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    WELCOME TO OUR NEW AND IMPROVED WEBSITE

    Dear Steps Coalition Partners and Friends,

    We look forward to 2016 with the hope of continuing and building on work that we started in 2015 and the launch of new social justice collaborative efforts. Toward that end we begin 2016 with the launch of Steps Coalition new website. 

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    Gulf Communities Join the Global Actions to Break Free from Fossil Fuels

    greenpeace_fb_breakfree_dc_cj1b-400x300.pngMay 4th marked the first day of a two week series of global mass actions to keep oil, coal, and gas in the ground and accelerate the transition to clean energy economy.  With the threat of truly catastrophic climate crisis looming, across the globe, communities on the front lines of climate change and the fenceline of fossil fuel industries are standing together and calling on world leaders to live up to their promises made in Paris last year to stop global temperature from rising above 2 degrees. 

    Steps Coalition is thrilled to be part of this momentous effort to protect our communities and future on this planet.  As part of a Gulf delegation, we will be joining thousands of others across the nation for a Break Free action in Washington DC on May 15th.

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    The Call To End New Oil Drilling in the Gulf Continues

    No_New_Leases.jpgTwo weeks ago hundreds of citizens from across the Gulf rallied in New Orleans to call for an end to new oil drilling in the Gulf.  It was the first time the people of the Gulf stood together in a united front to demand an end to the destruction and sacrifice zone our Gulf has become in the pursuit of money and oil.  The fight continues.  Next week the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Dept of Interior) is currently working on the next five year plan for auctioning oil leases in the Gulf.  The current five year plan includes auctioning off two-thirds of the entire Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leases. 

    The latest research tells us that if we are going to prevent climate chaos, we will need to keep 80% of coal, oil, and gas in the ground.  It is thus, imperative that we stop the sale of new oil and gas leases.  It is time we stand together once again to demand a just transition to clean energy!

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    Biloxi Town Hall Meeting: Keeping our Children Safe at School

    students350350.jpgConcerned parents and advocates gathered together in Biloxi last Wednesday night, March 30th, for a town hall meeting to learn and discuss how state policies can protect children at schools from traumatizing, dehumanizing, and dangerous procedures, known as restraint and seclusion.  In partnership with Moore Community House, ACLU Advocacy Coordinator, Rene' Hardwick, facilitated a discussion about protections and safe alternatives to restraint and seclusion. 

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    Biloxi Town Hall Meeting: A Candid Discussion on the War on Drugs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

    town_hall.jpgConcerned citizens of Biloxi gathered for a town hall meeting Thursday night March 31st to discuss the impact of the War on Drugs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  The meeting began with an overview of the criminal record expungement process given by Latrice Westbrook, Esq.  Following the informative presentation, Dawn Stough, Esq. moderated a panel discussion and a Q&A with citizens.  The town hall was organized by One Voice and My Voice Vote Campaign and co-sponsored by Steps Coalition, MS Center for Justice, Biloxi NAACP, Stone County NAACP, Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, District 119, and Law Offices of Dawn Strough, PLLC.

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    Mississippi Gulf Coast Citizens Join Hundreds for No New Leases Rally

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     On March 23rd, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents joined hundreds from across the region from Texas to Florida to oppose the sale of 43 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore drilling as part of a national effort to call for a just transition toward clean energy. The movement has had significant victories, including the recent win by Atlantic coast residents to protect their shore and the postponing of oil and gas auctions in Utah, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington D.C.

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    MS MIP: Where is the Accountability?

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     Mississippi will be receiving over $2 billion in the next 17 years as a result of fines, penalties, and damages from the BP Oil Drilling Disaster.  The money will be coming from different sources that have different requirements and priorities for how it can be used.  Recently, the state released the MS Multi-year Implementation Plan that identifies how the state will spend some of the RESTORE Act funding, specifically as it relates to economic recovery.

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    Historic Call To End New Oil Drilling in the Gulf

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    On March 23rd, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, artists, musicians, advocates, activists, land owners, EJ/front line/fence line community members, fisher folk, water defenders, land protectors, frack-fighters and lovers of all kind will encircle the Louisiana Superdome with standing in solidarity with each other, while putting forward our liberation declaration for a Gulf region powered by solar and wind energy, and a call for an end to new Gulf oil drilling leases.  Our goal is to stop the the U.S. Department of Interior's 3.23 lease sale of 42 million acres of the Gulf waters to the oil and gas industry, present a document calling for the development of clean energy infrastructure and a just transistion of the Gulf region away from fossil fuels, an end to new oil drilling leases in the GOM, and an immediate hiring of at least 1,000 workers to repair the 27,000 abandoned and leaking oil wells in the Gulf region.   

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    Let's Help Pascagoula Citizens Fight For Clean Air

    first_air_sample.jpgIn 2014, Steps Coalition was invited by a group of residents living in Cherokee subdivision to help support their organizing efforts to reduce their exposure to industrial pollution.  The subdivision is located near Bayou Casotte Industrial Complex in Pascagoula.  The complex houses the largest Chevron Refinery in the world, two sandblasting and paint operations, two chemical plants, and a BP processing plant and gas exporting facility.  The closest facility is about 500 feet away from a couple of houses in the neighborhood. Many people in the neighborhood are getting sick and the Cherokee Concerned Citizens believe their exposure to industrial pollution is the cause.

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    What Brings Us to the Climate Justice Movement

     Paris_Delegation.jpgI had the opportunity to go to Paris as one of 30 delegates from the Gulf South Rising Movement.  We went to Paris with the goal of networking with other frontline communities across the globe, particularly the Global South, and exchanging stories of our respective struggles and triumphs in the fight for climate justice.  It was truly a life changing experience for me.  Not only did I have the pleasure of meeting climate justice activists from all over the world, but I also spent a week with some of the most passionate, talented, and conscientious climate activists in the Gulf region.

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Steps Coalition
610 Water Street, Biloxi, MS 39530
(228) 435-3113

Economic Justice | Environmental Justice | Affordable Housing | Preservation of Historical Communities | Human Rights