"Climate Mandate": Sunrise and Justice Democrats Call For a Green New Deal Biden Cabinet

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 17 Nov 2020 14:32:00 GMT

The youth-led Sunrise Movement and progressive political group Justice Democrats have teamed up for the Climate Mandate campaign to push President-elect Biden to assemble a progressive governing team. Their message:

“President-elect Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump with the highest youth turnout ever. Now, Joe Biden must assemble a powerful governing team to stop the climate crisis, create millions of good-paying jobs, address systemic racism, and control the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The “Climate Cabinet” should have no ties to fossil fuel companies, or corporate lobbyists; be representative of America; and “fight with the urgency that the climate crisis demands,” the groups say.

In addition, they are calling for the formation of the White House Office of Climate Mobilization to coordinate efforts across agencies.

They offer three recommendations each for many Cabinet-level agencies, with a top pick listed first. The list leans heavily into the progressive caucus of the House of Representatives, not surprisingly previously endorsed for election by the groups. The list does not include some major departments, like Defense and Energy. Some of their recommendations, like Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) for Interior, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for Treasury, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for Labor, are known to be on Biden’s short list of candidates.

People can support the effort by signing a petition for a “fierce and creative governing team” to “build back better from the crises we’re in.”

In an aggressive video promoting the effort, the groups ask of Biden: “Will he be the leader of the American majority, or will he be Mitch McConnell’s vice president?”

Their recommended picks:

Interior :”A visionary Secretary of the Interior has enormous latitude to crack down on giveaways to fossil fuel corporations, like permits to drill for oil on public lands and in public waters. With a progressive leader at the helm, we can make real progress. As the first Native American to hold this position, Rep. Deb Haaland would usher in a new era of Indigenous authority over stolen land. She is a fierce ally of our movement who has fought for renewable energy job creation in the House as Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.”
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.)
  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)
State :”America needs a Secretary of State who will raise the level of ambition for climate action throughout the world. Beyond rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, the next Secretary of State can convene world leaders during the first 100 days to ratchet up the global response to climate change. Rep. Barbara Lee is one of a few brave Congressional Representatives who voted against the Iraq War. Her foresight would end the era of oil wars. She introduced the Women and Climate Change Act to develop coordinated strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on women and girls around the world.”
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Treasury :”A bold Secretary of the Treasury can help transform the country’s spending priorities, even without Congress. By steering federal money to programs that encourage the development of renewable energy job creation, a Treasury Department can make real progress. Senator Warren has been a visionary leader, and one of our staunchest allies in Congress. She’s taken on Wall Street her entire career, and fought for transformative change in her presidential campaign. She’s a Green New Deal champion, and has called for transformative investments to tackle climate change and create millions of good union jobs.”
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Sarah Bloom Raskin, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and former United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
  • Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Attorney General :”A visionary Attorney General can stand up for justice, work to dismantle systemic racism, and hold polluters accountable for their crimes by enforcing clean air and water laws already on the books, and using others to go after fossil fuel corporations who profit off of deception about climate change. Keith Ellison is the Attorney General of Minnesota, and a longtime progressive leader. He has sued Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute over their campaign of deception about climate change, and took George Floyd’s killers to court. As the first-ever Muslim Member of Congress, he co-chaired the Progressive Caucus.”
  • Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General
  • Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney
  • Dana Nussel, Minnesota Attorney General
Council of Economic Advisors :”The Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is a key leader who helps guide the nation’s economic strategy. A visionary leader at the helm can help the nation build back better, guarantee every American a good job, expand workers rights, and deliver investment equitably to every community, whether Black, white, brown, Indigenous, urban or rural. Darrick Hamilton is a leading expert on closing the racial wealth gap and a strong advocate for a federal jobs guarantee.”
  • Darrick Hamilton, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University
  • Stephanie Kelton, professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University
  • Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute
  • National Economic Council* :”A progressive Director of the National Economic Council will have a pivotal role in helping the president build back better, guarantee every American a good job, expand workers rights, and deliver investment equitably to every community. Joseph Stiglitz is a world-renowned economist who has called for a mobilization to confront climate change on par with mobilizing for a third world war.”
  • Joseph Stiglitz, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
  • Bharat Ramamurti, managing director, Roosevelt Institute
  • Manuel Pastor, director, USC Equity Research Institute
Labor :”America needs a Secretary of Labor ready to create green jobs with good pay and good benefits, and who can create a Civilian Climate Corps to employ millions of people to do the urgent work of repairing and strengthening our communities in the face of climate change. Senator Sanders has shifted American politics to focus on solutions at the scale of the crises workers are experiencing. He can bring the power of the federal government to every labor contract negotiation. He can lead the push to create millions of good-paying jobs as we mobilize to stop climate change.”
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  • Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President
  • Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.)
Environmental Protection Agency :”A visionary EPA Administrator can do a lot to combat the climate crisis without Congress. It’s not just undoing Trump’s rollbacks of clean air and water standards; an EPA Administrator who understands the urgency of the crisis can help electrify the economy by enacting new standards for green vehicles and buildings. Mustafa Ali is a visionary environmental justice leader who began working on social justice issues at the age of 16. He joined the EPA as a student, and is one of the country’s most respected voices on climate and environmental justice issues.”
  • Mustafa Santiago Ali, former EPA assistant associate administrator
  • Kevin De Léon, former California Senate Senate Leader
  • Heather McTeer Toney, Director, Moms Clean Air Force
Housing and Urban Development :”America needs a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who understands our vision for a Green New Deal for public housing, because ending homelessness and moving our economy to clean energy must go hand in hand. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is a progressive powerhouse, and the author of the People’s Housing Platform—a groundbreaking, progressive housing framework that declares housing as a fundamental human right. She is also a champion of environmental justice and addressing the disparate health impacts of fossil fuel emissions on frontline communities.”
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
  • Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate
  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)
Transportation :”America needs a Secretary of Transportation who is ready to combat climate change by building accessible public transit for all. A visionary in charge could redirect federal grants towards electric vehicle charging station, and public transit. Rep. García is one of the first Mexican immigrants to serve as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been a leader in calling for federal transportation and infrastructure policies that address climate change.”
  • Rep. Chuy García (D-Ill.)
  • Sara Nelson, President, Association of Flight Attendants
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
Agriculture :”America needs a Secretary of Agriculture who will bring investment and economic opportunity to family farmers and rural communities. By investing in local and regional food systems that support farmers, agricultural workers, healthy soil, and climate resilience, the next Secretary of Agriculture can ensure economic security while advancing our fight against climate change. Rep. Chellie Pingree has been an organic farmer for more than 40 years and recognizes that farmers are allies in the fight against climate change. She is Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Interior and Environment and serves on the Subcommittee on Agriculture of the House Appropriations Committee.”
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)
  • Sen. Cory Bookery (D-N.J.)
Health and Human Services :”All people have a right to quality health care. The COVID pandemic has demonstrated all too tragically the interconnected threads of environmental injustice, lack of access to affordable health care, and mortality from new risks. A visionary Health and Human Services Secretary can work to expand access to health care for all. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is a progressive powerhouse, and the first South Asian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She’s a leading proponent of Medicare for All, and a key champion of the Green New Deal.”
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
  • Dr. Abdul El Sayed, former candidate for governor of Michigan
  • Dr. Donald Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services