Build Back Greener For All

Submitted by sreid on January 21, 2021

 

……We've learned that quiet isn't always peace

And the norms and notions

of what just is

Isn’t always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours….

                Excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb”

Green America congratulates President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their historic inauguration. We thank President Biden for his calls for unity and the crucial, positive leadership he demonstrated within hours of assuming the presidency to get our nation on a better course for the sake of all people and the planet.

The President’s first actions respond to many of the urgent needs that have been building for years and that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, growing inequality, and the racism embedded in our society. The President’s priorities reflect a new federal commitment to key issues that Green America and our allies have been championing, especially on the climate emergency. The following steps are just a few of the initiatives that will help repair our nation:

Anti-Racism and Supporting Vulnerable Communities

  • Launching a Governmental Racial Equity Review to ensure the equitable use of federal resources
  • Urging Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour
  • Supporting economically vulnerable communities by extending moratoriums on foreclosures, evictions, and student loan payments
  • Supporting economically vulnerable communities by extending moratoriums on foreclosures, evictions, and student loan payments
  • Reversing the Muslim country travel ban
  • Addressing immigration reform as a priority

Climate

  • Rejoining the Paris Agreement on the climate crisis
  • Cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling leases in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Strengthening standards on methane emissions that harm human and environmental health
  • Requiring review of fuel economy and emissions standards which were significantly weakened under the previous administration
  • Re-assessing the ability of retirement plans to adhere to investors’ values and provide socially and environmentally responsible investment options so investors can accelerate system change for the climate, anti-racism, the pandemic and other issues for people and the planet.

Pandemic

  • Prioritizing the pandemic and empowering a White House coronavirus response coordinator for vaccine dissemination
  • Strengthening health protections by rejoining the World Health Organization

The new administration’s actions reflect an integrated approach to solving for the intertwined crises our nation faces, including the need for racial and environmental justice, which must go hand-in-hand.

President Biden cannot address all the multiple crises that we face with Executive Orders alone. We call on Congress to work with the Biden Administration to quickly pass legislation to boldly address the challenges of COVID-19, income inequality, racial injustices, and the climate crisis. 

And we each have a role to play, by providing ideas and responses to the White House and Congress; holding our leaders accountable while providing encouragement, persistence, and patience for addressing how difficult it is to address the deep crises facing us; finding ways to work together in our movements without fracturing; and healing the divides in our country and communities.

Here at Green America, we promise you we will continue to accelerate our economic action on climate and renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, responsible banking and investing, and labor justice, with a priority on combating systemic racism across all this work. 

We celebrate the opportunity that new national leadership represents and look forward to advancing the hard work ahead. The recognition that we must Build Back Better than the so-called “normal” is an essential truth to embrace and guide our nation’s progress.

For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

Excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”

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