This is a letter to Pelosi and Schumer you might want to read. It was sent yesterday by 84 members of Congress-- some senators and some representatives, some progressives and some conservatives. The letter is basically a request to fund a Civilian Climate Corps as part of the reconciliation bill. The members wrote that "We have a historic opportunity to make bold investments in our public lands, clean energy, and climate resiliency, all while creating good-paying jobs, building a diverse workforce, and strengthening career pathways. It is in the spirit of this conviction and dedication that we write to express our strong support for funding a Civilian Climate Corps in the upcoming reconciliation package."
Asked by pollsters whether they support funding the creation of a new federal Climate Conservative Corps, 77% of registered voters say yes and just 16% oppose the proposition. Broken down by party:
Democrats- 87% support
Republicans- 65% support
Independents- 77% support
Progressives signing on included Joe Neguse (D-CO), AOC (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (R-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Katie Porter (D-CA), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Marie Newman (D-IL), Kai Kahele (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). And among the conservatives, signatories include Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Darren Soto (New Dem-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Mike Thompson (Blue Dog-CA)...
Mayor Bryan Osorio is running for a congressional seat held by Republican David Valadao, one of Congress' wealthiest oligarchs and an opponent of addressing the Climate Crisis. He certainly didn't sign the letter. This morning, Osorio told me that ""The constant political inaction from both Democrats and Republicans has and will continue to make fighting climate change more difficult to address, which is why Congress and President Biden must act to establish a bold Civilian Climate Corps. Our climate is changing, putting communities like mine in California's Central Valley at risk. We have seen record-breaking heat waves, toxic levels of air pollution which directly come from neighboring wildfires, a lack of water for our rural communities, all putting working people in vulnerable positions. Congressman Valadao must step up to the plate and support a bold and progressive Civilian Climate Corps, and this is not a matter of politics but a matter of humanity. As described by Senator Ed Markey, a Civilian Climate Corps will reduce carbon emissions, enable a transition to renewable energy, build healthier and more resilient communities, implement conservation projects with proven climate benefits, and help communities recover from climate disasters. Not to mention employing a large number of Americans at a time where we need it the most. Our unemployment numbers are still recovering from the woes of the pandemic, and the Civilian Climate Corps can alleviate this by employing Americans into decent high-paying jobs. In addition, we have thousands of recent unemployed college grads who have to decide between a demoralizing job that barely helps them get by or no job at all, and here the Civilian Climate Corps can be a more than better alternative to them. It is simple, do we act on climate now, or do we jeopardize our planet's health and future generations. The Civilian Climate Corps is a tangible key in fighting climate change, not to mention the economic benefits and will bring to our county. Congressman Valadao, along with Congress and President Biden, must act now."
Please consider contributing to Osorio's campaign-- and to the campaigns of the other candidates who weighed in on this issue by clicking on the 2022 Blue America congressional thermometer on the left. If we're going to tackle this in a serious and realistic way, we have to replace conservative Republicans like Valadao and conservative Democrats like Brad Sherman. Sherman's progressive challenger this cycle is Shervin Aazami and here's what he had to say about Sherman's refusal to sign onto the letter:
Our district is the site of the largest natural gas blowout in U.S. history, where 109,000 metric tons of methane were dumped into the air at Aliso Canyon. Communities for miles were poisoned by the toxic plumes causing nosebleeds, vomiting, rashes, and migraines. Not only has the site not been shut down, methane storage has INCREASED in recent years. Our district is also the site of one of the largest nuclear meltdowns in US history, at the Santa Susana Field Lab where over 30,000 rocket tests were conducted over a 20-year period, and all of that radioactive waste was dumped into surrounding habitats and waterways. Overall, Los Angeles has the worst ozone pollution in the country.
Brad has never been the climate hawk we need him to be. In fact, he receives campaign donations from Raytheon and Boeing-- the very companies responsible for the nuclear meltdown that have taken zero accountability. Our San Fernando Valley district is in dire need of a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps that could provide thousands of Union-backed living wage jobs in our district while doing the necessary work of conservation, cleanup of toxic sites, disaster preparedness and response, and so on, yet Brad won’t advocate for it. I was proud to join Sunrise Movement Los Angeles to demand a fully funded CCC in the climate package and will continue to fight boldly for climate action.
Alexandra Hunt is the Philly progressive taking on another no-nothing Democrat, Dwight Evans, is a deep blue district. "Our oceans are burning," she told me today, "people are dying of heat stroke, infrastructure is crumbling, tornados and hurricanes are plaguing our cities, our streets and homes are flooding, and we’re trying to survive a pandemic. Where is Dwight Evans on one of the most necessary and urgent letters written to Democratic leadership? MIA. 'bUt hE’s iN tHe pRoGrEsSiVe cAuCuS' means nothing. He isn’t fighting for us. The Civilian Climate Corps will boost jobs, take climate action, build union power, and combat environmental injustice. The only reason not to support this legislation is if corporations are in your ear and their money is in your pockets. With the intersections of issues Philly is facing today from environmental racism to high rates of unemployment to being the one of the most impoverished cities in America, our representatives should not only be signing this letter, but leading the creation of such a letter themselves. Dwight Evans has demonstrated over and over again that his allegiance lies with corporations. He was hoping to fly under the radar. That’s why I’m running against him."
Virginia New Dem Gerry Connolly is even more conservative than Evans-- but savvier. He did sign the letter, even though he has a long record of inaction on Climate. Ally Dalsimer, Connolly's progressive opponent and a long-time Climate and environmental activist. said that from what she's seen "he's been signing everything progressive for the last few months, ever since we started gaining momentum-- including stuff he'd ignored for years. As of yet, he has signed letters and resolutions, but nothing vote-based that actually improves the day-to-day lives of VA-11's constituents... It's also worth noting that he's joined by some of the most unscrupulous members of the Democratic caucus on this letter, including Senator Chris Coons, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Troy Carter."
Jason Call has been a Climate leader in Washington state and he's taking on one of Congress' most corrupted Democrats, New Dem and corporate shill Rick Larsen. "My campaign here in WA-02," Call said this morning, "is in full support of the CCC, but it’s no surprise at all that fossil fuel funded incumbent Rick Larsen hasn’t made any show of support for this landmark initiative to mobilize a generation to combat climate change. This would actually be a 'bold, FDR' move towards necessary systemic change at a time when locally the effects of the summer’s heatwave are making themselves known everywhere, but nowhere more than in our Olympic and Cascades mountain ranges where our usually perennially snow capped peaks are virtually devoid of snowpack. This district is nestled between both ranges and the snowmelt is clearly and eerily visible, changing the shape of iconic Mt Rainier and Mt Baker, the highest and 3rd highest peaks in the state, and while driving back from Eastern WA yesterday, I took a picture of Mt Stuart, our 7th highest peak-- with no snow whatsoever. This is not normal."
"Larsen continues to deceptively present himself as progressive, while backing trifling bills that don’t come close to the level of investment needed. He hasn’t joined the Warren/AOC BuildGREEN Act, he didn’t even cosponsor the moderate climate bill HR 848 that currently remains stalled out in Mitch McConnell’s Senate. He’s made a lot of noise about swapping out 1% of our nation’s transit bus fleet for electric buses and that’s about all. Thankfully our local Sunrise Bellingham took the July 15 Day of Action to visit his Bellingham office and create a mural on the front walk with a demand that he support the CCC. Nobody is holding their breath."
This seems to have worked: