A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY:
COALITION BUILDING & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
In early 2019, progressive Democrats in Congress introduced a resolution supporting a national Green New Deal: a set of strategic government policy changes and resource investments to combat climate change in a way that addresses environmental, economic, social and racial injustices. Cities and states around the country (including Washington, DC, New York City, Seattle, Portland. and Providence) have passed legislation or resolutions designed to achieve similar goals. In Montgomery County, local legislators are also considering developing a local Green New Deal package, building off of a climate emergency resolution the County Council passed in November 2017, setting a goal for 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from all sources in the county by 2027, and for full elimination of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
Addressing the root causes of climate change means looking to the people who have long been unrecognized leaders in the fight against these injustices: people of color, immigrants, people with low incomes, and youth who are hardest hit by environmental, economic, and social inequality. Across the country and across the world, leaders from these communities are marginalized, ignored, and cut out of decision-making.
The Montgomery County Green New Deal Coalition Building and Community Engagement Project (MoCo GND) is designed to change those dynamics in our county. We seek to build a coalition of organizations that centers the leadership and perspectives of our most-impacted community members as we develop an agenda for a local Green New Deal and work with policymakers to implement that agenda - recognizing that climate issues often show up as housing, transportation, health and economic issues that are typically siloed from environmental work.
By the end of 2020, we want to have a core of coalition leaders and an initial organizing infrastructure that allows us to regularly gather a diverse group of community members for discussion, decision-making and effective policy advocacy. Our 5-year goal is not only to make significant progress on greenhouse gas emissions, but also to see meaningful positive impacts on housing, transportation, health, economic, and racial justice in Montgomery County - with success determined by those who are hurt the most by these issues.
MoCo GND Project Team Members
Antionette Brunson, MCGEO Climate Committee
Jim Driscoll, Extinction Rebellion MOCO
Derek Haber, MCGEO Climate Committee
Yerim Kone, MoCo Students on Climate
Camille Lorillou, MoCo Students on Climate
Christine Pendzich, 350 Montgomery County
Jeff Weisner, 350 Montgomery County
Brandy Brooks, One Square World (project consultant)