For Immediate Release
Progressives Urge Biden to Seize Climate Mandate Through Cabinet Appointments and Executive Action
Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats call for new White House Office Of Climate Mobilization to coordinate inter-agency efforts to address climate change
Haaland, Warren, Ellison, Lee, Hamilton top Cabinet recommendations
WASHINGTON - Following President-elect Biden’s resounding victory against Donald Trump, Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats on Tuesday morning called on the President-elect to seize the climate mandate delivered by voters across the political spectrum in this year’s elections by creating a new White House Office of Climate Mobilization to coordinate the federal government’s response to climate change.
The groups also urged the incoming Biden administration to appoint progressive leaders to key leadership posts, including Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of Interior, Sen. Elizabeth Warren for Secretary of Treasury, Keith Ellison for Attorney General, Rep. Barbara Lee for Secretary of State, and Darrick Hamilton for Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. The groups launched a video and website outlining key criteria President-elect Biden must meet in selecting top leaders of his administration, and laying out recommendations for 13 cabinet positions alongside delineated areas of policy focus.
“Democrats have a once-in-a-generation moment to deliver policies at the scale of the crises our generation is facing,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise Movement and advisor in the Biden-Sanders task force on climate policy. “Young people helped deliver this historic majority to Joe Biden. The Senate can’t be an excuse; whether or not Mitch McConnell remains the Majority Leader, we need an Office of Climate Mobilization and visionary personnel in the Biden administration who are ready to use every tool in their disposal to create millions of good-paying green jobs.”
"Communities just like mine—and especially the Black community—helped deliver Joe Biden his majority," said Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman of New York’s 16th Congressional District. "Now we need diverse, progressive representation in the next administration committed to a Climate Mandate to deliver for working-class people all across this country."
The progressive push comes after Biden’s campaign built good good-will with progressives through the Biden-Sanders task forces. Those task forces developed a climate plan that included: 100% carbon-pollution free electricity by no later than 2035, creating at minimum 10 million good jobs, creating an Office of Climate Mobilization to report directly to the President, spending at minimum $2 trillion on decarbonization over his first term, and directing 40% of that investment to frontline communities.
“President-elect Biden must embrace this historic moment by keeping the party united and appointing progressive leaders who will help him usher in the most progressive Democratic administration in generations,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats. “Progressives make up close to half the party in Congress and deserve representation in the next administration. We will not allow Mitch McConnell and the GOP to rob Democrats of our ability to govern on behalf of the majority that elected Joe Biden.”
Progressives have warned that pursuing compromises with Mitch McConnell could depress Democratic turnout in 2022. McConnell and Republicans in Congress have spent the past week amplifying President Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the election results and the next four years of the Biden presidency. The groups plan to continue their campaign for personnel and policy commitments alongside other progressive allies in the coming weeks.
The full list of recommendations by Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats for top Biden administration posts is below:
Secretary of the Interior
Top Choice: Representative Deb Haaland
Representative Raul Grijalva
Representative Jared Huffman
Secretary of the Treasury
Top Choice: Senator Elizabeth Warren
Assistant to the President for Climate Mobilization
Governor Jay Inslee
Chair, Council of Economic Advisors
Top Choice: Darrick Hamilton
Secretary of State
Top Choice: Representative Barbara Lee
Representative Ro Khanna
Senator Chris Murphy
Top Choice: Attorney General Keith Ellison
District Attorney Larry Krasner
Attorney General Dana Nessel
Top Choice: Mustafa Ali
Top Choice: Joseph Stiglitz
Secretary of Transportation
Top Choice: Representative Chuy Garcia
Representative Ayanna Pressley
Secretary of Labor
Top Choice: Senator Bernie Sanders
Representative Andy Levin
Secretary of Agriculture
Top Choice: Representative Chellie Pingree
Representative Marcia Fudge
Senator Cory Booker
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Top Choice: Representative Rashida Tlaib
Representative Karen Bass
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Top Choice: Representative Pramila Jayapal
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Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.