Assemblymember Bonta Launches California Green New Deal

Monday, January 6, 2020

California Green New Deal Legislation Addresses Climate Change and Equity

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) today unveiled details of the California Green New Deal Act (AB 1839) that will boldly address the impacts of climate change and issues of equity throughout the state.

“Just like with the original New Deal by FDR in 1932 that lifted America out of the Great Depression, we too must now harness all of our people power, political capital and courage to meet today’s greatest challenge-- the clear and present danger of climate change,” said Bonta.

California has been recognized as a world leader in implementing strong and innovative environmental policies. The California Green New Deal will build on that leadership to further protect the planet and ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit from our state’s green advances.

Data shows that California has the highest rate of poverty in the United States. Our coalition working on the California Green New Deal believes climate change cannot be addressed without addressing the root causes of inequities including affordable housing, good transportation, equal access to high-quality education and employment opportunities, as well as universal health care.

“People who have been hurt by the fossil fuel economy must be first in line to benefit from the new clean energy, Green economy,” said Bonta. “This is about addressing climate change and equity.”

The California Green New Deal will establish a policy framework of firm principles and goals to address negative climate change impacts and inequity. Some of those goals include:

·         Reducing disparate standard of living indices for historically impacted communities of color by 2030;

·         Increasing affordable housing and public transportation by doubling their current availability by 2030;

·         Accelerating reductions of air pollution by reducing emissions in the state to a rate that would be consistent with global warming goals by 2050.

·         Creating a new compact between Californians and their state to ensure a better quality of life for all by focusing on sustainability, housing, transportation, clean air and clean drinking water, education, employment, recreation, and the natural environment that we hold so dear in California.

“The goals outlined in my bill will create the foundation for this diverse coalition to work together on additional and future legislative efforts,” said Bonta. “Bringing together people from environmental and social equity groups with labor and scientist is no easy task, but with the continued support of Californians up and down our state, we will accomplish just that.”

The California Green New Deal was originally introduced in 2019 as AB 1276 with non-specific language. It has now been reintroduced as AB 1839 and will begin its legislative journey this year.

Richard Marcantonio, Public Advocates: “The climate crisis is fueled by extreme wealth inequality and structural racial injustice; this bill sets us on the road to a California Green New Deal that will uproot all three at once,” said Richard Marcantonio, managing attorney at Public Advocates Inc. 

Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club: "We're at a moment in history when we face accelerating climate change, growing income inequality, overwhelming student debt, and rising homelessness. We need bold steps to make California a place where everyone has an equitable shot at a healthy, productive life. This California Green New Deal declaration is the first of those steps."

Sylvia Chi, Asian Pacific Environmental Network: “We need a Green New Deal that stabilizes our climate and transforms our society into one that supports all people, not just the wealthy few. The Green New Deal for California is a bold step forward in addressing the interlocking crises of climate change, systemic racism, and economic inequality at the speed and scale needed to ensure a future where all Californians can live dignified and healthy lives.”

Co-authors of the California Green New Deal include Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), Eloise Gomez-Reyes (D-San Bernardino), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto).

Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader.