SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The state of California and the city of San Jose are looking to recruit a new generation of warriors to help fight climate change.
The effort is part of the new Climate Action Corps created by Governor Newsom this week to combat climate change and environmental degradation in California.
“Climate change is burning down our forests. It’s lapping on our shores, it’s
choking our lungs,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo at a news conference to launch the Climate Action Corps in his city.
The mayor and other city and state officials were joined by young people already working or volunteering in environmental jobs.
Liccardo said young people are already on the front lines as climate change warriors, and they will be the ones leading this new effort in California.
“I feel like young people are very involved because we are the first generation that’s really feeling the effects of climate change. So we’re really motivated to take action,” said Nancy Solorio.
She works for Our City Forest, a San Jose non-profit that was highlighted by the Governor’s office as a model for the Climate Action Corps statewide.
Solorio says her generation doesn’t want to repeat the environmental catastrophes that older generations created.
“We’re really feeling it with the fires, the sea level rise, just all around us. Just different little factors affecting us,” explained Solorio.
The Climate Action Corps will partner with cities like San Jose and Americorps
to recruit volunteers and deploy 250 paid fellows to spearhead action projects in communities around the state.
“To give every Californian, the opportunity to take action today. And if you’re willing to serve for a year, we’re going to help you pay for college. And if you want to volunteer, we’re going to give you the opportunity to do that,”
said California’s Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday.
One of the first Action Corps projects will be to plant trees, which is an easy and
effective way to help the environment.
“It’s pulling the harmful carbon dioxide from the air and storing it and turning that carbon dioxide into oxygen which we need to breathe,” said Mathew Enterline, an employee with Our City Forest.
People interested in the program can find out more at the California Climate Action Corps website.