Mayor Garcetti’s plan is not a “Green New Deal” for Los Angeles

As part of his Sustainable City pLAn refresh, Mayor Eric Garcetti is releasing his proposal for what he calls a Los Angeles “Green New Deal”. Sunrise Movement Los Angeles has issued the following response.

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This past Friday, more than 1000 people filled the seats of the Wilshire Ebell theater for the kick off of the next phase of Sunrise Los Angeles’ campaign for a Green New Deal. The L.A. stop of the Road To The Green New Deal Tour served as yet another example of how rapidly the youth-led climate movement has grown. The passion and resolve which filled that room shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. We are fighting for our lives.

Today, Mayor Garcetti is announcing his plan for what he calls a “Green New Deal” for Los Angeles. If the Mayor wants to harness the energy of our movement, he should start by listening to what we are saying.

The Green New Deal, introduced on February 7 by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey, is a ten-year mobilization of our society towards meeting the historic challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, economic inequality, and racial injustice. The resolution’s proposals are rapid and expansive for a reason. Anything less than a total mobilization is simply another form of denial.

By the year 2030, we will reach a “point of no return” — wherein planetary feedback loops driven by carbon emissions will propel beyond our control. Our city is on the brink of destruction, and it seems as if no one is listening. Our generation’s future, as well as the future of Los Angeles and of the world, depends on us reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This is not a goal — it is a deadline. With Mayor Garcetti’s current plan for net-zero emissions by 2050, Los Angeles is on track to be twenty years too late. That is not a Green New Deal.

Creating a livable future for our city means addressing the environmental racism that frontline communities have been living with for decades. The voice of communities who are most affected by the climate crisis must be at the forefront of any proposal on how we move forward. In Los Angeles that begins with STAND-LA’s call for a 2,500ft buffer zone between active oil drilling sites and people’s homes and schools. This would protect 580,000 Angelenos living less than a quarter mile from an active oil well, disproportionately suffering from respiratory diseases and other preventable health issues as a result.

Time and time again we know whose voices speak loudest to many of our political leaders. The well-lined pockets of corporate lobbyists and fossil fuel executives speak volumes. It is time we dedicate our city’s resources towards a just transition for our workers and communities — not simply by investing in our infrastructure and services, but by guaranteeing tangible benefits for the people who will be powering our future. Rather than serving the needs of the many, our city government far too often works only for the interests of the privileged few.

The Los Angeles Green New Deal resolution proposed by Councilmember Nury Martinez, which passed earlier this month in City Council, calls on the city to create a Green New Deal that mirrors the principles and priorities of the national resolution. If we are to lead the country by achieving a true Green New Deal for Los Angeles, we must ensure that we stay true to what those words really mean.

Our generation will not survive anything less.

Sunrise Movement Los Angeles

Climate Strike Los Angeles

Zero Hour Los Angeles