Friday, November 22, 2019

Green New Deal Begins... With Public Housing


The Green New Deal resolution-- (H.Res.109) is not a bill that funds anything or specifically passes any legislation; it's a resolution calling for "the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of..."
achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
investing in infrastructure and industry;
securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and
promoting justice and equality.
"The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including..."
building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.
The resolution, proposed by AOC early last February now has 96 co-sponsors and is wending its way through Congress-- or at least sitting in the hostile Energy and Commerce Committee, the Science Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the hostile Agriculture Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, the hostile Foreign Affairs Committee, the Financial Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the hostile Ways and Means Committee and the Oversight Committee.

The first actual piece of legislation stemming from the resolution was introduced by AOC Tuesday (Nov. 19)-- H.R.5185, the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act. It was assigned to the House Financial Services Committee and there were 14 immediate co-sponsors:
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
Andy Levin (D-MI)
Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)
Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY), an original co-sponsor of the original AOC resolution, was the next member member to sign on as a co-sponsor to the housing legislation. Yesterday he told us that "Climate change is an existential threat and we need to start treating it like the emergency it is. Dramatic bold ideas that protect our environment, reduce our reliance of foreign relationships tied to fossil fuels, create jobs, improve our infrastructure and create safer, more livable public housing are all goals we can achieve. We must be bold!!"

The Sunrise Movement, which is working to organize support for the bill, explained that "We are in the midst of a climate emergency and an affordable housing crisis. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders' Green New Deal for Public Housing Act presents a once in a generation opportunity to address both of these issues at once by weatherizing, electrifying and modernizing our public housing so that it may serve as a model of efficiency, sustainability and resiliency for the rest of the country. The Green New Deal is more than one bill. It's a governing agenda for the coming decade. We need a complete transformation of every aspect of our economy and society to tackle climate change and give young people a secure and prosperous future. This is the first in a series of bills that together will lay out the ways that the Green New Deal will transform and boost all sectors of our society. It's time for our government to invest in our infrastructure, our most vulnerable communities, and our future."

What's in the bill?
Creating seven grant programs to improve and modernize public housing energy efficiency, ensuring that all associated structures, buildings, and tribal dwellings are brought to the highest standards of indoor health and safety, including the eradication of toxic mold and lead, and committing to adequate climate adaptation and disaster response and recovery programs through dedicated investment.
Boosting federal workforce development programs to encourage residents to own and run their own businesses, have a direct-hand in the renovations, and allow for financial agency.
Expanding resident councils, empowering residents to actively participate in the management of their own public housing community.

Repealing the Faircloth Amendment to further prevent unjust barriers to the construction and access of new public housing.
Benefits: The federal government already owns and manages over 900,000 residential buildings and structures, most of which haven't been updated in decades. These buildings are both large emitters of carbon and house millions in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. This bill would:

Invest $119 to $172 billion in green retrofits that include all needed capital repairs, vastly improved health, safety and comfort, and eliminate carbon emissions. This would lift the living conditions of nearly 2 million people, living in roughly 1 million units.
Directly create from 22,297 to 35,755 career-track, high-paying jobs per year in skilled maintenance and construction for public housing residents. Thanks to the injection of billions of dollars into the 21st century green retrofit economy, the bill would create up to 240,723 jobs per year nationally across multiple sectors.
Reduce annual carbon emissions by roughly 5.6 million metric tons annually compared to recent years, the equivalent of taking over 1.2 million cars off the road.
Kathy Ellis is running for a congressional seat in southeast Missouri where the congressman, Jason Smith, is a climate change denier who opposes all any any action to deal with the Climate Crisis. "The Green New Deal is an opportunity to invest in our rural areas, create new jobs, and protect our planet," said Ellis. "I fully support the Green New Deal Resolution, and specifically the Green New Deal for Public House Act. Our infrastructure-- including our public housing-- is crumbling and in many areas, residents suffer health consequences as a result of the conditions. This is an innovative way to address this issue, and address the rising need for green jobs and sustainable infrastructure. When elected, I would be proud to co-sponsor this bill."

Goal ThermometerTexas progressive Mike Siegel is also running for a seat held by a crackpot climate change denier, Republican Michael McCaul. Yesterday, Siegel told us that he loves that "the first specific bill to implement a Green New Deal focuses on housing. This action addresses perhaps the most important crisis affecting families right now. Too many Americans are experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, skyrocketing rents, lack of access to quality public services, and other negative impacts from a brutal housing market that constantly displaces poor and working-class communities. In addition, it shows how the Green New Deal will be a massive benefit to families and workers, strengthening our safety and putting millions of Americans to work in well-paid and often-unionized positions. I applaud Rep. Ocasion-Cortez and Sen. Sanders for their leadership and look forward to supporting this and similar efforts after we replace McCaul in 2020."

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At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) should have been done decades ago
2) Pelosi won't allow the non-binding resolution to see a vote (oil companies won't keep paying the democraps if they go 'there').
3) if this is in any way attached to the resolution that Pelosi won't allow, will she allow it?
4) the only possible way this gets through the senate is if it is attached to a government funding extension like the one trump just had to sign (open for emoluments only until 12-20).

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will no one stand to defend the oppressed slumlords and fossil-fuel billionaires? /s

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean besides the us senate and us house and potus and the Nazi party and the democrap party and the supreme court?

and actually, the slumlords would welcome free shit that makes their dumps more valuable, wouldn't they?


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