Youth demand senators back #GreenNewDeal: Voices from Chicago

Youth rally outside the Chicago offices of Illinois Senators Durkin and Duckworth to demand support for Green New Deal.
PHOTO/PATRICK BARANOVSKIS

 

Young people in Chicago gathered outside the Kluczynski Federal Building in February to urge Senators Durbin and Duckworth to cosponsor the #GreenNewDeal. These Illinoisans are letting their Senators know that bold climate policy is a necessity.

“After the hurricane in the Carolinas, I spent time volunteering with a grassroots coalition of volunteers across the state. They were really spearheading the recovery effort. The aid I saw that was most effective wasn’t aid provided by the federal or state government or by national organizations. It was by us. It was a chain of neighbors…I saw old people loading really heavy boxes of canned food onto trucks in the heat. I saw community leaders with huge bags under their eyes. I saw mothers walking barefoot through makeshift storage booths looking for things like toothpaste. The UN climate change report painted a world where the entire ecosystem will be destroyed, where mass migration will render national borders irrelevant. They’re real events…Last week, I had an opportunity to ask Tammy Duckworth to her face if she would cosponsor this resolution and if she was supportive and she said, ‘no.’

It’s not the time to continue to propose the same strategies that we’ve been proposing for the past 30 years. That is madness.

We want sweeping and restorative policy…This is a plan that will not only allow us to survive, but to thrive.”

“Senator Durbin talks about believing that humans are having an impact on the environment and just last week Senator Duckworth talked about increasing the share of bio fuels in our military…those are important…just clearly not good enough! Last summer, thousands of people, Americans, had their homes and their lives destroyed; over 100 people perished due to fires and climate change in California . . . We have the technology. The science is undisputed and the public is overwhelmingly on the side of ambitious and bold climate action.

“Science demands both justice and equality at its core. That’s why we need a Green New Deal . . . We are here to tell our senators to take a stand.

“We want a livable future and we want to save the planet. More lives will be lost; more places destroyed, more communities in danger. People are dying and something needs to be done about it now, not 20 years from now, but now.”

Quotes are from a Facebook video.

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