By Sonia Shah
Community leaders and activists from a growing range of local grassroots groups, including Indivisible Towson, Indivisible Baltimore, Sunrise Baltimore, and the Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club, are launching new efforts to encourage their representatives in Washington, DC to support the resolution for a Green New Deal, recently introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey. These efforts to date include coordinated call campaigns, office visits to congress members in Washington DC and locally, and more.
The groups’ successful organizing efforts have included lobbying in Annapolis for automatic voter registration and in support of the Kirwan commission’s educational reforms, and locally against the ill-fated 287g program. In the recent mid-term elections, members of these groups played leadership roles in several local and state-wide campaigns, organizing efforts to knock on tens of thousands of doors, write thousands of postcards, and successfully raising tens of thousands of dollars in small donations. Their work was instrumental in mobilizing record turnout among Democrats this past November.
Now, members of these groups are coalescing behind the growing national effort to pass a resolution for a Green New Deal. This non-binding resolution expresses our leaders’ commitment to taking bold action on climate change, on the scale that science
and justice demand. It commits us to transitioning our economy to carbon-neutral by 2030, by creating thousands of green jobs for those who need them, within the ten-year span required to avert the most dangerous effects of climate change. Time has run out for anything less.
“We need a concrete solution that matches the scale of the challenge we face,” said Indivisible Towson’s Tom Glancy. “The Green New Deal is the kind of inspiring, bold plan that we will mobilize around,” added Indivisible activist Thomas Smith. “We want our leaders to champion this and incorporate it into the 2020 Democratic platform.”
Since being introduced just a few months ago, the Green New Deal has captured the public imagination, moving to the center of the national debate. According to a Yale University/George Mason University poll, over 80 percent of voters support the Green New Deal, including over 60 percent of Republicans. As of March 3, 2019, 89 members of the House and 11 members of the Senate have co-sponsored the resolution, including six presidential candidates. On March 4, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger announced his support for the Green New Deal—meaning all three Baltimore area Congressmen now support the GND—and Senator Chris Van Hollen announced his support on March 8.