Philadelphia is at the precipice of an amazing opportunity- it has the potential to step up and begin the switch to renewable energy infrastructure. Philly Thrive is a leader in Philadelphia's just transition to a green energy economy, lifting up communities that are most harmed by the city's toxic emissions. In this series, we will be spotlighting efforts around the region, the country, and the world to combat racist and murderous energy policies, and begin the transition to a green economy beneficial to all Philadelphians.
The present federal administration is a clear enemy of the environment. One example of this are Trump's boastful statements about undoing "the most" federal regulations-regulations put in place to protect the health of humans and the planet. While our president is busy denying climate change, other parts of the world are moving forward in climate policy, adaptation, and decreasing reliance on fossil fuel.
Let’s take a look at the Scandinavian countries. Despite being a land of long, cold winters, they are successful in their undertaking of reducing emissions. A 2017 paper by Benjamin Sovacool (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516307091) states that an energy transition for the area was financially practical because when they ran the numbers, “…external costs associated with health impacts of air pollution are roughly equal to additional investment needed to achieve carbon neutral scenario...” . And so far, 87% of electricity from Scandinavia is carbon free (Sovacool).Read more
The movement to win our Right to Breathe is blessed with leadership from many powerful mothers. We strive to honor these mothers every day - and on Mother's Day there's a special opportunity to look to their wisdom. Here's what Philly Thrive members Minister Michelle Pumphrey, .O, and Ms. Audrey have to say about motherhood and the right to breathe...
The Breath of Life: A Mother’s Tribute. Let me begin by saying that we must always thank God for giving us the breath of life! I am a mother of four, one deceased. As I carried each one of them in my body, there were things that I had to change to ensure that they would become healthy children. Being a cigarette smoker, I had to drop that habit! I did not want to play any part of affecting my children’s growth. Even now that they are grown, I still care about the right for them to breathe. Even my eight grandchildren and my three great grands. I came to the conclusion many years ago that a mother’s work is never done. I am a firm believer of that! So as a woman and a mother of Philly Thrive I will continue to be the mother who will fight for my children, grands and great grands - and for everyone else’s children - to have the right to breathe because it does take a village! - Minister Michelle PumphreyRead more
November fourth was an exciting day for Philly Thrive. After several months of surveying hundreds of Philadelphians on their experiences living near the PES oil refinery and their desires for our city’s future energy plan, we were able to witness the energy of our #WeDecide campaign manifest in a room full of citizens ready to engage. Folks of all backgrounds convened at Church of the Redeemer in South Philly to hear and discuss the results of the survey, and continue developing our vision for change.
With about 100 gathered in the banquet hall, the event started off with a powerful message from our first speaker, O – “WE are the ones we have been waiting for.” O reminded us that we are living on land that was stolen from the Lenape and other indigenous groups. After her introduction, speakers Zalaka and Johanna gave us the results from the #WeDecide survey. A summary of these results can be found here - notably, 95% agreed that the refinery should pay for the health damages it causes, and folks labeled “public health” and “public safety” as top priorities for future energy development decisions.
For the last few months our #WeDecide campaign has been taking flight! We’ve been putting our feet to the pavement all Summer long to bring out the voice of Philadelphia residents around the Right to Breathe. From surveying at all kinds of community centers, churches, and functions to phone banking and maintaining a connection with all the folks we talked to, Philly Thrive has been getting the work done.
After all that hard work, sometimes you deserve a reward as well! That’s exactly why we got together last Sunday, September 24 for a celebratory barbeque. Music and laughter filled the air at Stinger Square park in South Philadelphia as old and new Thrivers mingled, enjoyed good food, and talked about both what we’ve accomplished and what’s soon to come. We were excited to have many new faces attend to share the fun and engage with our work!
A few individuals were recognized with certificates for their leadership development over the summer, and we shared stories about particular occasions when their strength as leaders shone through. It was heartwarming to hear folks expressing gratitude for each other’s growth, hard work, and dedication.Read more
Hurricanes, fires, our world. I am feeling the pains of our earth. We all need to do something. If not, destruction will happen.
Hurricanes in the East Coast and fires in the West Coast. Our God is not happy right now. And our change in the climate is stuck in the middle. Instead of fighting each other about race let's gather together to save our planet.
Philly Thrive is a grassroots organization of Philadelphians taking action for clean air, climate justice, and the right to breathe. We’re defending our communities and our future against the largest fossil fuel refinery on the East Coast. We oppose Philadelphia becoming a toxic fossil fuel “energy hub” - we need a transition to an economy that serves people and planet. We envision a just transition to climate jobs, clean energy, and healthy communities. Read below to learn about our internship opportunities.Read more
With the Democratic Primary on Tuesday May 16, District Attorney Candidate Larry Krasner reached out to Philly Thrive to win the support of our membership. Krasner has been the only candidate to speak about the importance of prosecuting lawbreaking polluters.
Even though Thrive will not be endorsing a candidate this election, we recognize the material difference a progressive D.A. could make for our communities and the political climate under which we organize. For that reason, we canvassed for Kranser to invite residents who live near the refinery to a meet-and-greet with the candidate. The meeting was rained out, unfortunately, but Krasner did respond via email to the questions Thrive had prepared for the candidate...
In the week before the Christmas holiday, Zalaka T.-B. and I walked through Wilson Park distributing the first-ever issue of the Philly Thrive Review. The print newsletter (now available as a PDF!) contains background information for Thrive and an update of the events Thrive hosted and participated in over the past six months. The newsletter distribution was an effort to spread awareness of Thrive in Wilson Park and surrounding neighborhoods, and to celebrate our recent accomplishments.Read more