Make DC the 51st state – and win climate justice

This is one of my ideas that sounds crazy, but it’s actually really not: Make DC the 51st and deliver climate justice for all.

Like how a Green New Deal that ends fossil fuels would create jobs, rebalance the economy on behalf of millions of working Americans and stop climate catastrophe. Or how chocolate + peanut butter are two great tastes that taste better together. DC statehood is actually a simple, just, good idea – that actually might be a key to solving the climate crisis.

I’ll explain more, but if you’re already on board – Sign here to tell Congress: Make DC the 51st state, and deliver climate justice for all.

Here’s the simple facts: More than 700,000 people, most of them black and brown, live in the District of Columbia. They vote, pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and are responsible for maintaining the roads, safe drinking water, breathable air, and police that serve and protect every member of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House — but they get no vote in Congress, have no say in federal policy, and cannot even stop armed federal troops from attacking their citizens. They are the very definition of “taxation without representation” which the founders of America fought a revolution over.

But this Friday, June 26, Congress will vote on whether to make DC the 51st state for the first time since 1993. And if they vote to approve DC statehood, we could gain more than a 51st neighbor and ally – we could get 2 more votes in the US Senate to affirm a Green New Deal, and end to fossil fuels, and a real, just, response to the climate crisis.

The fight for DC statehood became all the more urgent this month. On June 1, Donald Trump sent federal troops into DC neighborhoods to round up nearly 200 people protesting police violence in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and hundreds of other Black people across the country

While Trump has been clear he hates DC statehood, his actions may have galvanized the new the civil rights movement, and lent new urgency to our cause.

Sign and send the petition to your member of Congress: Demand they pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

D.C. residents serve on juries, in the U.S. military, pay taxes, and work hard to build safe, strong communities where they live. But they have no vote on any decisions our Congress makes every day.

And that’s too bad for the climate, as well as civil rights. In the last few years DC has banned plastic bags, considered an aggressive carbon tax, and shut down coal plants and gas pipelines. These people are our allies in the fight for climate justice – and we’ll never have a better chance to add 3/4 of a million votes in favor of our values than right now.

There’s more energy now than ever in Congress to ensure DC residents have direct representation federally. A few weeks ago, the House Oversight Committee voted in favor of legislation supporting DC statehood, and H.R. 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act, has over 223 cosponsors. 

This Friday, the full house will vote on H.R. 51 to recognize DC as the 51st state, and we must ensure that lawmakers pass this overdue civil and climate rights bill for DC residents.

Sign and send the petition: Urge Congress to pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

Justice for the Bahamas; Justice for climate refugees.

It’s been just over a month since the Bahamas were slammed by Hurricane Dorian. The Category 5 storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

But when families fled for the US mainland looking for shelter and a safe place to stay while they rebuild, the Trump administration slammed the door. In one instance 119 refugees were forced off a ferry headed to Florida because they didn’t have proper Visas for the Trump administration.

Turning away Bahamian hurricane survivors is cruel and heartless. Sign now to demand that Congress pass legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Bahamas while the country rebuilds.

The solution is simple: TPS is an immigration program that provides legal status to migrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters, prolonged unrest, or conflict.

It was a standard practice of the US Government to offer TPS to natural (if that’s the right word for climate-fueled super-storms) disasters under the Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama administrations. And at one point, Trump’s own acting Customs and Border Protection chief, Mark Morgan, said it would be “appropriate” to extend TPS to Bahamians in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. But Trump lashed out against the idea, using racist and xenophobic language to block TPS for not just Bahamians, but Venezuelans, Haitians, and others he deemed “very bad people.”

If Trump and team wont act, Congress must. Congress can grant TPS to thousands of Bahamian climate refugees so they can work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), and Barbara Lee’s (D-CA-13) have introduced the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act, and five presidential candidates signed onto similar legislation in the Senate as well.

Storms, droughts and floods will only become more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years.

We must join together now to demand that Congress pass legislation that offers a humanitarian response to the growing crisis of mass climate displacement and provides relief to Bahamian hurricane survivors.

Sign the petition: Urge lawmakers to grant TPS to Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian.