Community Update: 2/18/2022

VT AFL-CIO: Workers left behind in initial climate plan

We have some powerful friends in the movement for a climate action plan that is not built on the backs of low and moderate income people. Working class people are the very people who have suffered from the extractive and exploitative system that caused the climate crisis in the first place and continues to perpetuate it.

In an op-ed published on Jan. 9, 2022 in the Vermont Business Magazine by its executive director, Liz Medina, the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which represents some 11,000 unionized workers in Vermont, has just put out a strong and comprehensive statement critiquing the Vermont Climate Council’s recently adopted “Initial Climate Action Plan” (CAP). 

I’ve worked with union leaders, including Liz and Burlington AFSCME leaders on creating a democratically run, not-for-profit municipal consolidated solid waste program, and I am continually impressed with their commitment to building a democratic and equitable Vermont.

The op-ed is worth the read for the critique of the CAP and the calls for some specific steps we need to start taking for a just transition to a fossil fuel free future. I thank executive director Medina for her permission to repost her op-ed on my campaign website. Please note that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has not yet made any endorsements for the Burlington City Council election, including my own. My goal here is to amplify the voices of Vermonters who I believe share a powerful and good vision for our state.

To read the op-ed, go to this link.