WASHINGTON—Delegates to the AFT biennial convention passed a groundbreaking resolution in support of the Green New Deal today, throwing their support behind the proposal’s call for higher wages and its pledge to provide jobs for veterans, formerly incarcerated citizens and rural Americans in an effort to help tackle the nation’s climate crisis.
The Green New Deal is a 2019 congressional resolution put forward by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, and subsequently by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Following its initial introduction, the AFT committed to considering the proposal and eventually agreed to put it forth at this convention. Currently, presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden calls for a clean energy revolution using the Green New Deal as a crucial framework.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said:
“More than a piece of legislation, the Green New Deal is a blueprint into a better future for us all. It creates the conditions for a more just economy by prioritizing real people over corporate profits, putting a check on energy corporations, and elevating our bus drivers, nurses and sanitation workers, who, among others, are the frontline workers experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis on a daily basis. In doing so, we can more adequately focus the needs of historically marginalized communities that have disproportionately suffered from environmental injustice, racism and systemic exclusion from well-paying jobs.
“But this is about more than one piece of legislation or one resolution. It’s about what kind of world we leave for our next generation. Our educators and paraprofessionals, nurses and healthcare workers, and public employees wake up every day to support and educate young people so they are ready and able to serve their communities. This resolution tells that generation: You can have a real impact, and we stand with you in this fight.
“As we move toward a more just and green economy, it’s clear that working people have a critical role to play in the parallel fight for climate justice.”