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THE
TACOMA
GREEN NEW DEAL

TACOMA GREEN NEW DEAL

The Sunrise Movement's main goal is to stop the climate crisis while creating millions of jobs and an equitable future in the process.

We support legislation that aligns with our values of clean energy, an equitable economy, and diversity and inclusion. That's why we wrote the Tacoma Green New Deal and are supporting Tacoma City Council in passing it in the next year.

Tacoma Jobs, Justice, & a Just Transition Act: The Tacoma Green New Deal 

Pillars for a Tacoma Green New Deal

  • Environmental Justice for All 

  • A Just Transition Off of Fossil Fuels 

  • Good Green Jobs 


 

Unfortunately, the age of the climate crisis is upon us. Record heat waves that seem to outdo each other each passing year, historic droughts leaving communities with a fraction of their regular precipitation, and record flooding, hurricanes, monsoons alongside sea level rise are ravaging communities across the globe. Our local solution to the cascading crises of public health, economic inequality, systemic racism, and climate chaos is the Tacoma Jobs, Justice, and a Just Transition Act or what we affectionately call our Tacoma Green New Deal (TGND). The City of Tacoma (CoT) must meet us in this quest. 

 

Tacoma must take bold and decisive actions to ensure that the strategies and methods it implements to combat climate change are inclusive and benefit all of Tacoma. Too often Tacoma has left behind the communities and people who need help, often to the sole benefit of powerful institutions & industries. No longer can we build major transit corridors that cut through and cut off black communities or prioritize green spaces only in affluent areas. The Tacoma Green New Deal aims to reverse this trend by working with frontline communities to ensure that climate action benefits everyone. The Tacoma Green New Deal also prioritizes community voices and listening to frontline communities in order to best serve them, recognizing a long history of excluding many from the decision making table. 

 

Sunrise Tacoma, with the help of hundreds of community members, has spent 10 months developing this platform. From meetings with local leaders, to listening sessions and focus groups, we have prioritized listening to anyone and everyone that will speak with us. We are proud to have gotten feedback from frontline leaders, justice activists, public health workers, indigenous advocates, natural resource managers, labor leaders, transit advocates, elected officials, young people, and, most importantly, the community. This platform isn’t perfect, and we recognize local governments can only have so much impact, but we hope this platform leverages the power and agency we all collectively have to push us towards a future that is climate just. Our lives depends on it. 

 

Below you will find a collection of policies and values that speak to the concerns, fears, hopes, and dreams of Tacomans. We must use our mad dash to climate stability as a once in a generation chance to rebuild our communities leaving behind our austerity minded sins of the past. The only path forward is a path that is tenacious, fearless, and rooted in prosperity for ALL, not just the wealthy few. Please view this platform not as a wish list, but as a love letter to our people, planet, and our larger purpose. With stars in our eyes and community at our side, we will be the generation to stop the climate crisis. 

 

We need every person reading this to help us turn this platform into the Tacoma Jobs, Justice, and a Just Transition Act. Are you up for it? 

 

For the air we breathe, for the people we love. 

 

In solidarity, 

 

Team Sunrise Tacoma. 

Environmental Justice for All


 

Many in Tacoma are struggling to have their daily needs met. We must invest in all our communities by reaching out and supporting people in the ways that will best leverage our shared resources for the collective good, and doing it in a way that saves our people and planet. Tacoma’s Green New deal will offer opportunities for people from frontline communities to have direct access to city officials in order to voice their concerns and have their communities needs met. We are advocating for the creation of a longstanding City of Tacoma Climate Justice Task Force that will give community members agency around charting a future that is low carbon, sustainable, and rights historic and present environmental injustices. 

 

We know public health is the core tenet of environmental justice which is why we are calling for the city to work with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) to fund and stand up a new environmental health education program to move our communities towards climate resilience by speaking directly to them, with boots on the ground and hands stretched out wide. 

 

Additionally, the city must ambitiously move away from harmful fossil fuels to prioritize the health of Tacoma’s residents. The Tacoma Green New Deal can help us commit the city to helping and investing in all communities. We can create a safe and healthy environment for everyone to thrive in.

 

  • 100% CLEAN ELECTRICITY BY 2028

    • Work with Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) to have 100% clean local electricity by 2028. This coincides with the contract renewal for TPU and Bonneville Power. Commit to purchasing only 100% clean electricity.

  • FARE FREE TRANSIT BY 2024

    • Work with Pierce Transit to implement fare free transit in Tacoma by 2024. Ban transit fare enforcement in the City of Tacoma starting in 2022 (or sooner).

  • CREATION OF A CLIMATE JUSTICE TASK FORCE

    • Establish a longstanding Climate Justice Task Force within CoT that has a budget provision/line in the municipal budget under the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability (OEPS) and is intentionally funded. This task force will be crucial in reviewing city climate efforts to make sure they are inlign with our vision. Task force members should be compensated for their time, and include frontline community members who have experience in policy, organizing, municipal operations, health, green industry, labor, housing, and environmental services. Alongside seats set aside for frontline identities such as, Indigenous people, Black people, AAPI people, Hispanic/ Latinx people, Immigrants, A faith community representative, the formerly incarcerated, and formerly houseless. This task force should be paired with a NEW full time climate justice oriented staffer to leverage task force priorities. This task force should be given all the resources of a longstanding city committee/commission. This should be fully funded in the 2023-2024 budget cycle, with a preference for it to be started off of council contingency funds in 2022. This task force should have a say in the state legislative agenda for the City of Tacoma.

  • INCREASE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION 

    • Partner with TPCHD and community partners to begin aggressive climate and environmental health education campaigns that harness community members and a boots on the ground strategy to connect communities with needed information and resources to build climate resilience. Our frontline communities especially need people talking to them face to face about how to protect their health in the face of the climate crisis. This can include education around water, energy security, transportation, natural environment, natural disasters, sea level rise, and more. All factors that directly impact human resilience and jeopardize public health. CoT should commit to funding a staff that liaises with OEPS and TPCHD to lead this work.

  • CENTER INDIGENOUS VOICES IN RESTORING PUGET SOUND SALMONS

    • Commitment to bolstering partnerships and collaboration with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians around salmon restoration efforts. We must follow tribal leaders and step up as resources partners to commit more funding towards water preservation recognizing the vital role salmon and other first foods play in indigenous lives. Puget Sound Chinook are only 10% of historic numbers and in some river basins that goes down to 1%, we must fix this. We have resources like: http://puyallup-tribe.com/fisheries/research.html that can be our north star in these efforts. We must also increase funding for stormwater run off programs and community rain gardens by 10% in the 2023-2024 budget cycle.

  • FOOD IS FREE TACOMA

    • Establish community operated “Food is free” pantries/centers by 2025 paired with urban community gardens in the top 10 neighborhoods in Tacoma that are highlighted as least opportune by the Health Equity Index. Reducing hunger is essential in our mission to eradicate poverty. 

 

A Just Transition off Fossil Fuels

 

Tacoma’s reliance on fossil fuels must be phased out. More and more cities around the country and world are turning to renewable energy and moving away from fossil fuel consumption. This is not only due to our climate disaster, but because it is also the economically responsible thing to do as clean energy becomes cheaper and cheaper. We cannot afford to fall behind. We have a plan to help get Tacoma to net zero emissions by 2040, by centering and supporting communities in Tacoma who stand to be the most impacted by climate calamity in the coming years. We know many are shooting for Net Zero by 2050 but we MUST push on this. We are on track for 3+ degrees warming if we do not reverse ship at a scale never seen before. This is unacceptable, and many will perish if we fail to act at the scale needed. 

 

A plan to eliminate the use of fracked gas in homes and commercial buildings will be drafted and passed by 2023, both by banning new gas hookups as well as retrofitting existing homes & buildings. This will be done in part by establishing a “Just transition fund” to fund the Green Jobs Corps  that can assist in the green energy transition, and fund A Climate Justice Task Force. By 2030, the Tacoma community solar pilot program will launch starting in Hilltop, East Tacoma, and South Tacoma, providing free and clean power to over 12,000 Tacomans every year.

Invest in the future of Tacoma, it is the only way through this crisis. We must ensure nobody is left behind in the transition to a clean economy. 

 

  • NET ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2040.

    • Commit to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Study the impacts of low carbon energy sources and specifically hydro to better understand how to ethically power our communities.

  • GET FRACKED GAS OUT OF HOMES

    • Have a drafted and passed plan by 2023 to get fracked gas out of all buildings, new and existing, including plans for clean energy retrofits. Retrofits should include decarbonized energy sources, weatherization, and the utilization of smart technologies for better efficiency. This plan MUST include progressive loan, grant, and funding programs to put minimal burden on community members, especially low income folks.

  • WE NEED A JUST TRANSITION FUND

    • Establish a “Just Transition Fund” to fund the Green Jobs Corps & the Climate Justice Task Force, alongside an environmental justice grants program. This fund should be used to catch workers falling out of dying industries and buffer the impacts of the green energy transition.

  • TACOMA COMMUNITY SOLAR

    • Commitment to finding resource partners and funding a community solar pilot program starting in hilltop, east tacoma, and south tacoma. Effort to serve 12,000 Tacomas by 2030. This is based on the establishment of 3 community solar gardens that would serve 4,000 residents per year, with an average of 5 megawatt hours produced per year per garden (which is average). Use the Minnesota Solar Community Program as a framework for design and implementation.

  • PROTECT THE TACOMA TIDEFLATS

    • Support a just transition for the Port of Tacoma via no fossil fuel expansions in the Tideflats and a Subarea Plan that includes reducing fossil fuel reliance, prioritizing regional low carbon transit, investing more in attracting green manufacturers, and increasing fiscal support for the Maritime Blue Initiative Tacoma Incubator

Good Green Jobs 

In a city with as much economic potential as Tacoma, no one who wants it should go without a good paying and dignified job. Tacomans in 2021 are struggling to find fruitful work or make a wage that allows them to live the lives they deserve. Because of this, they’re unable to afford housing that is near tree canopy and fit for a changing climate. Fortunately, the green energy revolution has plenty of work to offer. We must be ready to solve these problems. Reaching full employment is one of the best ways to rev up our economy. As we transition from the use of fossil fuels to a vibrant green economy, we must ensure that current fossil fuel workers are guaranteed a good union job and living wage.

Tacoma’s Green New Deal promises to invest in job training programs, strengthening labor unions, and worker numbers. We must craft a Green Jobs Corp Program, training thousands of workers into renewable energy jobs and enrolling them in good unions. We can build up workers to in return build affordable green housing for their neighbors and put more Tacomans to work planting trees in the communities that need them most. 

 

By 2040, Tacoma will offer thousands of more union jobs, protect fossil fuel workers in the transition to 100% renewable energy, provide thousands of more affordable, green houses, and yield better tree canopy throughout all of our city. In 2040, Tacoma will be a vibrant economy that workers thrive in. We can do this. 

  • RETROFIT EVERY HOME THAT NEEDS IT BY 2035

    • Have every home that needs it in Tacoma retrofit by 2035 prioritizing strong contract labor agreements that are crafted with labor experts and supporting a strong prevailing wages and ethical sourcing of materials. Ensure buildings are built with low-carbon materials, including "climate smart wood": responsibly sourced wood, from certified or ecologically managed forests. Buildings generate 40% of emissions globally,  and 1/4 of those emissions are “embodied carbon" in building materials. We must reverse this trend. Put X number of people to work by 2035

  • ESTABLISH THE TACOMA GREEN JOBS CORPS

    • CoT work with groups like workforce central and local labor to draft a Green Jobs Corps Program that is operational by 2024 to prepare for and fund workers transitioning out of dying/transforming industries like fossil fuel reliant ones. Commit to training(supporting?) * thousand Tacomans by 2030.

  • BUILD 50,000 MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

    • Build 50,000 more housing units with a priority of being affordable and feature  transit-oriented development to encourage multimodal, walkable neighborhoods by 2040. Supporting a strong prevailing wages and ethical sourcing of materials.

  1. INCREASE TREE CANOPY IN TACOMA

    1. Plant 5,000 thousand new trees in East side, Hilltop, and South Tacoma by 2025 via the Green Jobs Corps, using it as a chance to train young people from front line communities to preserve the communities they reflect & serve. We must see the retention and increase of tree canopy cover and greenspace, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color as an issue of both jobs and justice. We must increase tree canopy by 30% in all of Tacoma by 2030, which is in line with the ambitious end of the city's current targets. Increase the number of trees planted in the Tree Coupon Program from an average of 800 a year (since 2012)  to an average of 2,500 a year. This would constitute a 1,000 tree increase from 2019-2020. Currently the city’s goal is 2,000 trees planted through city projects and support 8,500 other tree plantings each year. We would like to see this increased to 3,000 and 10,000, respectively. 


 

Endless love for our friends at 350 Tacoma, Washington Environmental Council, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Climate Solutions, Legally Black, Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America, UFCW 367, Tacoma Housing Now. 

Alongside Port Commissioner Kristin Ang, TPU Board Member Chrissy Cooley, Andrew Strobel, Councilmember Chris Beale, Councilmember Kristina Walker 

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Tacoma Green New Deal Pledge

The people of Tacoma need a Tacoma Green New Deal — a decades long project to mobilize around climate and prosperity at a scale only seen in the great mobilization in the wake of the great depression and WWII. We have a mandate to stop climate change, achieve environmental sustainability, create millions of good jobs across this country, and realize economic prosperity for all. Tacoma MUST do our part.

I pledge that I will use my platform to champion a Tacoma Green New Deal in any and all ways, including but not limited to: developing and supporting Green New Deal aligned legislation, building support among my colleagues for a Green New Deal; and public advocating for the wholesale transformation of our communities and economy to be climate just. 

For candidates and elected officials. In order to fully uphold this, I pledge to use my position as an elected official to advocate for the passing of a Tacoma Green New Deal, also known as the Tacoma Jobs, Justice, and a Just Transition Act. I will work to increase environmental services, conservation programs and climate funding by 30% over the tenure of my term in office. By signing this pledge I agree to sign on to the Tacoma Green New Deal policy proposal listed HERE. 

 

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ACT NOW!

Protect the earth, stop climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process!