In support of a Green New Deal
March 24, 2019

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Whereas, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined humanity has 12 years to act to avert the worst effects of a climate catastrophe; and

Whereas, climate change poses an immediate and long-term threat to all working people, our communities and our economic security; and

Whereas, workers, communities of color and low-income people suffer disproportionately from environmental degradation and climate change; and

Whereas, climate change is already harming working families and vulnerable populations through extreme hurricanes, wildfire, drought and flooding, increased stress on the agricultural sector, health impacts like heat stroke and the spread of infectious diseases; and

Whereas, without taking concrete action now to address the climate crisis, the well-being and economic future of generations of people will be severely and irreversibly jeopardized; and

Whereas, young climate activists in the Sunrise Movement, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other members of Congress have successfully put the Green New Deal at the center of national discussion about how to address both the climate crisis and our historic level of economic inequality; and

Whereas, if climate action is to address inequality, the labor movement must be at the center of shaping climate policies to include just transition for workers, expand collective bargaining rights and create green union careers, particularly in disadvantaged communities; and

Whereas, workers in existing jobs, including firefighters, nurses, construction workers, public transit workers, many in the public sector, and many more are already mitigating the health and environmental effects of climate change, preparing our infrastructure for sea level rise, and advancing California’s clean energy economy through a variety of ways; and

Whereas, with the support of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, AFLCIO, California has adopted a goal of 100 percent renewable and zero-carbon electricity and has demonstrated that clean energy industries can create good, middle class jobs when linked with collective bargaining agreements; and

Whereas, the AFT, the Service Employees International Union, the California Nurses Association, the Labor Network for Sustainability, the Blue Green Alliance, and other labor organizations and their community allies have passed resolutions and/or supported bold policies to address the climate crisis and other pressing environmental issues; and

Whereas, the CFT climate justice resolution committing CFT to a “Climate Justice Agenda” commits CFT to “Push for bold new political and policy initiatives that move beyond lip service to effectively address the two great issues of our age—historic economic inequality and climate change”; and

Whereas, our students will be living in a world that we are leaving them, we as educators bear a direct responsibility to help them understand that world and its challenges, especially climate change and economic inequality, and conceptualizing a Green New Deal can be an important part of their education;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT work with local school districts and other organizations as appropriate to educate students about climate change, economic inequality, and potential solutions to these problems such as a Green New Deal; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports a Green New Deal funded by progressive taxes on the rich such as the wealth tax proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the increase on top marginal tax rates for the wealthy to 70-80 percent as advocated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports a Green New Deal that expands collective bargaining and ensures the creation of union jobs through card check neutrality agreements, prevailing wages, project labor agreements, enacting the provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act and requiring direct partnerships with joint labor-management apprenticeship programs; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports the climate jobs guarantee as part of the Green New Deal; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports a Green New Deal prioritizing projects, union career opportunities and investments in working class, low-income and communities of color historically and disproportionate impacted by pollution, high unemployment, poverty and environmental injustice; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports a Green New Deal that includes a fair and equitable Just Transition for workers impacted by a transitioning economy including a fund to provide severance packages, lifetime income, free education, and family healthcare; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT supports a Green New Deal that includes Buy America provisions; and

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT will advocate for a Green New Deal in concert with our environmental allies, community partners, and elected representatives.