Coloradans are struggling with low wage work, the cost of living and poor air quality due to wildfires and corporate pollution. We have a once in a generation opportunity to modernize our economy and country – now is the time for Congress to pass infrastructure and budget deals that invest in solving these problems.
Close to two million people of color live in Colorado, many of whom need better jobs, affordable housing and a cleaner environment in the neighborhoods where they live and work.
Our country – and our people – need investments to address the existential threat of climate change while advancing justice for people like Esmeralda, Lili, Carmen and their neighbors. Given the gridlock in Washington, D.C., this means that leadership must step up and use their power through the reconciliation process and in the infrastructure package to deliver for the people.
While President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan were good steps forward, there are proposals on the table that will reduce climate pollution by 50% by 2030 AND create millions of unionized, living-wage jobs. By replacing our obsolete infrastructure with modern, resilient and climate mitigating structures – and targeting at least 50% of investments in communities of color, low-income communities and communities dependent on fossil fuels – we can lift families out of poverty, restore public health and promote justice for all.
Americans move mountains when we put our minds to it – we make big things happen. We can protect our health, environment, and economy by moving away from dirty energy and transitioning to 100% clean energy. Unless we deal with the source of the climate crisis and stop burning dirty coal and gas, unstable weather, extreme natural disasters and all the other terrifying climate events we have been experiencing will continue. The good news is not only will shifting to a green economy create union jobs but it also will save money in the long run.
Faced with D.C. Republicans and Democrats trying to cut out all investments to solve climate change and support social wellbeing, our response is: “No climate, no justice – no deal!”
It’s essential that our infrastructure and budget packages addresses climate and jobs, including:
We urge Representatives DeGette, Crow and Perlmutter and Colorado leadership to prioritize Colorado’s people, economy and environment – and remember our cry for no climate, no jobs – no deal!
Pamela Reséndiz Trujano is the executive director of Colorado Jobs with Justice and a member of the Colorado THRIVE Coalition, advocating for environmental and economic justice in communities disproportionately harmed by climate change. Esmeralda and Carmen are Colorado Peoples Alliance members and Lili is a member of 350 Colorado.