Our Work

Just Transition


We are leading a transition away from an extractive economy based on profit and pollution and toward local, healthy, and life-sustaining economies that benefit everyone.

Climate change isn’t just an environmental problem, it’s a social, political, and economic problem, too. An economy based on extraction, exploitation, and endless growth has poisoned our air and water, intensified extreme weather events, and led to higher prices for basic necessities like food, housing, water, and energy. It has socialized the costs and privatized the gains, concentrating wealth in the hands of a powerful few, and concentrating poverty and pollution in communities with the fewest material resources to respond. This system cannot last; our planet can no longer sustain it and our people will no longer tolerate it.

Just Transition is a vision and framework for moving toward a world where everyone has the resources they need to live full, dignified lives.

Standing Up to Big Polluters
Power to the Frontlines
Safe, Stable, and Affordable Housing
Climate Resilience
Mobilizing the Power of Asian Voters

Standing Up to Big Polluters

APEN is building the power of Asian communities on the frontlines to stop big polluters from poisoning our families and destabilizing our climate.

Whether it’s oil fields, fracking wells, industrial agriculture, coal mines, dirty power plants, industrial freight or massive refineries, the fossil fuel economy is poisoning the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that we grow food on, and the people we love.

Pollution from dirty oil and gas doesn’t just impact our neighborhoods, it threatens every neighborhood by destabilizing our climate and intensifying extreme weather like droughts, floods, hurricanes, and typhoons. It exacerbates the injustices that already exist because the communities with the fewest material resources to prepare for and recover from these disasters are the first and worst hit.

At the local level, that’s meant fighting to stop Chevron from expanding its massive oil refinery in Richmond so they could process dirtier, heavier crude oil from the Tar Sands and the Bakken Oil Fields; and organizing to stop big developers from transporting dirty coal through the Bay.

At the state level, we’re forming powerful alliances to end public subsidies for fossil fuels. This means no new permits for big polluters, real caps on emissions at the facility level where they are created, and the rapid phase out of oil and gas production.

I was so nervous — but I spoke anyway. Here’s how to support youth leaders like me right now
11 years ago, the Chevron refinery exploded. It wasn’t a surprise.
Flowers for our Families
Why I got on a bus at 6am to go to Sacramento
A Lifetime of Commitment: Honoring Thongsoun Phuthama
A New Generation in Richmond
Why I Fight for Environmental Justice
Intergenerational Voices for a Just Transition in Richmond

Power to the Frontlines

All of us should have a say in how we power our neighborhoods, not just the wealthy few who profit from dirty power plants and refineries.

APEN’s Power to the Frontlines projects are growing locally produced and governed 100% clean renewable energy resources in the neighborhoods that need it most – poor and working class communities of color that have been at the frontlines of fighting big polluters.

  • At the local level, we are organizing people to design and manage local renewable energy projects, microgrids to generate and store energy, and promote climate resiliency. That means turning municipal buildings, apartments, schools, churches and community centers into sites for clean renewable energy generation.
  • Regionally, places like Alameda and Contra Costa County have built Community Choice Clean Energy Aggregators to transition management of our shared energy resources away from big investor-owned utilities like PG&E that put profits over safety, and toward ownership models that are accountable to residents.
  • At the state level, we’re winning policies like Community Green Tariffs and Solar on Multi-Family Affordable Housing to prioritize and fund construction of 100% clean renewable energy resources that benefit the communities that need it most. We’re designing these projects to bring down energy costs for entire apartment complexes and neighborhoods, not just individual landowners.
Two pieces of very good news
How to Save Money When Energy Costs Spike
The Benefits of Solar from a Resident’s Perspective
SOMAH: Why does Tenant Education matter?
#ReclaimOurPower: Join APEN in calling Governor Newsom today
5 Bills Our Communities Are Counting On in 2019
What we have won
How our vision became California's Climate Law
Winning with Equity: Evaluating & Advancing California Climate Investments
Catching the Sun in Richmond, CA

Safe, Stable, and Affordable Housing

All of us deserve safe, stable, and affordable housing.

But in poor and working class communities of color—regardless of which state or country you live in—we’re facing similar challenges. Big developers are building luxury housing for the rich and driving up rents for the rest of us. More and more families are being pushed out of their homes and the cultural communities we’ve built over generations are being torn apart.

CalAcademy Skin Exhibit – Housing from APEN on Vimeo.

APEN makes it possible for people to stay in their homes and for communities to stay together by organizing for strong tenant protections like rent control, healthy homes, and just cause eviction ordinances. We advocate for equitable development policies to make sure that those who profit from our neighborhoods invest directly back into improving open space and parks, building deeply affordable housing for seniors and families, and providing living wage jobs to the community.

Now, we’re forming land trusts so that long time residents can own the homes they live in, and keep these homes permanently affordable for future generations.

Chinatown is so important.
Chinatown Volunteer Ambassadors Built Safety through Care and Connection
Public Banks for Clean Energy and a Just Transition
Richmond is Home
Oakland Evictions Moratorium FAQ
It’s Official: We Have a Healthy Homes Bill!
#YesOn10: Perspectives from Chinatown
Join us for StAy the Right Way's win!
#APIsEmpowered across California, to resist and renew
Take action against displacement in Oakland!

Climate Resilience

Disasters don’t have to stop at pain and destruction. They can be occasions to build strength.

In our new climate reality, extreme weather and climate disasters are becoming more frequent and intense. In California, wildfires are blazing bigger and becoming more deadly. Each year, we experience more record-breaking extreme heat days, and rainy seasons bring increasingly devastating floods and mudslides.

While climate change affects everyone, the experience can feel dramatically different depending on who you are and where you live.

So far, a lot of efforts around climate adaptation have focused on what we can do to protect forests, coasts, and wetlands. Policymakers have considered big infrastructure projects like giant seawalls as ways of adapting to a changing climate. But our communities, neighborhoods, and people remain vastly underprepared.

APEN is building climate resilience in working class communities of color so that our communities not only cope and survive, but find opportunities to grow and thrive in that transition.


  • Research. We are leading research efforts to uplift and amplify our vision for community resilience within statewide decision-making around climate adaptation.
  • Policy Advocacy. We are advising various regional and state-level agencies on how to embed equity in climate change adaptation efforts. This means ensuring community voices inform county emergency protocols and utility planning protects frontline communities.
  • Resiliency Hubs. We are advancing policies and leveraging resources to create climate resiliency hubs as support centers during disasters as well as models for local ownership and governance of resources.
Two pieces of very good news
Oakland wins $9.25m grant for the Lincoln Square Community Resilience and Recreation Center
Celebrating community, together.
Chinatown is so important.
Public Banks for Clean Energy and a Just Transition
A New Generation in Richmond
Resilience Before Disaster
COVID-19 Emergency Community Stabilization Fund
Beyond Infrastructure: How California’s Climate Resilience Bond Can Bring a Just Recovery

Mobilizing the Power of Asian Voters

People should be in control of the decisions that affect their daily lives. From our city halls to our state capitol, we are fighting each day to make sure Asian immigrant and refugee communities have a voice in the decisions that affect our lives.

APEN runs one of the largest multilingual Asian American voter mobilization programs in the nation. We engage immigrant and refugee voters in seven different languages to advance our shared vision for racial justice, economic equity, and climate solutions. By mobilizing communities that politicians and political parties too often ignore, we’re winning groundbreaking policies that put working-class communities of color first.

By making phone calls, knocking on doors, and sharing our voter guides, we’ve grown a base of over 20,000 Asian immigrants and refugees who support progressive policies each year.

Elections 2020: When We Organize, We Win.
How to Vote in California This Year
Vote 2020: Our Future Depends On It
Chinese Virtual Townhall: Schools and Communities First
Sign Up: 100 Champions for Our Schools and Communities
Why I support Schools and Communities First
Share your story!
Canvass with APEN this Sunday in Chinatown
Gather Signatures on January 12th in Oakland
Gather Signatures on January 11th in Oakland

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It’s APEN’s birthday! We’re hosting a festive night market in Downtown Oakland on July 20, and we’d love to see you there.

Click here to save your spot.