Hero of the Week: Angelika Soriano
Image: Sierra Club
12-year-old Angelika Soriano lives in East Oakland which has the highest volume of trucking traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area and also suffers from asthma. After a climate change Youtube video piqued her interest in activist Soriano’s 6th-grade teacher suggested she connect with some youth activists who were fighting a coal terminal proposed for the Port of Oakland as a local developer planned to ship Utah coal to the port and then on to overseas markets.
As Sierra Magazine reported, for months, she and other youth activists tried to get the developer, Phil Tagami, to meet with them. On the night before Halloween in 2017, she and about 200 other people protested outside Tagami’s house. They covered themselves in ashy face paint and fake blood and declared themselves coal zombies. “We got the idea of dressing up as zombies as a way of saying we might be killed by coal,” Soriano says.
Now there’s a Halloween costume idea: a coal zombie. Despite her young age, Angelika serves as an example to all people to exercise their civic duty and to pressure our government to act in the best interest of people and planet.