The About pages are related first-hand by Uniting for Action founder, Jared Krupnick.
Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal
Uniting for Action was born the week after the United States announced its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Anticipating the withdrawal announcement, I had been rushing to develop some new website technologies to support the wave of protests and marches around the country that I thought would follow the withdrawal announcement.
There were several climate leaders, like Al Gore, Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Bloomberg, and others that spoke out, and appeared on the news, but there weren’t the mass organized protests and marches across the country that I had expected to see, and thought would have been the appropriate response to the situation.
The Will of the People
I was particularly disheartened, having participated in the People’s Climate March just a month earlier, an event that included hundreds of thousands of people across the country in hundreds of cities.
It begs the question, “Whose interests are being served by the government’s policies, and how can we restore government’s interest in its citizens?”
My Facebook Live video from the People’s Climate March in Miami.
In addition to the Paris Climate Accord withdrawal announcement, ongoing Executive Orders and the EPA restructuring have been effectively dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency and its policies, designed to protect our health and the environment from industrial pollutants.
As a society, how are we not freaking out about this, and demanding actions to the contrary?
Adding Insult to Injury
In the midst of our government’s assault on our health, the Dakota Access Pipeline, that so many people had opposed and protested at Standing Rock and across the country, was completed.
The pipeline was completed after the current Presidential administration canceled an environmental review ordered by the previous Presidential administration.
My Facebook Live video from a Standing Rock solidarity march I attended in Fort Lauderdale.
It’s Time to Scale Up
With what has happened with Standing Rock, the Paris Accord, and the ongoing dismantling of the the Environmental Protection Agency, it has become clear to me that despite the best efforts of the environmental advocacy organizations and environmental champions in our society, our current efforts are not reaching the scale necessary to create results that are in alignment with what we, the people, are concerned about.
As a society, we have to scale to bigger and more ambitious collective actions.
I thought long and hard about how could I best support the response to the Paris Climate Accord withdrawal announcement.
As an engineer, I began performing a strategic analysis of the Forces for Action that drive our society, to figure out how we can most quickly align our interests with our reality.
I developed a series of Campaigns for Action, strategically building upon one another as I’ve outlined on the Strategies for Action page, working with Leaders for Action to support the infrastructure building required to be able to continually scale up our efforts and responses as a society as much as we need to in order to be able to effectively address our greatest societal challenges.
I’ve been determined to come up with plans that all advocacy leaders and organizations would be enthusiastic to be a part of.
Over the weeks and months since the Paris withdrawal announcement, my thoughts and ideas expanded exponentially.
When Everything Changed
I was on the verge of reaching out to national climate change organizations and leaders to start organizing the series of campaigns I had been working on when the shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
I live 20 miles from Parkland, and I happened to be watching t.v. when the local news broke in for live coverage of the students being evacuated. While I was horrified by what I was seeing unfolding, I have to admit that my initial emotional response was a numbed out “another shooting…” reaction.
It was a few days later, when I watched the live coverage of the Parkland students’ statements at their press conference in the Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee, as they lobbied the state legislators to take action for gun safety that I felt like I was witnessing the beginning of a new movement.
I felt the same optimism and hope that I originally had for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but where the Occupy movement failed in my opinion, by blaming the 1% and not promoting the idea that the people within the movement, itself, had the power to create the outcomes they sought, I saw the Parkland students taking full responsibility – demanding that the legislators represent their constituents, or else the students, themselves, were going to ensure that the legislators would be voted out.
Action for Gun Safety
Because of the passion, commitment, and energy that the students were showing, I was convinced that they could be successful in leading the transformation for our society if they could be supported properly.
I watched more videos of them, including Emma Gonzales’ video, and I decided that this was the spark that was going to light the fire for the transformation of our society, and I was going to do everything I could to ensure the students’ and the moment’s success.
I researched and studied in great detail, the leading Gun Safety organizations, and their calls to action.
Finding that there was not an easy way to sort through all the information I was spending countless hours processing, I soon began developing the ActionForGunSafety.com website to provide a quick-reference summary for people that wanted to take action make a difference for Gun Safety.
Developing a National Strategy
As I explored the Gun Safety landscape further, I felt like there was not a comprehensive national strategy – at least not one that I could find – that was uniting and coordinating all of the efforts of all the different organizations and individuals that wanted to make a difference.
I attended the March for Our Lives in Parkland, marching alongside the families, students, and community members directly and deeply affected by the shooting. It was a profoundly powerful experience for me to absorb and carry forward the energy of that gathering.
I thought the Parkland students did an unbelievable job in such a short amount of time, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people across the country, but I felt that there were still so many aspects of an overall Gun Safety strategy that were beyond the focus of their efforts which somehow needed to be effectively addressed and weaved together with their efforts.
From that point on, I shifted the focus of the Action for Gun Safety initiative towards developing a comprehensive strategy for the Gun Safety movement, outlining a series of national campaigns that could organize everyone’s efforts in order to effectively achieve our common objectives.
Using the Action for Gun Safety initiative and it’s related campaigns as strategic map, Uniting for Action is now focused on working with others to achieve transformational results around Gun Safety as a model for creating results around all challenging societal issues.