‘An economic vision for the 21st century’: Nevada County Sunrise introduces itself, its mission to the community
Millions of jobs across the country aiming to create, distribute and implement clean energy technology. The achievement and protection of clean air, water and food. Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and the inclusion of poor communities in America’s post-modern economy.
The Green New Deal is “an economic vision for the 21st century,” said Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash, who leads the organization aimed at tackling the issues of economic inequality and environmental degradation.
Prakash’s words were being repeated last week to an audience at NEO in a film entitled “Generation Green New Deal,” which was introduced by Nevada County Sunrise, a local chapter of the national movement.
On Thursday night, the local high school student-led organization had three goals: introduce themselves to the community, recruit members and release plans of what it hopes to accomplish. While the Sunrise Movement prioritizes leadership from young people between the ages of 13 to 35, at NEO many older individuals from a variety of local climate activist groups came together to support the youth’s mission of a carbon-free future.
And what they didn’t share in age and experience, they did in their fear of a world navigating more dramatic wildfires, floods and droughts — all currently taking place in Australia, Indonesia and Zimbabwe, respectively.
“We’ve brought the fate of the planet into doubt in the space of a single generation,” said New York Magazine journalist and author David Wallace-Wells in the film, “and we have about that much time to save it.”
NEVADA COUNTY SUNRISE
While the local Sunrise chapter is still developing, some of the local chapter members like Ruby Chow and Etta Stewart (sophomores at Ghidotti Early College High School) and Darren Fisher (junior at Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning) are working to galvanize young and old people to support their mission.
“I think our goal here in Nevada County is more getting the population excited and ready to take active action,” said Stewart.
With the guidance of an adult consultant, the three high school students said they have been writing in their school newspapers, preparing future assemblies and rallies and telling their friends of their work to build an environment ripe for action.
At NEO, the group showed a second film about how the national Sunrise Movement plans to accomplish its goals. The strategy includes three prongs: organize, vote (or promote voting) and strike.
The group — which is backing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, as the Democratic presidential nominee — is planning its largest strike on April 22 — Earth Day.
In the meantime, local Sunrise member Fisher said his group is working to build alliances with more seasoned climate groups as long as they support the Green New Deal, which was recently found to poll favorably in swing U.S. House of Representative districts, according to Vox.
One obstacle the local Sunrise group has encountered as of late: transportation.
“Getting from one place to another is very difficult,” said Stewart, noting the county’s semi-rural geography.
Fisher said Nevada County Sunrise will look to circumvent this problem as they develop more local action, pushing toward a future resembling what Detroit activist Theresa Landrum envisioned in “Generation Green New Deal.”
“The poor would have equity,” she said in the film. “That’s what a (future with) the Green New Deal would be if I could construct it.”
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
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