Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a smashing debut in Washington since election day participating in a climate protest in front of Nancy Pelosi's office, challenging long time Congressional leaders that a special committee be set up to address climate, and warding off juvenile right wing attacks about her clothes and her bank account. Perhaps most importantly, she offered a real platform for the Democrats to pursue, a Green New Deal. The idea isn't new and there have been various versions floating around for some time, but she and other incoming freshmen representatives giving voice to the urgency of climate and this agenda presents a real opportunity for Democrats to be something other than simply anti-Trump.
Goals of the Green New Deal
From her site (https://ocasio2018.com/green-new-deal) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed in order to achieve the following goals, in each case in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:
- 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;
- building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
- upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
- decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries;
- decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure;
- funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases;
- making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.
Building off these goals to de-carbonize the economy and also includes these important economic justice and health care imperatives:
- provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one;
- take into account and be responsive to the historical and present-day experiences of low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm;
- mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities);
- include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism; and
- deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.
This a well-articulated agenda that progressives can and should get behind.
Let's Build a Campaign to Support a Green New Deal
I have been working on this site, the Civic Action Center, for the last two years. In that period of time we have built the platform to do a few things:
- A repository for actions happening including national and local activism visible in a social networking feed, a calendar and a geographic heat map shared across our growing social media presence.
- Really great reporting from civic actions around the country, both on the platform and social media.
- A place for thought pieces and discussion of what's happening in our world, seemingly a necessary place for sharing during the destructive times of the Trump Era.
What we haven't done is use the platform as a launching point for action. I'd like to see if that's possible, learning along the way as to what enhancements to the platform we need to make sure its meeting the need of building a campaign and growing a movement. Would you be interested in building a campaign for a Green New Deal with us?
Let's Work Together Together on This:
From there we'll get the conversation started about how we can be in action.
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