Bainbridge council to offer support for Green New Deal

The Bainbridge Island City Council may throw its political clout behind the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal — based on resolutions introduced in Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey — is a proposed stimulus program to combat climate change while also addressing economic security issues such as health care, affordable housing and living wage jobs.

The Bainbridge council will talk about a resolution that supports the Green New Deal at its meeting this week.

The resolution notes that the city supports “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey’s resolution to recognize the responsibility of the federal government to create a Green New Deal and to recognize that local environmental and social organizations such as Climate Action Bainbridge and Indivisible Bainbridge urge its passage.”

The resolution also notes the assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from October 2018, and the National Climate Assessment from November 2018, that warned “climate change is causing extreme weather events that threaten lives and infrastructure; climate change at or above 2 degrees Celsius will cause trillions of dollars in economic losses from wildfire, severe storm and sea level rise, and damage to national infrastructure; and that climate change will lead to mass migrations and threaten our national security.”

The Bainbridge resolution also notes “stagnating wages and severe income inequality cannot be overcome because of increasingly expensive education, housing, and transportation,” and recalls New Deal policies adopted during the Great Depression that successfully invested taxpayer dollars to turn the economy around.

The Bainbridge council, in the resolution, asks the federal government “to take immediate action to prevent the worst effects of climate change by adopting a 10-year mobilization effort” that would encourage investment in renewable energy sources, improve public transportation infrastructure to encourage sustainable transportation efforts, and create sustainable and living wage jobs with family and medical leave, universal health care, paid time off, and retirement security.

The council resolution also endorses the idea to make monthly per-person dividend payments to all American households from the collection of carbon fees, as proposed in HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Additionally, the resolution urges all voters on Bainbridge Island and throughout the state to encourage their elected officials in Washington, D.C. to support the Green New Deal and the U.S. House legislation on carbon fees.

The idea for the resolution was introduced earlier this month by Councilman Matthew Tirman.

The proposal found a favorable response from other council members.

“We need bold action and this is a great effort,” Councilman Joe Deets told Tirman after the resolution was introduced March 5.

Bainbridge council members will talk about the resolution at their meeting Tuesday, March 26 and will consider advancing it for approval on the April 9 consent agenda.

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