Why Energy Democracy?
There is no question that we need to make the transition to clean energy. The question is: who will own it? Will we all benefit together, or will certain communities be left behind? The same questions come up around Detroit and Highland Park's redevelopment: Who will make the decisions? What will it look like? Who will benefit? Will people be displaced, or will they have the opportunity to grow with the city? These are the questions that shape our work.
Energy Democracy is the idea that the people most impacted by energy decisions should have the greatest say in shaping them. The streetlight repossession in Highland Park is the result of an energy system that is impacting our planet, our health, our economic opportunities. The communities feeling most of the negative impacts - poor and working class people and people of color - have little means to shape the decisions in that system.
That's why Soulardarity organizes our work around putting power in the hands of the people over the decisions that impact our lives. We envision a just energy future for all, one where energy is cooperatively owned and the wealth it generates is used to make communities stronger together, to create economic opportunities where they have been systematically diminished, and where our democratic institutions are serving the people to create a sustainable economy. Our programs are focused on building models of community-driven clean energy development - building a safe, resilient, thriving community locally and leading the way for our region, nation, and world.