The millennial-led Sunrise Movement has succeeded in convincing 45 House Democrats and several senators to support the Green New Deal, and now the grassroots group is planning to focus on young voters across the country to gather as much support as possible for the bold climate action and jobs proposal.
According to the Huffington Post, the two-year-old group is planning a 14-stop nationwide tour in March and April, visiting cities and towns in coal-producing states like Kentucky and Pennsylvania as well as California, New York, Michigan, and others to engage directly with young adults who may not be familiar with all the details of the Green New Deal—but who are likely among the 67 percent of millennials who believe the federal government should make environmental protection a top priority.
"This spring, we're going on tour to to activate the millions of Americans who are ready to fight for a Green New Deal but haven’t heard of it yet." -@VarshPrakash
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) January 7, 2019
"The goal of the tour is to invite tens of thousands of young people into the movement," Stephen O'Hanlon, a spokesman for the group, told the Huffington Post. "We want to go where they are, and one thing we've learned...is young people across the country, in red states, blue states, and purple states, are excited about what a Green New Deal could mean for their communities."
At the events, attendees will be able to receive training in the kind of direct action that has enabled the Sunrise Movement to gather support on Capitol Hill in just a few weeks, as well as learning about the 10 million jobs the Green New Deal is expected to create over its first decade as the country mobilizes to build green infrastructure and transition to 100 percent renewable energy with zero carbon emissions by 2050.
"We're launching the Road to a Green New Deal Tour to activate the millions of Americans who are ready to fight for a Green New Deal but haven’t heard of it yet," Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise Movement, told the Huffington Post. "When you come out to a tour stop, we'll give you all the tools you need to spread the word within your own community, build support, and pressure your elected officials to take a stand."
The group is ensuring that it raises its profile in some of the communities that could benefit most from a Green New Deal, including in coal-producing states where many young people are grappling with a future in which the top industries in their state don't offer feasible, sustainable career opportunities.
The Sunrise Movement has created 100 new local chapters in the last two months, including in coal states like Wyoming and Kentucky, as well as in college towns all over the country.
Organizers are hosting a kickoff call on Thursday at 8:00pm EST to rally participants ahead of the tour
"We will win a Green New Deal when the 80 percent of Americans who haven't heard about it, hear about it," the group wrote in an invitation to attendees. "That's what this call is all about—creating the popular pressure to make the Green New Deal an inevitability."
After the tour ends in April, the Sunrise Movement is looking ahead to the 2020 elections, when organizers are prepared to directly confront Democratic candidates to demand that they take no fossil fuel donations and support the Green New Deal—a task that will be easier, the group says, when even more young Americans are behind it.