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Congresswomen Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Introduce the Green New Deal for Cities, Counties, States, Tribes, and Territories

April 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, DCToday, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) announced the introduction of the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, legislation that would federally fund city, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to respond to the climate crisis, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. 

“St. Louis and communities across the nation need the Green New Deal for Cities,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “In St. Louis City, Black children are 2.4 times more likely than white children to test positive for lead in their blood, and are 10 times more likely to visit the emergency room for asthma each year than white children. Black neighborhoods host the majority of the City’s air pollution sources. And there is a nuclear waste site — the West Lake Landfill, which is a catastrophe-in-progress. This legislation would make sure every city, town, county and tribe can have a federally funded Green New Deal. This is a $1 trillion investment to tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet.”

“Local communities waited nearly a year to receive any pandemic relief from the federal government, and they still need more if we are to truly not just repair the damage caused by COVID, but come back stronger,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “The GND4Cities would provide local governments the funding to create good-paying, union jobs repairing their infrastructure, improving water quality, reducing air pollution,  cleaning up parks, creating new green spaces and eliminating blight. Already, 10 local governments, including the state of New Mexico, have adopted local versions of the Green New Deal. The desire for these investments is there. We need to give our local communities the funding and support to act.”

“We need a green society for the future of our economy and the planet,” said Rep. Omar. “A Green New Deal is not a far-off goal — it is an urgent set of policies we must pass before it’s too late. That’s why I’m proud to support this legislation that will fund local and state environmental justice projects to move us closer to a greener future. We must take bold action and that starts with this bill.”

“We cannot afford to hold back in the fight against climate change, which is why I am proud to support this legislation,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “The climate crisis threat is real, and only by investing in systemic change and sustainable infrastructure will we be able to mitigate the worst of its effects, which are felt disproportionately by BIPOC communities, in the coming decades.”

“It is unacceptable that in the wealthiest nation in the world, our communities lack safe roads, quality housing, and clean drinking water,” said Congresswoman Lee. “It’s past time that we invest in infrastructure that makes our country safer and addresses the climate emergency, which continues to disproportionately impact communities of color. The Green New Deal for Cities is a key step in creating jobs with fair pay, fixing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and investing in a safer environment. I am proud to support this transformational legislation.”

So far, ten state and local governments including New Mexico, Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, and Boston, Massachusets, have adopted local versions of the Green New Deal.

The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.

A one-pager of the bill can be found HERE.

In the House of Representatives, Reps. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34),  Juan Vargas (CA-51), Marie Newman (IL-03), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), and Steve Cohen (TN-09), have co-sponsored the legislation. 

The bill has support from more than 70 grassroots and environmental organizations, including People’s Action, Labor Network for Sustainability, the Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth U.S., Greenpeace USA, Earthworks, 350.org, Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, the Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Progressive Democrats of America, Indigenous Environmental Network, GreenLatinos, For the People, Our Revolution, Poder in Action, Climate Justice Alliance, Earth Action, Inc., Climate Hawks Vote, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, GreenFaith, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, RapidShift Network, CatholicNetwork US, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Mizzou College Democrats, GASP, Equal Justice Society, Flint Rising, Hispanic Access Foundation, The Climate Mobilization, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Justice Democrats, Indivisible, Global Center for Climate Justice, and Earthjustice.

"Good policy stems from the ground up, not from Washington insiders,” said Kaniela Ing, Climate Justice Director for People’s Action. “This bill would unleash the power of community climate action in St. Louis and across America. Rep. Bush understands that Cities are ready to rise to the challenge of a Green New Deal and that this is the exact boost they need."

"Rep. Bush has long advocated for action that tackles the root of the problem, whether it be racial justice, economic justice, or climate justice, and this legislation is no different,” said Gretchen Waddell Barwick, Director of Sierra Club's Missouri Chapter. “The Sierra Club is proud to endorse this proposal which rightly recognizes that we cannot permit misguided or half measures in addressing the climate crisis, and that we must prioritize those communities that have long been burdened with the cost of pollution."

"Rep. Cori Bush is leading the way to make the Green New Deal a reality and begin the just transition to a sustainable economy that works for all people," said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "It is now time for Congress to pass bold legislation instead of meager half-measures we have seen too many times in the past that lock us into the status quo."

"Representative Bush's Green New Deal for Cities, Towns, Counties, and Nations provides significant support for any municipality or tribal Nation to build back better and protect residents from the increasing threats of the climate crisis,” Earthworks said. “Investing in green infrastructure and projects that improve the health and safety of people in low-income and Indigenous communities will stimulate jobs and prepare communities historically marginalized and disproportionately impacted by climate threats. Protecting people  from the climate crisis requires bold vision and equitable action, and this legislation has both."

“The feeling of fear across this country is pervasive, especially across communities of color, which not only live in fear of law enforcement violence, but also are among the most impacted by the climate crisis,” said Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement. “Congresswoman Bush’s Green New Deal for Cities Act recognizes that these issues are connected, and in order to achieve a livable future for all, we must invest in local Green New Deal projects to combat climate change, create jobs, and root out systemic racism.”

It is time to implement the Green New Deal and this bill does just that,” said 350.org. “Investing locally to improve the environment and the lives of residents in cities nationwide, is exactly what we need. Redirecting police funding to implement local investments, will help to build the communities we all deserve.”

"The Indigenous Environmental Network recognizes the need for real, meaningful solutions that address the climate crisis, which is why we support Congresswoman Cori Bush’s Green New Deal for Towns, Counties, and Native Nations,” said the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Representative Bush’s legislation strengthens US consultation policy by advancing standards and procedures requiring federal agencies to secure Free, Prior, Informed Consent of Native Nations confronted with significant federal actions affecting their lands, livelihoods, and culture. It also invests in the Indigenous frontline communities most impacted, while standing firmly against false solutions to the climate crisis by ensuring geoengineering, carbon capture and storage, carbon pricing markets and anything that would expand fossil fuel infrastructure is not supported.”

“The GND for Cities, Towns, Counties, and Nations is a critically important bill for the diverse and complex localities in the U.S. and the people who call them home,” GreenLatinos said. “The creation of new pathways for investment in urban jobs, infrastructure, and climate sustainability,  and the focus on reducing emissions and prioritizing investments to frontline communities are among the many critically important provisions for Latinos and other communities of color, who consistently experience much higher rates of pollution exposure than their white counterparts."

"As a Black pastor who has worked locally for decades, I see every day the unjust climate impacts that Black and Brown communities face - terrible air pollution, heat waves that endanger our elders, food deserts, storms that ravage our homes with toxic floodwaters, said Reverend Ronald Tuff, GreenFaith Organizer. “I also know that our communities are resilient and proud. With resources, we can lead the way through the wilderness of climate injustice.  Faith teaches us that people and planet are sacred. We whole-heartedly support a Green New Deal for Cities because it is a moral vision for a sustainable and just future for all of us!" 

“As nurses we know that climate, environmental justice, and public health are inextricably entwined,” said the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. “A comprehensive approach to the climate crisis must include ensuring access to breathable air, clean water, and affordable housing, in addition to a just transition to 100% clean energy. By investing in sustainable communities and putting the communities most impacted by climate change at the forefront, we can build a healthier future for all.” 

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