For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
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Stephen O’Hanlon, press@sunrisemovement.org

Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders Kick Off Green New Deal Legislative Blitz With Public Housing Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders launched the Public Housing for a Green New Deal Act, marking the first in a series of Green New Deal bills aimed at tackling the climate and affordable housing crises head-on. The announcement comes almost a year to the day since Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement put the Green New Deal on the political map sitting-in at Speaker Pelosi’s office.

“The families who reside in these buildings have been neglected and forgotten by our country’s political leaders for years, forced to choose between living in homes with toxic mold and unreliable heat, or sleeping on the street,” said Marcela Mulholland, 22, a Sunrise Movement organizer from Fort Lauderdale, FL. “As a Floridian, I've seen firsthand what happens when buildings and homes crumble and people have nowhere to go. In the face of the climate crisis, it's more important now than ever that elected leaders prioritize affordable housing. The Public Housing Green New Deal is an unprecedented opportunity to ensure everyone has a place to call home, regardless of your skin color, the community you grew up in, or how much money you have.”

Millions of people live in public housing across nearly every Congressional district in America. The legislation -- the first in a series of Green New Deal bills -- would invest in retrofitting the 900,000 affordable housing units owned and operated by the federal government, expanding federal workforce development programs, and resourcing buildings’ resident councils to give community members the power to make important decisions regarding their homes. This would create more than 240,000 jobs per year nationally, including thousands of career-track, high-paying jobs in skilled maintenance and construction for public housing residents. The annual reduction in carbon emissions would be equivalent to taking a million cars off the road.

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"Our homes are the foundations for our lives. With the Public Housing Green New Deal, they will become the foundation for our country's future of economic security and environmental sustainability. This landmark legislation will at once offer job training for public housing residents, create family-sustaining jobs, and revitalize public housing units with green technology,” said Dianne Enriquez, co-director of community dignity campaigns at the Center for Popular Democracy. “Not only does it provide a pathway toward financial independence for public housing residents, but it also generates opportunities for meaningful participation in the oversight of their housing community. The Public Housing Green New Deal sets our country on a path of compassionate governance and will help to build a future for our country that includes us all."

Following the bill’s introduction, Sunrise and community-led organizations will launch grassroots campaigns to pressure members who represent large constituencies of public housing residents to support the legislation.

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Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.

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