Hi there GreenNewDealmakers,
We hope you are staying sane and safe amidst all the chaos. We’ve got a new podcast episode and an important announcement. But first…
Attack on the Capitol
We don’t want to dwell on it because you’ve already read so much about it. But the violence unleashed by Trump’s mob, and the failure of most elected Republicans to stand up to him even now, shows what the American right-wing truly is: a fascist, white-supremacist movement that values nothing but its own power.
If you haven’t watched AOC’s Instagram live speech about the horrific and traumatic events of January 6th, now would be a good time…
The Trumpists cannot be appeased or cajoled: they must be utterly defeated and disgraced. On that note…
Victory in Georgia!
Last Wednesday, the day after the Democrats swept the Georgia runoff elections, I (Sam Eilertsen here!) taped an interview for an upcoming podcast episode with Sunrise Movement’s National Electoral Director (and Georgia native) Shante Wolf. It was around 2PM and we had a very celebratory conversation about how Sunrise had partnered with local and national organizations to help John Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock pull out their victories…Literally as soon as we got off the phone I checked Twitter — and saw the attack unfolding on the Capitol.
Tragically, the hard work of so many organizers who fought to win Georgia, including the many, many Black Georgians who helped elect the first Black Democrat from the South was completely overshadowed by Trump’s mob.
So, we want to highlight and celebrate the wins in Georgia, which could have enormous implications for the future of climate action!
Shante told us that Sunrise’s distributed organizing network made over 1 million calls, and sent more than 1.2 million texts, while their on-the-ground volunteers knocked almost 10,000 doors, and ‘vote-tripled’ more than 10,000 voters on election day!
These jubilant photos of heroic organizers in Georgia that went viral are from Sunrise Movement’s National Field Director Taryn Hallweaver, who did amazing work organizing Sunrise volunteers in Georgia with a coalition of other incredible organizations including Black Voters Matter, Dream Defenders, Future Coalition, Peaches to the Polls, the Georgia League of Conservation Voters, and the New Georgia Project’s Action Fund, among others.
Thank you to all the organizers, and voters of Georgia, who saved our democracy.
The Senate could pass real climate legislation!
With the Senate now under Democratic control, Sunrise Movement sees a real shot at passing the first steps in a Green New Deal…although it’s still an uphill battle.
Thanks to the victories in Georgia, and once Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President, the Democrats will hold a 51-50 majority in the Senate. With unified Democratic control of government for the first time since 2010, we have the best chance in over a decade of major climate legislation. As we’ve covered in these pages, and in our podcast, President-elect Joe Biden ran on a very ambitious climate plan that looks a lot like the Green New Deal.
Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has enthusiastically endorsed the Thrive Agenda, a plan to center COVID economic stimulus around green jobs, racial justice and expanding unions which was written by the Green New Deal network and introduced by Sen Ed Markey (more on Markey later in these pages!) and nominee for Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Here’s Sen Schumer last month vowing to pass the Thrive agenda with Bill Nye the Science Guy!
Meanwhile, Biden has indicated green stimulus will be an immediate priority.
However, with such a narrow majority in the Senate, many challenges remain, chiefly among them West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who famously once shot a climate bill in a campaign ad. There’s also the fate of the filibuster, what can be passed through reconciliation, and the fact that much of the media and legislative oxygen will continue to be consumed by the imminent impeachment trial of Trump, the effort to pass $2,000 stimulus checks, and cabinet confirmations.
Climate activists will have to fight hard to win meaningful legislation and ensure it doesn’t get too watered down in the legislative process, a fight they are gearing up for. But amidst the horror shows of COVID and Trump’s coup attempt, let’s not forget that we have more reason to be hopeful about climate action than we have had in a long, long time.
Also -- we're very excited about Bernie Sanders chairing the Senate Budget Committee!
This Week on the Pod: Saving Ed Markey
A key moment in helping to push both Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer to take a big, bold stance on the climate crisis was Ed Markey’s resounding victory over challenger Joe Kennedy this past September — and we’ve got the inside story on this week’s podcast!
Ya, we got an ‘Edsclusive’ interview with Senator Markey—you’re not going to want to miss it. Listen to the full episode and subscribe now!
Generation Green New Deal @GenerationGNDThis week on #GenGND, we've got the inside story of the making of the #GreenNewDealmaker w/ @EdMarkey & @sunrisemvmt Creative Director @_dotgov! "Our campaign loved partnering with Sunrise because their creativity is historically great." - @SenMarkey https://t.co/2eCVu4spFD https://t.co/zP1yVjrfwb
Thanks Evan, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Please support the podcast on Patreon
Which brings us to another thing that we couldn’t do without…YOU!
We LOVE making this podcast, and we want to continue producing it for as long as we can (THE DECADE OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL HAS JUST BEGUN!) but we can’t keep doing it without support from listeners, and readers, like you…So, we’re humbly and kindly asking you to please consider supporting our newly launched Patreon! You can support us for as little as the cost of an espresso shot a month:
We’ll be doing monthly #GenGND zoom happy hours (with special guests!) for our subscribers, and we’ve got some cool merch, and other fun stuff in the works, too…So, please please please support us, and tell your friends and family!
Here’s the link: https://www.patreon.com/generationgnd
(And if you’ve enjoyed reading these, consider the Patreon as a way to ‘subscribe’ to and support this newsletter as well—since we’re going to keep this open accessible to all in perpetuity…Or, at least as long as we have the will to keep writing these damn things!)
A Good Biden Hire (and a not-so-good one..)
Biden announced a number of new climate team hires today. One VERY good one (in our humble opinion) is Maggie Thomas who co-founded Evergreen Action. Maggie will serve as Chief of Staff for the new Office of Domestic Climate Policy.
Maggie helped craft the ambitious climate plans for the presidential campaigns of Jay Inslee and Elizabeth Warren, and she’s closely aligned with the youth climate movement. This is an exciting development that hopefully indicates the positive direction the domestic climate office is headed.
However, we give Biden a big thumbs down for nominating Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo for Commerce Secretary. While not the most high-profile office, the Department of Commerce has an important role in climate action because of its influence over trade policy, as well as its authority over NOAA. Raimondo is a former venture capitalist and a moderate Democrat who supported billionaire Michael Bloomberg for president. As governor she’s advocated for the construction of a new natural gas power plant (which fortunately did not happen) and nominated a former lawyer for National Grid to head the Public Utility Commission (which regulates National Grid). While she initially earned high marks for Rhode Island’s COVID response, RI now has one of the highest COVID rates in the nation while indoor dining, gyms and schools remain open.
Ok, and finally, here’s this week’s extended Green New Reading List…
Part 1: The Fascists Next Door…
THE TERROR OF WHITE PRIVILEGE, by Yessenia Funes for Atmos’ The Frontline Newsletter
THE CLIMATE CRISIS WILL BE STEROIDS FOR FASCISM, by Brian Kahn for EARTHER
THE BIG OIL MONEY BEHIND THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO FUELED THE CAPITOL ATTACK, by Brian Kahn and Dhruv Mehrotra for EARTHER
CAPITOL RIOTERS WALKED AWAY. CLIMATE PROTESTORS SAW A DOUBLE STANDARD., by John Schwartz for The New York Times
WORDS MATTER, by Mary Heglar for the HOT TAKE Newsletter (subscription required, and encouraged)
EXERCISING MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO TELL JOSH HAWLEY TO GO FUCK HIMSELF, by Amy Westervelt for the HOT TAKE Newsletter (subscription required, and encouraged)
HOW TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE FASCISTS AT THE SAME TIME, by Kate Aronoff for The New Republic
Part 2: In other climate-news…
PROGRESSIVES GEAR UP FOR BROAD PUSH ON CLIMATE ACTION, by Juana Summers for NPR
WHAT THE GEORGIA SENATE WINS DO (AND DON’T) MEAN FOR CLIMATE POLICY, by Dave Roberts for VOLTS (subscription encouraged)
TEENS FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL, by Amal Ahmed for Texas Monthly
A BLUEPRINT FOR SOCIAL MOVEMENTS DURING THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY, by Waleed Shahid for The Nation
STUDENTS ARE FILLING IN THE PLOTLINES OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL, by Brian Kahn for EARTHER
THE SUNRISE MOVEMENT IS AN EARLY WINNER IN THE BIDEN TRANSITION. NOW COMES THE HARD PART., by Gregory Krieg for CNN
STOPPING TRUMP’S LAST PIPELINE WILL TAKE ALL OF US., by Winona LaDuke for The Nation