Creative forces unite against Prop. 23

"I've got lung capacity smaller than it has to be / that's what happens growing up by gas factories"

Proposition 23, bankrolled by out-of-state oil interests, threatens to reverse California’s environmental progress by suspending its landmark climate change legislation,  Assembly Bill 32. Titled the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32 would place enforceable limits on major polluters and spur the creation of green businesses. But if voters approve Prop. 23, progress on transitioning to clean energy could be stalled for decades. The Guardian published in-depth coverage of Prop. 23 in the Oct. 13 issue.

A broad coalition of big green organizations, green-business associations, and others has formed to oppose Prop. 23 -- but some of the most inspiring efforts have emerged from a coalition of environmental-justice advocates who are tapping their own creative genius to get the message out.

Hip hop artists Braelan B and Gammaray of the Los Angeles-based Beatrock Music label spearheaded the creation of a No on Prop 23 song, in collaboration with Otayo Dubb and T-Know (both of CounterParts with Braelan B and Gammaray), and artists Nomi of Power Struggle, Somos One of BRWN BFLO, and Damn Pete of Think Tank. Have a listen:

Braelan B told the Guardian that the artists were inspired by the efforts of Communities United Against Prop 23 -- a coalition of environmental-justice organizations that is highlighting the impact the ballot measure would have on communities of color -- as well as a voter-mobilization effort called the Clean Energy Tour, and the California Students Sustainability Coalition (CSSC), which is seeking online pledges for “no” votes against Prop. 23. Also known as Braelan Murray, he also serves as communications director at the Greenlining Institute, which is part of Communities United.

“We’re trying to use music as a catalyst,” he explained. “The youth vote and the of-color vote are really the swing votes.” To launch the music project, he said, “I just sort of got on the phone and said, California’s under attack, and I really want to send a strong message.” The idea caught on, and the YouTube video featuring the song already has more than 1,000 hits.

Meanwhile, Green for All has released a YouTube video about Prop. 23 set to the tune of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” featuring some rather hilarious oily cowboys smoking cigars and clutching fistfuls of money. Check it out: