DSA’s top three priorities for political work over the next two years, until our next national convention in 2021, should be:
2. Addressing Climate Change and Promoting the Green New Deal
Our second priority is the promotion of the Green New Deal (GND) to address climate change, through political, educational, direct action, electoral and legislative campaigns.
The environmental ravages of unbridled global capitalism have led to increasingly dramatic climate change, with humanity headed toward the brink of planetary ruin. In this crisis, the U.S. has been among the world’s leading polluters, in large measure because corporate interests have put their profits before the health of the environment. Under Trump, the US has even withdrawn from the limited Paris agreement to address climate change with modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Without quick, dramatic and far reaching action, climate change could soon become irreversible, with disastrous effects on humanity and life on earth.
The negative effects of this environmental crisis are not limited to the environment. Climate change impacts the economically vulnerable global South in ways that are more severe, with greater cost in human suffering, than the global North. The growing refugee crises out of the global South are inextricably linked to climate catastrophes that are triggering and exacerbating desperate scrambles for safety from many of the poorest areas of the world. While climate change is not the only cause of these refuge crises, it is a central factor: these crises cannot be solved without taking on the cause which is increasingly fueling them.
The emergence of the Green New Deal (GND) as a leading framework for addressing climate change, in no small part due to the extraordinary political strategy of DSA member Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise movement, is particularly important for democratic socialists. The GND embeds vital environmental goals such as the achievement of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in a broad social democratic approach that includes the creation of good wage jobs for displaced workers and massive public investments in the development of environmentally friendly technologies in fields such as energy production, transportation and housing. This combined environmental and economic approach is essential.
DSA supports House Resolution 109, sponsored by Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Merkley, which recognizes the responsibility of the federal government to develop a GND. House Resolution 109 provides an opportunity to advance democratic socialist solutions to the environmental crisis, such as the building of a new 100%-renewable electrical system with a national “smart grid,” the retrofitting of residential and industrial buildings to reduce energy costs, and the building of a new, low-emission transportation system. Moreover, the GND framework has the potential to unify the political forces which are needed both to meet labor’s demands for jobs, union rights, economic security, full employment, and worker empowerment and to address climate change.
In conjunction with the DSA EcoSocialist Working Group, National DSA will organize a national campaign to build public support for the Green New Deal and to advocate for the inclusion of specific programmatic proposals that accord with democratic socialist approaches. National DSA will prepare educational materials and resources that can be used in this GND campaign. DSA locals and members will be provided with opportunities to participate in this campaign through such means as canvassing for GND, lobbying elected officials for GND, organizing public educational meetings for GND, and advocating for GND in publications and social media.
Here are the principles of the Green New Deal as developed by the Eco Socialist Working Group
Here is the Working Group’s endorsement form:
3. Addressing the Immigration Crisis andDefending Immigrants and RefugeesNext post.
These posts are proposed priorities for the North Star. They are subject to debate. At a future date we will have a vote on these as priorities for North Star.
The opinions expressed here are those of members and allies of DSA North Star Caucus meant to educate, inspire discussion and encourage comradely debate.