Sen. Henry Stern to co-author California’s “Green New Deal” resolutionMai Nguyen Do March 4, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park), who represents areas of the Santa Clarita Valley including Stevenson Ranch, joined other state lawmakers and over 100 students Monday morning to announce the introduction of a joint resolution calling for California’s own “Green New Deal.”
Stern, along with Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) and Assemblymembers Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), joined students organizers from the California Public Interest Research Group on the steps of the California State Capitol building and called for the declaration of a “climate emergency.”
“Climate change is an emergency,” Stern said. “It’s burning down our hometowns, undermining our state’s public safety, driving alarming rates of childhood asthma and other new disease vectors like West Nile virus and keeping middle class family budgets at the mercy of global oil and gas markets.”
California Public Interest Research Group statewide board chair Sophie Haddad spoke on behalf of the student organizers and explained the urgency behind the students’ support for declaring a climate emergency in California.
“I will be 50 in 2050,” Haddad said. “With last year’s passage of SB 100, California is leading the way on clean electricity, but now we need California to take bold action to get our transportation and buildings completely off of fossil fuels.”
Passed in 2018, SB 100 set a goal for California to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2045.
The new draft climate emergency resolution echoes calls by students and activists for bold climate action after California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 killed 151 people, injured at least 291 people and caused approximately $21.5 billion in damage. The mobilization called for in the resolution would include a New Deal-scale commitment of $100 billion of existing funds toward green innovation, infrastructure and workforce development to put California on an accelerated path to 100 percent clean energy and carbon neutrality by 2030.
“California has gone big, but we must go bigger if we’re going to make this 2030 deadline to turn things around,” Stern said.
The call for California’s climate emergency declaration follows the introduction of a federal resolution by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) often referred to as the “Green New Deal,” which is a proposal that includes economic stimulus programs developed to address climate change and economic inequality.
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.