Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey Introduce Green New Deal Resolution. Pelosi Dismisses It. The Battle Begins

A Roundhouse Roundup updates you on our MUST PASS bills that are sailing along. The post also includes information on AOC and Markey’s introduction of a Congressional Resolution for the Green New Deal. Finally, a tremendous 5 minute clip of AOC asking questions at a Congressional hearing about the influence of money in politics. So spot on. No wonder Pelosi fears her.

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR, 101.1 FM, Saturday, 8:30 a.m.  This is the maiden voyage of Retake serving as roving Roundhouse reporter as part of our 30 minute weekly radio show. Today’s show will include interviews with Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, sponsor of the newly introduced statewide four year moratorium on fracking bill SB 459 and with Senator Jeff Steinborn, sponsor of the SB 374 Local Choice Energy bill we profiled last week. Sen. Steinborn is also the sponsor for SM 5, the Public Bank memorial stalled in Senate Rules. So we will get the scoop from him on what options remain for that bill. The roving reporter format worked like a charm so we will be using this approach throughout the remainder of the session.!

Journey Santa Fe – A Community Conversation on Energy Legislation. New Energy Economy is championing game-changing, renewable energy legislation at the 2019 legislative session.  Collected Works Bookstore’s Journey series is hosting three members of New Energy Economy’s team, Mariel Nanasi, Bianca Sopoci-Belknap, and Miles D. Conway about their game-changing legislative advocacy at the Roundhouse. Learn more, have your questions answered, and actualize your passion for justice and energy democracy

Green New Deal Town Hall with special guest Congresswoman Deb Haaland. If you want to hear why Congresswoman Haaland is supporting the GND and initiate a statewide effort to organize around it, please join Retake Our Democracy, an event sponsor, by attending the GND Town Hall, organized by our friends at 350.org.nm.

  • Green New Deal Town Hall with special guest Congresswoman Deb Haaland with a reception to follow.
  • Date & Time: Sunday Feb 17th, 2019, 3-5pm
  • Place: African American Performing Arts Center and Exhibit Hall, 310 San Pedro Dr NE, Albuquerque 87108

Roundhouse Roundup: 

  • I’ve lost count of how many hearings our bills have passed through, but none have been stalled in committee to date. We have several bills now coming to the House floor for a vote of the full House. This weekend, I hope to be able to catch up and prepare a summary of exactly how we are doing and where all of our bills are in the process.
  • SB 489, Energy Transition Act, the much anticipated Securitization bill, has been introduced. It is 83 pages and not exactly easy reading and since the devil is in the details, requires close study. We will be working on this for a few days before we take a position, and while at first glance it appears to be an improved version from 2018. It is way too soon to pass judgment. Stay tuned.
  • In speaking with legislative staff, the word is that Saturday’s will have hearings from now on out and we have two bills tomorrow:  9:30 a.m. HJR-1 Permanent Funds for Early Childhood and then at 1:30 HB 356 Cannabis Regulation Act (recreational marijuana). We will have volunteers at both hearings to provide buttons and speaking points. HJR-1 will be heard in Room 317 and HB 356 will be heard on the full House floor.

Green New Deal Resolution Introduced in Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey have introduced a Congressional Resolution asking Congress to create a 10-year GND plan that will provide resources to develop a full piece of legislation that will describe in detail the strategies to be employed, the goals to be pursued and how the plan would be paid for. The new congresswoman’s blueprint, co-introduced by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey aims to develop a carbon-neutral economy in 10 years, which would require huge strides in reducing the US’s reliance on oil, gas and coal. Specifically, the resolution says it is the duty of the federal government to craft a Green New Deal “to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions”. That includes getting all power from “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources”.

Nine Senators and thirty House Representatives have agreed to sponsor the Green New Deal and several presidential candidates have already embraced the notion of a Green New Deal, including senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. The former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro committed to the plan during his campaign announcement. Despite this growing level of support among Democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi continues to diminish the value of the GND initiative, refusing to charge the committee on climate change to writing a specific bill and dismissively calling the Green New Deal a “suggestion,” and then going on to comment: “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi said in an interview with Politico. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”  FYI, I have been told that Rep. Lujan has been assigned to the climate change committee, so that is something to mention when you call and email him today and/or Monday. Contact info for all our US Representatives and Senators is below.

While Speaker Pelosi claims the GND is merely an idea, it can’t move beyond being an idea without devoting Congressional resources to flesh out the details. Failure to lend credence to the urgency of the moment is what we’ve come to expect from Republicans, but it is not what we should hear from Democratic Party leadership. Time to call and email.

The Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is the co-chair of the House progressive caucus and a sponsor of the legislation and who speaks for many of the newly elected Representatives who feel the urgency of the moment. She said the resolution defined the scale and scope of what must be done to combat global warming.“We really need an urgent and comprehensive approach,” said Jayapal.

What I like most about this bill is that while it is certainly a climate change bill, it also is an economic, racial, and social justice initiative that recognizes that it is the low-income, communities of color who bear the greatest burden from the consequences of climate change. Language in the resolution states that one of the goals of the bill is “to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, de-industrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth”. That about covers it.

Contact information for our US Congressional representatives is below. I’d encourage you to call and to email them. I have not seen an update from the Sunrise Movement as to the exact days when we are supposed to show up at Congressional offices and insist upon their sponsoring the new resolution, but Feb 11-13 was identified on the online meeting we attended on Tuesday night. Click here for a Retake post from December that outlines the goals of the Green New Deal and has a link to the full plan. It is a worthwhile read.

Contact Info for Our US House and Senate Representatives. We will post local office addresses next week. 

The NM Blue Tsunami was an expression of a majority of New Mexicans seeking substantive change. The GND represents a framework for just that kind of change. Yet, only one of our five elected officials in DC has endorsed the plan. Time to let them know how we feel.

Tom Udall, US Senate

Martin Heinrich, US Senate

Deb Haaland, Congressional District 1 [Send her a note of thanks and encourage her to speak with her NM colleagues]

Xochitl Torres Small, Congressional District 2

Ben Ray Lujan, Congressional District 3

  • Ph: (202) 225-6190
  • email: grassroots@benrlujan.com  OR
  • Link to email form: Click here to get to his form. You will need to input your zip code to get access to the form used to direct email to the Congressman.

It is so refreshing to hear this kind of language out of Washington, D.C.  Click here to read the full resolution. If you want to hear more from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, I’ve included video below of her during a Congressional Hearing. In just five minutes she lays bare the insidious influence of money on the election and legislative process. Her tone is perfect and if it weren’t so sad, her questioning would have been.hilarious.  If you want to hear more from AOC, below the link to her Congressional hearing questioning, is a great 20 minute video of her being interviewed on Meet the Press. We are so blessed to have this new burst of wisdom and passion on the scene.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne.

When the video begins, you’ll need to click the volume and then be warned that the first 4-5 seconds the audio doesn’t work. After that is fine….more than fine.

https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/full-interview-rep-ocasio-cortez-on-the-democratic-party-green-new-deal-2020-candidates-1439077443625

 

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  1. Pingback: A Week in Review, A Look Forward and a Review of Roundhouse Progress & Challenges Ahead | Retake Our Democracy

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