://secure.actblue.com/donate/janepac-website?refcode=header
On Saturday, James Oles, curator of the Diego Rivera show at the San Francisco MOMA, gave my small group a guided tour of the extraordinary exhibit. It will be in San Francisco until January 3rd and is well worth a visit. It includes 3 of Diego Rivera’s massive wall murals and James Oles deepened our understand and appreciation of Rivera’s brilliance and prescience. The last of the many rooms housing Rivera’s works is dedicated to his “society paintings.” These are the ones he did for money, often paintings of wealthy Americans. One of the final paintings, the one I am standing against above, is of my mother and half-sister in 1941. It has been hanging in my niece’s home since my sister passed. My niece, Pilar Corrias, is an art dealer based in London at the Pilar Corrias Gallery. Seeing the painting restored and hanging in the museum was an emotional experience for me. But actually the entire show was breathtaking and emotional for me. Try to see it!
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
|The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".