Over 80 Senate and House Democrats are outlining goals, standards, and structure of the program
WASHINGTON (July 23, 2021) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) and Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) joined a group of over 80 Senate and House Democrats in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, calling on them to ensure the inclusion of a Civilian Climate Corps in the final budget reconciliation deal.
“Establishing a Civilian Climate Corps will provide national service opportunities to a new generation and help power our economic recovery. Let’s make national service a central part of every plan for change,” the New Mexico Democratic delegation said.
The letter asks that the Civilian Climate Corps:
- Prioritize projects that invest in natural climate solutions, clean energy, and climate resilience, and which address environmental justice;
- Sets ambitious labor standards, including by providing a living wage, robust education awards, full healthcare coverage and support for childcare, housing, transportation and education;
- Invests in equitable and diverse Corps membership by recruiting from frontline environmental justice communities and offering opportunities for DACA recipients, DED and TPS holders, refugees and asylees and veterans;
- Is implemented through AmeriCorps and other national, state and local service organizations to build on and scale up existing infrastructure;
- Includes robust funding for the many programs and activities in which Corps members will engage including at the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and others, to provide the needed workforce for federal programs to fulfill their full potential to mitigate climate impacts; and
- Follows the lead of local communities.
The full text of the letter is available here.
The letter was led by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and U.S. Representatives Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).
The letter is endorsed by over 45 local, state and national organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, Defend Our Future, League of Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Sunrise Movement, Earthjustice, The Corps Network, Service Year Alliance, America’s Service Commissions, States for Service Coalition, Outdoor Afro, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Lands Foundation, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Conservation Colorado, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, National Recreation and Park Association, American Forests, SkyDay, Choose Outdoors, SOS Outreach, National League of Cities, Courage California, Student Conservation Association, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Protect Our Winters, Inclusion Outdoors, Better Wyoming, The Educator, Collective for Environmental Justice, Defiende Nuestra Tierra, 10 Billion Strong, Natural Resources Defense Council, Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education, Friends of, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Rising Routes, Children & Nature Network, Sierra Club, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, Outdoor Afro, Connecticut Forest & Park Association, REI Co-op, The Trust for Public Land, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Washington Trails Association, North American Association for Environmental Education.