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Grassroots coalition, members of Congress announce bold economic renewal plan:
THRIVE Agenda creates millions of new jobs while addressing intersecting crises of climate change, racial injustice, and economic inequity
A coalition of grassroots groups, labor unions, Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders from across the nation, and members of Congress today announced the introduction of a bold plan for economic renewal known as the THRIVE Agenda.
THRIVE — Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy — was introduced today in Congress by Senators Chuck Schumer, Ed Markey, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Deb Haaland, Debbie Dingell, Donald McEachin, Sheila Jackson Lee, Raul Grijalva, Rosa DeLauro, Brendan Boyle, Barbara Lee, Ilhan Omar, and Ro Khanna.
See Facebook live video of the Roll Out event with several members of Congress, labor and activists here: ttps://www.facebook.com/WorkingFamilies/videos/760053914779431
82 members of Congress have already endorsed the THRIVE resolution as original cosponsors, and a new poll finds strong majority support for THRIVE nationwide.
THRIVE is a unifying roadmap that meets this moment by creating nearly 16 million good jobs, reviving our economy, and addressing the interlocking crises of climate change, racial injustice, public health, and economic inequity.
Built on eight pillars — from creating millions of union jobs while averting climate catastrophe to investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities — THRIVE’s top priorities are the families and communities who share the dream of a good life: free from worry about meeting basic needs, with reliable and fulfilling work, and a dignified and healthy standard of living.
The THRIVE Agenda is powered by activists and advocates nationwide, and supported by a wide array of organizations including the American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Church World Service, Climate Justice Alliance, Color of Change, Communications Workers of America, Greenpeace, Green New Deal Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, League of Conservation Voters, Movement for Black Lives, NAACP, People’s Action, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, United We Dream, and over 150 other advocacy groups.
Groups in West Virginia include: WV Citizen Action, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition, WV Working Families Party and others.
“THRIVE is exactly what West Virginia needs right now to, jump start our economy, and address the generational inequalities that hold workers and families back from achieving the American Dream,” stated Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of WV Citizen Action. “THRIVE will help our state move into the clean energy future which creates jobs that can’t be sent overseas and rebuilds communities left behind by fossil energy’s decline.”
“The Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition, based in Jefferson County, West Virginia is pleased to sign on to the THRIVE initiative being launched by activists, legislators and organizations across the nation,” commented EPGC coordinator Grant Prillaman, “Our ongoing struggles against air and water pollution generated by local coal and gas-fired heavy industry have taught us the importance of building a future of green jobs and economic development, and the need for government that works with, and listens to, the citizenry.”
“Climate change exacerbates the racial and economic inequalities the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare, and with millions out of work and at risk of losing their homes, their health care, and their loved ones, the time for bold, forward-thinking action is now,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “While President Trump and Congressional Republicans continue to ignore climate change, I am proud to work with my Democratic colleagues and many advocates and progressive groups on the THRIVE Agenda. Even in the face of a global pandemic, we can and must develop solutions to the climate crisis that create good jobs, invest in communities, and ensure healthy lives for everyone regardless of your zip code.”
“The promise of the American dream should be available and accessible to everyone, but right now, our country is facing crises that are fatefully intertwined: tens of millions of people are unemployed, the COVID-19 pandemic rages, racial and economic injustice are rampant, and the climate crisis is accelerating. I grew up in a culture that welcomes everyone, a culture in which we support each other in times of need so everyone thrives. We have an opportunity to not just recover from these interlocking crises, but to thrive by creating millions of good paying, union, clean, green jobs while building a more just, healthy, and stable economy that leaves no one behind,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
“To meet this moment, we cannot accept short-term solutions that pretend our problems are siloed and don’t seek to transform the systems that harm Black people,” said Karissa Lewis, National Field director, Movement for Black Lives. “We can’t stop police from murdering Black people, without divesting from policing and investing in Black and Brown communities through secure jobs with living wages and benefits. We can’t address a pandemic that is ravaging Black and Brown people without ensuring access to quality health care and the basic right of not living with or drinking toxic pollutants. Everything is connected, and we do ourselves a grave disservice by maintaining normality when momentum is on our side and the people are demanding more.”
Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, added: “Indigenous peoples know that everything in life is connected and related. This is also the case with the issues humanity are facing today. The THRIVE Agenda addresses the climate crisis, racial injustice, mass unemployment, economic injustice and the global pandemic while recognizing the importance of recognition of our Indigenous and tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. Indigenous knowledge provides a path forward, acknowledging any form of economic recovery must respect the sacred relationship to Mother Earth, to assure nature and ecosystems are not viewed as capital in a carbon and conservation offset market system and THRIVE recognizes that.”
“Communities across the country cannot afford incremental and piecemeal solutions to the dire intersectional issues we face, including the climate crisis, racial injustice, mass unemployment, and the deadly pandemic, to name a few,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Our government must rise to the moment and enact the bold, large-scale solutions outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, which lays out a forward-thinking vision that creates millions of secure jobs, supports cleaner air and a more stable climate, takes aim at racial injustice, and invests in the health of frontline communities. The Sierra Club calls on members of Congress to take immediate action and invest in a healthy, just, equitable economic recovery for all.”
A new poll finds that the THRIVE Agenda is broadly popular across the country. Each one of THRIVE’s eight pillars enjoys strong majority support nationwide, as well as in 40 battleground House districts and the swing states of Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and Minnesota. While Democrats show overwhelming support for THRIVE, even independent voters express majority support for nearly all of THRIVE’s eight pillars.
A new, independent economic analysis from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that a bold economic renewal plan, as outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, would create nearly 16 million new jobs — enough for all of the 14 million currently unemployed U.S. workers to go back to work building a more just, healthy, and stable economy. As outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, these 16 million new jobs would offer safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits, and access to unions to workers building clean and affordable public transit, replacing lead pipes for clean water, expanding wind and solar power, caring for our children and the elderly, retrofitting buildings to cut costs and pollution, expanding manufacturing of clean technologies, restoring our wetlands and forests, and growing food sustainably on family farms.
Gary Zuckett, Executive Director
WV Citizen Action Group