In the Arctic, sea ice is melting. In the United States, houses are foreclosing. And in Washington, the Senate is becoming a real-life Bermuda Triangle for progressive agendas.
Big-money vultures are circling the Capitol Dome to feast on the latest multibillion-dollar carrion, whether under the heading of “cap and trade” or “healthcare reform.” And many billions in profits can be found inside yet another supplemental bill to fund war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a familiar pattern is unfolding for the most important piece of labor legislation in decades — the Employee Free Choice Act — which would go a long way toward protecting the rights of workers to form unions. Obama says he supports EFCA. But there are no signs that he’ll go all-out for its passage.
We need a Green New Deal.
There’s the old American story about the solitary Dutch boy who discovers that a dike has sprung a leak. He inserts his finger, hangs in there heroically by himself and saves the town.
During the last six months, I’ve participated in a lengthy series of meetings with many other local activists. Across two counties in Northern California, we’re about to launch a long-term project called the Green New Deal for the North Bay.
It’s just a start. But, as we begin a round of public forums throughout the region, we’re in the process of developing a grassroots agenda for far-reaching change that will address these two key questions:
“How can we create a sustainable green future that includes economic equity and social justice?”
Seventy-five years after the start of the New Deal, and nearly 40 years after the first Earth Day, the need for basic change on behalf of social justice and ecology is clear.
But ideas are the easy part. In an era of massive environmental damage and vast economic inequality, we’ve got to organize.