Below is the response I got from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley after I asked him to support the Green New Deal. In my letter I talked about the advantages the Green New Deal could bring to Iowa, including many jobs related to wind turbines, solar energy, and updating buildings to be more energy efficient. He is obviously not impressed with the “so-called” Green New Deal.
My friend Judy Plank received the same letter from Grassley’s office. As she says, “I imagine it’s a form letter to all about the Green New Deal, but in case you missed it, I’m sending this. He seems to have missed the connection between our climate crisis and how it relates to inequality, militarism, racism and other problems within our nation.”
His lack of understanding about the Green New Deal is widely shared by politicians in Washington, and the public in general. They don’t understand the urgency and the scope of the changes needed. The question then is what to do? In days past, I would have tried to think of ways to help him understand.
But as my friends in the Sunrise Movement say, #NoExcuses. It is past the time to spend time with those who aren’t interested in a real discussion about the existential threats we are now facing.
For years I have worked from the premise of lobbying used by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), to patiently but persistently send letters to Congress, letters to the editor, and visit Congressional offices.
Rather than engaging with politicians who don’t support the Green New Deal, the Sunrise Movement instead will only support candidates that do support the Green New Deal, regardless of political party.
Even if we can’t change Senator Grassley’s mind, he will at least notice the interest of his constituents if more of us contact him about the Green New Deal. I plan to continue to try to persuade him, but if he doesn’t change his mind, I and the Sunrise Movement will support a candidate who does, if one runs against him.