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Connect the Dots Podcast Features Youth Transportation Justice Activist

Climate Justice Climate

This is the second in a series about episodes in season seven of Connect the Dots, the Center for Progressive Reform’s podcast on climate solutions. Subsequent posts will be posted throughout the summer.

Connect the Dots season seven has arrived. Listen to a teenage advocate reform climate transportation justice on episode two.

This season, host Rob Verchick, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans and president of the Center for Progressive Reform, is joined by guests from around the country to talk about climate wins. 

Our second episode — Climate Win: Youth Activist Takes on State Government — features youth climate and transportation justice organizer, Adah Crandall. At only 16 years old, the Portland, Oregon, native works as an organizer at Sunrise Portland Youth and co-leads the Portland Youth Climate Strike. Crandall focuses on how pollution from cars, trucks, planes, and other transit contribute to global warming. 

Crandall first learned about the negative health effects of diesel pollution in her middle school,  which was adjacent to a Portland freeway. Being able to hear, see, and smell the exhaust from the freeway traffic every day was unacceptable to her and unfair to children. With the help of a teacher, she and classmates created an Environmental Justice Club at school and began lobbying the state government in protest of a freeway expansion, intended to be constructed even closer to her school. 

Now in high school, Crandall has been working with Sunrise Portland Youth, an organization of young people advocating for climate justice around the country. She has also been liaising with the Portland Department of Transportation to build out educational programs, improving information and access to mass transit. 

Crandall even testified before a government committee hearing, bringing attention not only to her goal, but also to her unique story as a teenager growing up with a climate crisis.

Though Crandall noted she feels betrayed and dismissed by politicians that haven’t taken climate policy seriously enough, she is hopeful and encouraged by the thousands of youths across the country like her who advocate on behalf of a sustainable future. 

“The work that we’re doing does make an impact, and we are starting to change things,” Crandall told Connect the Dots. “It’s not only a sad story. There have always been people who are standing up against these injustices.” 

For all the details to this episode, listen to Connect the Dots on your favorite podcasting platform and be sure to subscribe to catch the next episode on community solar solutions in a state where solar energy is growing faster than most of the country: North Carolina.

For more content related to Connect the Dots, visit us on Instagram (@progressivereform). 

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