Kevin de León
Today, our economy is creating less of the jobs we need to keep our country standing strong, and more of the greenhouse gases that will bring our planet to its knees. In California, we've been working on policies that cut emissions, boost renewable energy production, and – most importantly – create stable, high-paying jobs with meaning. We can get the U.S. on the right track, too, but we won’t get there by keeping coal companies on life support, gutting the EPA, and leaving communities of color the doctor’s bills that fossil fuel production always brings. And we can’t get there on the freeways we built in the 1950’s.
That’s why I’m calling for a Green New Deal. We need a comprehensive plan to restore the infrastructure that brings our country together, and to do it sustainably, in a way that totally caps carbon emissions and sets our nation on track to consume only renewable energy by 2045. Doing so will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign countries, shore up our national security, and we know it will create jobs: today, California’s clean energy sector supports ten times the jobs that the entire nation’s coal industry does. A Green New Deal will make our country safer and more self-sufficient, and it will create jobs that cannot be outsourced.
I wrote SB 350, the law that requires fifty percent of the Golden State’s energy consumption must be renewable by 2030, and I stared down Big Oil to get it passed. Today, the landmark renewable energy commitments that I shepherded to safe passage have pushed California to meet that goal years in advance and created thousands of green jobs for hardworking Californians. Now, we're in the home stretch of passing a bill to commit California to 100% renewables by 2045. Those accomplishments, and the $5.4 billion we’ll invest in new infrastructure this decade are proof positive that environmental stewardship and astounding economic growth go hand in hand. We can build an economy that provides a fair shot at the dignity of a good-paying job for every working family, in a way ensures a cleaner, greener future for the next generation. A Green New Deal can be more than a pie-in-the-sky ideal. With the right Congress, we can write it into reality.
- Kevin de León (@kdeleon)
Would you support or oppose giving every American who wants one a job scaling up renewable energy, weatherizing homes and office buildings, developing mass transit projects, and maintaining green community spaces?
In Michigan, across the Rust Belt, and throughout the country, we have a remarkable opportunity to invest in a green jobs guarantee that helps us both fight our climate change and environmental degradation crises and ensure economic justice for working families. Far from being a lofty ambition, a green jobs guarantee is popular with average Americans because it’s policy that works for them - raising incomes and creating economic security for working families, while making their communities cleaner, healthier, and more vibrant places to live.
Environmental issues are often dismissed as niche problems, but my experience campaigning door-to-door and listening directly to the concerns of voters in my district - Detroit and 11 different suburban municipalities - shows that diverse groups of people all care deeply about protecting our environment and creating healthy, safe communities. At the same time, people who have been let down and left behind by the alliance between major corporations and government also want to know how we can create an economy that works for them, and not just elite executives and professionals. A green jobs guarantee is an effective and creative way to address both, creating well-paying jobs in the service of making our communities, cities, and states greener, more sustainable, healthier, and better places to live.
Our government has had no problem subsidizing corporate profits for decades - often in industries directly contributing to environmental pollution and climate change. It’s time we invest not in bigger yachts for CEOs, but in the economic and environmental health of our communities. The people already support a green jobs guarantee because it will make their lives better, and now it’s up to representatives like me to fight to make it law.
- Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib)
I know the value of a good paying job-- and how sadly too many good paying green jobs, have been shipped out of the US. Creating an economy that works for working people and tackling climate change and sustainability are just two of the many challenges Americans face.
For some reason, there is a “jobs vs. environment” frame-- but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I was an ironworker, Local 78 wrote the book on erecting wind turbines across Southeast Wisconsin. Those green jobs also paid workers a good wage and kept people employed. Good paying, stable, and easily accessible jobs can also be green jobs. The well funded special interest groups have put their money behind this propaganda that good paying jobs can’t be green-- but let me tell you as a member of the building trades, that is just wrong.
This is why we must implement the federal Jobs Guarantee (JG), a policy that would make sure the federal government employs any American who needs work. This is a progressive idea, but people are beginning to stand up and take notice that this is a policy that can transform the lives of millions of Americans. And I believe the people want to see this happen: a recent poll by Civis Analytics found the JG to be “one of the most popular issues we’ve ever polled.” The Jobs Guarantee goes far beyond getting more good paying green jobs in the economy-- it could lay the groundwork towards ending poverty.
- Randy Bryce (@IronStache)