Last month Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rául Grijalva (D-AZ) and Nanette Barragán (D-CA) introduced the bold and transformational THRIVE Act (HR 2919)-- which goes way beyond the White House approach to the same problems (creating new jobs and modernizing infrastructure). An identical companion bill was introduced by Ed Markey (D-MA), Bernie (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate. THRIVE stands for "Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy" and in introducing it, Dingell said "A nation facing unprecedented crises must respond with intentional, intersectional policies that can combat climate change, end the COVID-19 pandemic, empower working families, and address racial and economic inequities. The THRIVE Agenda will guide us as we mobilize on a transformative mission to bring justice and healing to our communities. With a broad coalition of colleagues, advocates, and activists, we will save our environment and achieve the racial and economic equity that our nation demands."
Pramila Jayapal explained to her own constituents that "The THRIVE Act puts forth a unified vision for a recovery that is deeply intersectional, that is extremely bold, and that meets the scale of the multiple crises we face from a climate catastrophe and racial injustice to economic hardship and attacks on working people. While centering the needs of impacted individuals and following the lead of powerful organizers on the ground in communities across America, we are championing a transformative vision that helps people thrive and not just survive."
Jamaal Bowman backed them up: "This is our New Deal moment to rebuild our country and change the world, and the THRIVE agenda can help us get there. It is an essential key to transform our country into a multiracial democracy that allows each and every American to reach their potential. Prioritizing racial, environmental, and economic justice is the only way we will build a nation that fulfills its promise to our families and our children. I'm excited and honored to be a part of this important resolution."
There are now 51 cosponsors in the House and this week, even status quo establishment-type Democrats like Dwight Evans (PA), Juan Vargas (CA), and Anthony Brown (MD) signed on.
This morning Data For Progress released a poll showing overwhelming support for the bill's objectives and components. They began by asking likely voters how concerned they are about a series of environmental, economic, and social issues facing their communities. "Nearly eight-in-ten voters are concerned about the impacts of air and water pollution and unemployment on their communities, while over two-thirds of voters are concerned about the impacts of racism, injustice, and climate change on their communities. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed America’s economic and racial inequities, and 2020 saw historic climate disasters wreak havoc across the country-- these environmental, economic, and social crises are clearly weighing heavily on voters’ minds."
These were the 4 concerns, addressed by the THRIVE Act, voters were asked about
Air and water pollution- 79% concerned, 21% not concerned
Unemployment- 78% concerned, 22% not concerned
Racism and injustice- 70% concerned, 30% Trumpists
Climate change- 67% concerned,32% not concerned
Data For Progress then presented voters with the bill's proposals and asked them to choose the proposals they would most like to see passed. This is exactly what McCarthy and McConnell are trying to block in Congress:
This evening, Ally Dalsimer, the progressive congressional candidate in Fairfax County, Virginia, told me that "It's clear when you look at the polling that pro-people, populist policies are supported across party lines, and by most Americans. Clean air and water, healthcare that saves lives and money, and worker rights are basic building blocks of a just and equitable society. Yet, in spite of that, corporately funded politicians like my opponent do not support what the majority of Americans want. Instead, they act in ways that serve their corporate donors instead of serving the needs of their constituents. The American people deserve Congressional representatives who actually REPRESENT the will of the people and who are willing to push for positive results, not someone they have to fight every step of the way."
And no matter what lens voters are asked to consider in judging the bill, healthy majorities back it: