Arlington Democrats Support Green New Deal
At its meeting on June 13, the members of the Arlington Democratic Town Committee unanimously voted in favor of a Resolution to Support the Green New Deal.
In taking this action, Arlington Democrats joined with party members in other towns – Framingham, Wayland, Concord, Chicopee, Hudson, Cambridge, and chapters in Boston – who submitted their own resolutions to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee.
The State Committee in turn passed a resolution in support of the Green New Deal that was sent to the Democratic National Committee.
In taking this action Arlington Democrats are supporting the efforts of Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, who are providing national leadership on climate change initiatives. We are also supporting local legislators Rep. Dave Rogers, Rep. Sean Garballey, and Sen. Cindy Friedman in the work they are doing at the state level.
The text of the resolution follows.
A Resolution by the Arlington Democratic Town Committee calling for the US Federal Government and the Massachusetts State Government to pass a Green New Deal, and for the Massachusetts Democratic Party to endorse and advocate for the Green New Deal.
WHEREAS, an October, 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have only until 2030 to limit devastating global warming and avoid the most serious ramifications of climate change;
WHEREAS, the October, 2018 IPCC report also makes clear that every bit of warming matters, so every fraction of a degree less of warming will save lives and pay dividends across the world’s economies;
WHEREAS, the world is already experiencing serious, costly, and increasing impacts of climate change, including more intense storms, unprecedented flooding, and persistent wildfires;
WHEREAS, an inadequate response to climate change will increase economic and environmental disruptions. These include, but are not limited to severe storms, longer and hotter heat waves, worsening flood and drought cycles, growing invasive species and insect problems, accelerated species extinction rates, rising sea levels, increased wildfires, and a dramatic increase in refugees from climate impacted lands; and in Massachusetts alone, we face the coastal erosion of Cape Cod, shifting ranges of native tree species, forced migration of native birds, and rising infestation of ticks and other disease-bearing insects in areas we enjoy for recreation.
WHEREAS, the most negative impacts of climate change generally fall on frontline communities. Frontline communities are underrepresented communities, such as lower-income communities or communities of color. They bear the initial burden of climate change but are least equipped to adapt to these impacts;
WHEREAS, doing what is now necessary to adequately address the climate crisis requires a national mobilization of a scope and scale that is a historic opportunity to address inequities caused and exacerbated by the fossil fuel economy as well as virtually eliminating poverty in the United States;
WHEREAS, at least 45 U.S. Representatives endorsed a resolution to establish a Select Committee for a Green New Deal;
WHEREAS, a federal Green New Deal legislation would create a detailed mobilization plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, invest in communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution, and guarantee a good job to anyone ready to make this happen;
WHEREAS, local governments calling for the federal government to pass a Green New Deal will demonstrate widespread popular support for necessary and just climate action;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Arlington Democratic Town Committee calls on:
(1) The Massachusetts Democratic Committee to endorse and advocate for all provisions of the Green New Deal, and
(2) the U.S. Government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pass a Green New Deal that would, by 2030:
● Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;
● Build a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
● Upgrade every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety;
● Eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
● Eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;
● Fund massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases;
● Make “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 greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.
As the scope of the Green New Deal presents a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation, the Green New Deal should aim to:
● provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be full and equal participants in the transition, including job guarantee programs to assure living wage jobs to every person who wants one;
● diversify local and regional economies, with a particular focus on communities where the fossil fuel industry holds significant control over the labor market, to ensure workers have the necessary tools, opportunities, and economic assistance to succeed during the energy transition;
● require strong enforcement of labor, workplace safety, and wage standards that recognize the rights of workers to organize and unionize free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment, and the creation of meaningful, quality, career employment;
● ensure a ‘just transition’ for all workers, 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 by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution;
● protect and enforce sovereign rights and land rights of tribal nations;
● mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investments will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities in a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level);
● include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others deemed appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility, and entrepreneurship; and
● deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the Arlington Democratic Town Committee on June 13, 2019.