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The United Nations is calling on world leaders to take real steps in leading us away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. At the Climate Ambition Summit in New York in September 2023, thousands came together in the streets to hold elected leaders accountable and demand bolder action in safeguarding the future of our planet and its people. But what exactly were we asking for? What does true climate ambition look like? Actor and activist, Jane Fonda, Representative Rashida Tlaib, and former “Climate Mayor” of San Luis Obispo, CA, Heidi Harmon, discuss what it takes to demonstrate true climate leadership and how we can (and must) get more leaders to step up.

Meet Representative Rashida Tlaib

As a Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib has fought relentlessly for vulnerable communities around the country, fighting against corporate greed; advocating for clean air and water, social justice, ending poverty, strengthening public education; and more. A Detroit native of Palestinian heritage, she built a career as a public interest attorney, challenging corporate abuses and protecting our civil rights. She made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature, and then again in 2019, becoming one of the two first Muslim women in Congress. In 2022, she founded the Get the Lead Out Caucus to fight to ensure that every lead pipe in America is replaced, so that everyone has safe, clean drinking water.

Meet Heidi Harmon

Heidi Harmon served three terms as mayor of the City of San Luis Obispo, CA, where she, along with other climate mayors across the country, committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement after President Trump abdicated responsibility. She led the city to adopt the most ambitious carbon neutrality goal in the United States, divested from fossil fuels, and banned toxic methane gas in new buildings. Heidi is a mother of two, and a social, environmental, and gender justice leader committed to creating an equitable and regenerative world for all.

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