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Youth, climate activists again urge Sen. Dianne Feinstein to back Green New Deal

By February 28, 2019 March 14th, 2019 No Comments
Youth activists meet with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, urging her to support the Green New Deal. (Photo by Sunrise Movement Bay Area)

A group of Bay Area youth and climate activists who were seen on video confronting Sen. Dianne Feinstein at her San Francisco office recently returned to her office Feb. 25 to again urge her to support the Green New Deal.

During the impromptu meeting Feb. 22, the group of about 20 underage activists asked Feinstein directly to support the legislation, which aims to drastically cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I know what I’m doing. You come in here and say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that,” Feinstein told the group. “I’m trying to do the best I can, which was to write a responsible resolution.”

Outside her office at 1 Post St. on the morning of Feb. 25, the group gave their critiques on Feinstein’s proposed resolution, which she invited them to read on Feb. 22.

“Senator Feinstein’s resolution is a slap in the face. It is a slap in the face not only to us, the young people who have to deal with the impacts of this climate crisis, but it is a slap in the face to all American people and all beings on this dying planet,” said 16-year-old Isha Clarke with the group Youth Vs Apocalypse. “Her resolution completely ignores science. We have 12 years, not until 2050. There is no room for compromise here.”

The Green New Deal, legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, seeks to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by moving the nation toward green infrastructure while creating millions of new jobs in the process.

“We’ve all read the Green New Deal and we’ve all read Feinstein’s version of the Green New Deal,” said 15-year-old Hannah Estrada, also with Youth Vs Apocalypse.

“The Green New Deal addresses the fact that historically a lot of communities have been left out the conversation. … The problem with Feinstein’s resolution is that it does not address these problems in the depth that is needed. It does not have enough promise of security and safety for communities of color, indigenous communities,” Estrada said. “This is why it is so important to have a Green New Deal because it’s inclusive.”

“The reason why I am not on board with Senator Feinstein’s resolution is because it is not bold enough to save our future,” said 12-year-old Rio, a member of the Bay Area Earth Guardians. “I’m also quite angry that the older generation messed up our world and is leaving it to us and our generation. I am asking you Senator Feinstein to not introduce your resolution and vote yes for the Green New Deal.”

Following the Feb. 25 rally, the group delivered a letter to Feinstein’s office, again pleading that she support the legislation.

After the Feb. 22 meeting with the group, Feinstein said in a statement, “Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear. I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation.

“We had a spirited discussion and I presented the group with my draft resolution that provides specific responses to the climate change crisis, which I plan to introduce soon. I always welcome the opportunity to hear from Californians who feel passionately about this issue and it remains a top priority of mine.”

Story originally published by Bay City News.