The Green New Deal is a proposed package of legislation first introduced in Congress by freshman Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. It has aroused support and controversy in equal measures. The legislative proposal is their comprehensive approach to address claims of climate change and has become a central discussion point in the 2020 election. It combines the economic approach of President Roosevelts’ New Deal program and adds renewable energy and resource efficiency. It is being championed by self-described democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the front runners in the Democratic presidential primary race.
The two bills that make up the package are House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59. In the Senate, Markey introduced the bill and it was defeated with no votes in favor and 57 votes against, and 43 Senators voting present in protest to there not being any debate or expert testimony. The House bill has not yet received a vote. However, the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis was created to study the list of proposals contained in the legislation.
But what does it mean for Contra Costa County?
The Sierra Club, one of America’s leading environmental protection organizations, is hosting a Town Hall in Antioch to discuss the plan and how Contra Costa communities will benefit and be impacted.
The event will take place on Friday, February 21st from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch.
Featured speakers include Dr. Mark Stemen, professor of geography, planning, and civics from California State University, Chico. Stemen is a noted authority and a highly entertaining speaker who is much in demand.
Also speaking will be youth leaders from the Sunrise Movement of Northern California. The Sunrise Movement is at the vanguard of environmental activism, their tactics of organizing have demanded attention from both elected officials and the public.
In addition, Deirdre Des Jardins, principal with California Water Research, will discuss water challenges for the Delta Region. From the Sierra Club, Helen Fitzmaurice will speak about the importance and ways to educate schools and students on climate change. Public officials and candidates have also been invited.
In response to the proposed legislation it was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 12 that a new website was launched to expose the dangers of the Green New Deal by America Rising Squared, which, according to their website, is an organization “dedicated to promoting the principles of freedom, limited government, free enterprise, and a strong national security, and pushing back against big government liberal policies and the special interests that support them.”
The Green New Deal Town Hall in Antioch promises to be a stimulating and exciting discussion of Contra Costa County’s future.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.