I am a strong supporter of the Green New Deal, which will create twenty million good-paying union jobs that will rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and make it safe and sustainable. This massive jobs program will force unemployment down and cause wages to rise across the board.
While I wholeheartedly support Bernie’s plan, I’m also inspired by the examples of smaller-scale initiatives that mobilize the objectives and spirit of the Green New Deal. As one example, Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone’s Green New Deal for #OurPortland is a brilliant model for a city-specific plan that embraces holistic systems thinking in tandem with concrete, yet bold targets.
One of the most brilliant aspects of the Green New Deal as both Bernie and Sarah articulate it is a centering on the needs of workers into all climate action. Put simply, the tension between workers and environmental protections is untenable, and works strongly against the best interests of all of us.
It’s simply not enough for everyone to have a job — they have to be good jobs. A Workplace Democracy Plan will make it easier for people to join unions and for unions to negotiate from a position of power for what working people deserve. For those who aren’t in unions, I will join Bernie and numerous others in a fight for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, and to ensure that every worker gets paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave, and paid vacation. I will also vote to establish federal protections against the firing of workers for any reason other than “just cause.”
Union labor makes America work. In service of this, I will vote to provide unions the ability to organize through a majority sign up process and enact “first contract” provisions to ensure companies cannot prevent a union from forming by denying a first contract. I will also work to deny federal contracts to companies that pay poverty wages, outsource jobs overseas, engage in union busting, deny good benefits, and pay CEOs outrageous compensation packages. I will also vote to eliminate “Right to Work for Less” laws and guarantees the right to unionize for workers historically excluded from labor protections, like farm workers and domestic workers.
These positions are not popular with Republicans or Democratic moderates like my opponent and entrenched incumbent, Mike Thompson. His votes will always favor the big business interests that fund his reelection year after year after year.