As a new crop of progressive change agents assumed office in the US House of Representatives, one simple phrase began a meteoric rise to notoriety as youth activists lined the halls of incumbent Democrats pushing for action: a Green New Deal to echo the economic successes of FDR’s signature policy with a focus on the current urgent needs for environmental and social justice. With the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US House of Representatives, and her colleagues have successfully brought broad, comprehensive climate policy conversations into the mainstream US political discourse.
I am in the same age range as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and the youth who have been mobilizing with the Sunrise Movement nationwide since the 2018 elections. For as long as I can remember, I have heard about the urgency of taking action to preserve and protect health and survival from climate disruption, and I have stepped forward in ways that felt right. That’s why it is incredibly moving to be a part of Oregon PSR’s endorsement of an Oregon Green New Deal, detailing the ways that our state can be a part of drastically reducing greenhouse gas pollution and investing in the communities who are on the front lines of climate disruption.
The Oregon Green New Deal outlines seven key areas in which we should act:
- Phase out fossil fuel infrastructure
- Strong regulation for healthy, breathable air
- Clean, community-controlled, 100% renewable energy
- Sustainable farm and forest practices
- Justice reforms in our transportation sector
- Protect communities who are already being harmed by climate change
- Fund a just transition to train workers for an equitable renewable energy economy
This ambitious platform will require many different actions over a long period of time. But we have already started: the Portland Clean Energy Initiative is investing in jobs and communities most impacted by climate change. We are hard at work with our partners to stop major fossil fuel infrastructure and clean up Oregon’s airsheds. Over time and with collaboration, we can make a Green New Deal for Oregon that ensures a healthy climate future for all.
This article written by Damon Motz-Storey, Oregon PSR Clean Energy Organizer.