As first reported by POLITICO Morning Energy:
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Over 120 Labor, Conservation, Youth, National Service, and Racial, Economic, and Climate Justice Organizations Call on Congress to Pass $30B Civilian Climate Corps
The diverse coalition calls for a bold investment in the CCC in the currently moving reconciliation bill
WASHINGTON, DC (September 2, 2021) – Today, over 120 organizations released a letter calling on Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to include at least $30B for a bold, ambitious Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) in the final reconciliation package. Congress has the opportunity to mobilize a generation of young people to serve their communities and tackle the climate crisis while developing the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy through the CCC. The letter brings together conservation, labor, youth, and national service organizations as well as racial, economic, and climate justice movements in support of the CCC.
The letter reads: “President Biden recognized the potential of a Civilian Climate Corps when he included it in his American Jobs Plan and FY2022 budget. Tapping into enthusiasm for the sweeping social programs of the New Deal era, the possibility of a modern CCC remains one of the most popular, exciting components of the AJP. Americans want the opportunity to serve their communities, tackle the most pressing threat facing our country, and earn family-sustaining wages. The CCC would let them do so, through national service work that ranges from installing solar panels to supporting disaster resilience and recovery. With high-road service and workforce development standards and strong environmental justice requirements, an ambitious Climate Corps would train a generation of climate leaders, kickstart the climate workforce mobilization, and directly combat systemic racial injustice by prioritizing resources and job creation in underserved communities.”
“The Civilian Climate Corps is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put young people into national service to help fight climate change while putting them on pathways to good-paying jobs,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer at Service Year Alliance. “AmeriCorps has the infrastructure and authorities to be the core agency to bring young people into the CCC and to ensure that local and state perspectives are integrated. A $30B investment would allow our nation to build a bold, dynamic CCC that fights fires, supports conservation, builds community resilience, and grows our 21st century workforce. It would also lift benefits for all AmeriCorps positions, making national service an accessible opportunity to more young people and communities.”
“This week, the destruction from Hurricane Ida laid bare the need for massive investment that meets the scale of the climate crisis,” said Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of Sunrise Movement. “We cannot afford half measures when our communities are reeling from decades of neglect and relentless climate disasters. There is so much work to do to transition to a renewable energy economy, and our generation is ready to work. As Congress makes the final calls on this reconciliation bill, we are calling on our leaders to step up and fund the Civilian Climate Corps at a much greater scale, and ensure that the CCC advances justice and is accessible to all. We delivered Democrats a clear mandate and we expect them to return the promise of good, meaningful work for our generation.”
“National service has a long history in conservation, climate, and disaster resiliency work, and an established network of 52 governor-appointed state and territorial service commissions and hundreds of local AmeriCorps programs that have the experience to develop a successful modern-era Civilian Climate Corps (CCC). The CCC is a historic opportunity to strengthen AmeriCorps to launch members on a path to good-paying jobs by gaining hands-on work experience while addressing critical issues in disproportionately impacted communities,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions. “We hope Congress will recognize both the importance and demand to serve, and fund the CCC at $30 billion to ensure an equal opportunity to serve for all.”
“We are looking forward to working with the administration to ensure that this new CCC Initiative, unlike the original CCC of the 1930s, is accessible to all young Americans regardless of race or socioeconomic status,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network.
The letter builds on the principles articulated by over 80 members of Congress and led by Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
The letter is signed by over 120 local, state, and national organizations. View the letter and full list of signers here.