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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
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For Immediate Release

Contact: Rachele Huennekens, (703) 470-2454

Sierra Club to Rally in 20 Cities for "We Are One" Day of Action for Workers Rights, Civil Rights and Environmental Rights

On Monday, April 4, thousands of members of the Sierra Club will participate in the massive "We Are One" Day of Action in 20 cities across the country.  The Day of Action includes tens of thousands of members of labor unions, civil rights, environmental, faith, student, economic justice, LBGTQ, immigrant rights and community groups participating in rallies, marches and other public actions to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, as he marched for economic and social justice for Memphis sanitation workers.

"Today, Dr. King’s vision of a just, equitable America is under attack by corporate polluters and their political allies across the nation," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. "The Sierra Club is marching on April 4 in solidarity with the working families of America, and we are committed to protecting Americans' fundamental rights to bargain for good jobs and fair treatment, to breathe clean air and drink clean water."

On Monday, Sierra Club members and environmentalists will rally alongside of members of the labor and civil rights movements for our common vision of a healthy, safe, equitable and prosperous America.   In states including Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Maine and Wisconsin, Sierra Club members will speak out against state legislation and budget cuts that harm our environment and working families.

In Memphis, Tennessee, dozens of activists with the Sierra Club Environmental Justice program will march in solidarity with union partners in the 43rd Annual Martin Luther King Commemorative March to the Memphis City Hall.  Sierra Club members will also join a community BBQ hosted by AFSCME Local 1733 commemorating the death of Dr. King. 

In Indiana, Sierra Club members and volunteers will rally at the Indianapolis Statehouse to renew Dr. King's commitment to collective bargaining and fair wages for all people. This will be followed by a media event of labor allies where Bowden Quinn, the Conservation Program Coordinator for the Hoosier Chapter, will speak on the common goals working families and environmentalists share. Sierra Club will also participate in a memorial to Dr. King and the work he did to aide working families.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, Sierra Club will march alongside labor union members as they walk to the State Capitol. Once there, Margaret Levin, the North Star Chapter Director, will speak about our common vision for a healthy and safe America. She also present a petition signed by over 10,000 Sierra Club members and 1,200 Minnesotans, showing their support of working families.

On April 3, Sierra Club will stand in solidarity with labor in St. Louis, Missouri to rally in favor of Prop E, a vote that would retain the city's earnings tax which funds more than 1/3 of the city's budgets. Loss of this key revenue stream could mean the loss of more than 2,000 family-supporting, public jobs in the City of St Louis. Sierra Club will speak at the rally, stressing the importance of a good jobs and a clean, healthy environment.

The Maine Chapter of Sierra Club will be participating in events throughout the week, first participating in a Faith Convocation in Portland to hear speakers from the faith, labor, and civil rights communities, then offering events to Mainers to educate them on the importance of workers rights and calling representatives to urge them to vote in favor of working families.

Elsewhere on Monday, Sierra Club is standing side by side with labor unions, such as in Albuquerque, New Mexico where activists will join with labor, interfaith groups and students in a vigil to honor Dr. King’s lifetime support of collective bargaining, workers rights and public service. Or in Pennsylvania where Sierra Club members will be participate in events in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and across the state, to rally for workers rights and demand that CEOs and corporations pay their fair share.

Going forward, the Sierra Club will continue to organize on behalf of workers rights and environmental justice concerns.  In Corpus Christi, Texas, African American and Latino Sierra Club activists whose homes are concentrated on the north side of the city – in close proximity to dozens of toxic oil refineries, dump sites and chemical plants -- are fighting to stop the construction of a new petroleum-coke burning plant. The Las Brisas Energy Center would increase dangerous pollution in the area by 82 percent and emit 220 pounds of highly toxic mercury a year, worsening the health crisis of African Americans and Latinos living in the shadow of toxic pollution in Corpus Christi.

In northeast Arizona, the Sierra Club is partnering with Native American grassroots organizations including the Black Mesa Water Coalition, Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment (Dine CARE), To Nizhoni Ani and the Center for Biological Diversity to get to the bottom of the Peabody Coal Company’s destructive coal mining practices in Black Mesa.  The group recently sued the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in federal court for withholding records related to Peabody Western's coal mining operations - including a copy of a current, valid operation permit for Peabody's Black Mesa and Kayenta mines.

In Wisconsin, the Sierra Club’s John Muir Chapter has been leading strong actions in solidarity with union members defending workers’ rights in the state.  On March 13, the Sierra Club organized major rallies against provisions in the state budget and budget repair bill that hurt our environment and working families in Oshkosh, Shorewood, Neenah, Racine, Menomonie and Sheboygan.  John Muir Chapter Director Dr. Shahla Werner, said "We stand united… to defend the Wisconsin that we love, its people, and its lands and waters. We call on the governor and our legislators to be held accountable to the people of this state and we challenge the narrow corporate interests that are hijacking our democracy."

Dr. Werner has also been an outspoken critic of the Wisconsin Senate and Governor's stripping of workers’ collective bargaining rights, saying, "The state legislature’s… bold willingness to roll back the rights of working families in Wisconsin in the name of corporate greed is deplorable. We stand in solidarity with working families who have flooded our State Capitol and public squares throughout our state to defend their rights as union members, workers and citizens."

The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 1.4 million members and supporters nationwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.sierraclub.org/greenjobs/standwithworkers/

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