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'Great Example' of Local Organizing as Maine AFL-CIO Signs Onto #GreenNewDeal

"The work of moving towards a renewable economy must be rooted in workers's rights and economic and social justice."

State Rep. Chloe Maxmin and allies celebrate the Maine AFL-CIO signing onto the Green New Deal.

State Rep. Chloe Maxmin and allies celebrate the Maine AFL-CIO signing onto the Green New Deal. (Photo: Maxmin's Twitter)

Maine's Green New Deal legislation is the first to be backed by labor unions.

The Maine AFL-CIO made its support for the state-level bill public on Tuesday.

The union delivered a strong statement allying the organization with the  environmentally friendly policy from executive director Matt Schlobohm.

Schlobohm said that the Green New Deal could answer the "twin crises" of climate change and inequality.

"Climate change and inequality pose dire threats to working people, to all that we love about Maine, and to our democracy," said Schlobohm. "The work of moving towards a renewable economy must be rooted in workers's rights and economic and social justice."

The announcement of the union support came from freshman Democratic state Rep. Chloe Maxmin, who introduced the bill last month. 

In a tweet celebrating the on-boarding of union support for the policy, Maxmin shared a photo of the team behind the news. 

"[A coalition] of labor, farmers, students, teachers, small business owners, and legislators came together today to roll it out," said Maxmin.

The state level union endorsement comes just over a month after the national AFL-CIO called the national Green New Deal policy "not achievable or realistic."

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A number of high profile proponents of the the policy and environmental causes celebrated the news.

"It's happening, folks," said writer Naomi Klein.

Varshini Prakash, the co-founder and executive director of youth-led climate change group Sunrise Movement, praised the move. 

"A huge congrats today to the good folks in Maine fighting for a #GreenNewDeal that works for all people!" said Prakash. 

And health activist Stephanie Quilao said the news from Maine punctuated a point she and others have been making for a while now: that waiting for the federal government to make change will be waiting too long. 

"Great example of how we don't wait for #GreenNewDeal to happen at the federal level," said Quilao.

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