Generation Gap

I had hoped the new, Democratic majority in Congress would begin to create and pass legislation for we, the people, and especially to address our existential threats of environmental chaos. Unfortunately early signs are disturbing.

The Democratic National Committee has lifted it’s ban on members accepting fossil fuel money #NoFossilFuelMoney.

Millennials and Generation Z will be the largest voting bloc in the 2018 and 2020 elections, and we’re registering to vote in increasing numbers. We cannot responsibly support politicians taking money from the companies which directly imperil our future.
 
Millennials were crucial to the Democratic wins in recent special elections. We come from diverse communities already feeling the impacts of the crisis, including record-breaking, life-shattering events like Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey, and California’s wildfires. So, unsurprisingly, we can only support candidates demonstrating a significant break with their district’s status quo on climate issues like Representatives-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Rashida Tlaib (MI).
 
It’s especially painful to see the DNC take this step backwards because 950+ individual Democratic candidates have pledged, embracing a stronger stance on fossil fuel contributions than the party’s previous June resolution.
Democrats hoping to win back the House and contend in 2020 need to inspire higher millennial voter turnout. Since eighty percent of young people want to transition America to clean energy by 2030, pledging #NoFossilFuelMoney is a good place to start. We are asking you to stand up to the DNC’s decision to realign themselves with fossil fuel industry lobbyists. Protect the health of our homes, our families, and our democracy.


The DNC Just Lifted Their Ban on Fossil Fuel Contributions. Who Will Say No to the Tide of “Dark Oily” Money? by Jesse Meisenhelter, Common Dreams, August 18, 2018

I am a 23-year-old college student and people my age have not been given much reason to be optimistic for the future. My generation has a downright apocalyptic prognosis for the future and the primary reason for this is the specter of climate change. We have been acutely aware of this crisis from a young age, as Al Gore’s film on the matter came out when I was just 11. It has been grim seeing how this issue seems to go totally unaddressed with every political cycle. Maybe it is due to a generation gap, but leaders of both parties seem to have little imagination for how our lives will completely change if we continue down this path.
Some hope has recently emerged though. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been pushing members of the Democratic Party to form a House select committee for what has been branded a “Green New Deal.” She hasn’t been met with adoration from the Democratic establishment.
Many have hand-waved her as being naive and her ideals too lofty. I disagree; ambitious ideas are exactly what my generation needs. At least for me, this burgeoning movement within the otherwise cynical Democratic Party has rejuvenated a long-dormant optimism.
RILEY O’NEILL
Oakland

Generation Gap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 22, 2018

The Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats didn’t only turn out in the largest number in the last 7 midterm elections, but also worked hard on the campaigns of those they endorsed, and contributed significantly to the Democratic success in this midterm election. 20 of the 29 candidates they endorsed won.

There is definitely a generation gap. I’m involved in the Sunrise Movement leadership training, and am in the minority in terms of age, which is both hopeful and appropriate.

I can tell you not supporting the Green New Deal is not acceptable to these young people. Any candidate who accepts fossil fuel money will not be supported. #NoFossilFuelMoney

The Democratic leadership has already made the mistake of not supporting the Green New Deal, yet. But there is going to be in immediate and intense backlash. Yesterday I got the following text messages from the Sunrise Movement:

Jeff, yesterday, Nancy Pelosi appointed Florida ep. Kathy Castor to lead a special committee on climate change.

We’ve head that the committee won’t have the legislative power, investigative power, or a mandate to create a climate plan we need. Without these provisions, it’ll be even weaker than the Committee from a decade ago.

Nancy Pelosi says she wants to fight climate change, but refuses to campion a Green New Deal, a plan that would actually address the crisis at the scale that science and justice demand.

The Democratic leadership turned their back on young people and the will of the vast majority of Americans, and instead chose to prioritize the special interests of fossil fuel billionaires.

This fight is far from over, Jeff. The Green New Deal has communities fired up all across the country.

Our generation won’t back down. In 2019, we’ll scale our movement by the thousands and make sure we get a Green New Deal because our lives depend on it.

text messages from the Sunrise Movement 12/29/2018

I am completely invested in the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal. I encourage you to become engaged as well. I especially ask you to talk with your children, other family members, friends and neighbors about the Green New Deal. And I hope you will let your Congressional representatives know their support for the Green New Deal is important to you.

As Jeremy Ornstein says in the video below that I’ve shared before:

Now, now is the day. I have hope in her and I have hope in the Democrates who I have worked so hard to support. Because my grandparents, they needed hope to survive.
You know, please, Speaker Pelosi. Come of age with us. Care for us and we’ll care for each other and we’ll join in that great American tradition of rising to meet a challenge.
Join us, come on.
But if you can’t–if you’re too scared to try, if you’re too corrupt or cowardly–Democrats, if your hands are too deep in the pockets of the fossil fuel executives to try, then get out of the way.
Because we are the leaders that we need. Because now we know we have no choice but to get to work.
Because we know that we have no choice but to hope. Because I know that I have no choice but to hope.
So join us as we demand a Green New Deal.

18 year old Jeremy Ornstein
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