Oregon PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility) is thrilled to welcome Lluvia Merello to our staff! Lluvia brings extensive experience organizing for environmental and social justice including work as an early organizer with the Portland Clean Energy Fund coalition. She joins our Healthy Climate Program as our Energy Justice Organizer, working to expand our capacity to build a just transition off of fossil fuels and nuclear power and a healthy climate future for all. Read on to hear from Lluvia in her own words about this position:
My name is Lluvia Magali Merello, the new Energy Justice Organizer with Oregon PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility). I have an extensive history in organizing work here in Oregon and I also lived and organized in New Orleans and Texas. My passions for organizing include social justice/social change, energy justice, prison reform and prisoners rights, foster care reform, public education and the school-to-prison pipeline, and culturally-specific services and opportunities. This opportunity to work on Energy Justice and surrounding issues is both an excitement and a great responsibility for me.
The excitement for me is to continue to work on issues meaningful to my heart and culture, and to again work with some of the great community that I had worked with when I was the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) Collaborator in 2017-18. PCEF is a perfect example of what we as a community can do when we work together with inclusive goals and practices. In my new role as Energy Justice Organizer I look forward to working hard as a community leader for a stronger, cleaner, and better Oregon for all.
The great responsibility for me as the Energy Justice Organizer is not only in protecting and preserving the earth and her natural resources but also representing those most impacted by Energy Justice issues. I come from humble beginnings: I was a single parent for 13 years and my son and I have lived in many environments that are conducive to several of the health disparities that we read about today. I worked in the labor industry for almost 20 years also being exposed to many unhealthy work environments and conditions. Currently I live in the Cully neighborhood, one of the unhealthiest places to breathe in Portland. I know firsthand some of the struggles that impacted communities face everyday concerning Energy Justice and in this role I feel that I have the responsibility to represent my impacted community as best that I can.
For me Energy Justice has so many meanings. I am Indigenous to Peru and in my culture we give thanks to PachaMama (mother earth) for everything. In my culture we are all children of the sun and our collective goal is to live in harmony with the earth. For me Energy Justice involves treating PachaMama (mother earth) with respect as many Indigenous cultures have always done. Energy Justice to me includes responsible energy use and distribution. As stewards of this earth, we have failed in recent times as a whole. The Earth provides us with adequate and natural resources but if we do not make preserving the earth and her resources a priority, we will continue to fail as a community and our future generations will suffer from our shortcomings.
Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting and getting to know the entire Oregon PSR Team.