The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sunrise Movement Sends Demands to Biden for First 100 Days and Launches Pressure Campaign


Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the Sunrise Movement sent a memo of demands to the Biden Administration outlining what they believe should be the top legislative and executive priorities for his administration in the first 100 days. The full text of the memo is included here and below.

This announcement coincides with the launch of the Sunrise Movement's Green New Deal Year One campaign, which began this weekend with rallies at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's home in New York, and Senator Dick Durbin's office in Chicago. The pressure campaign will continue with a national Sunrise Day of Action, with rallies taking place across the country at the offices of both Republican and Democratic members of Congress on January 21. The Sunrise Movement's actions so soon after inauguration day marks a stark contrast to the beginning of the Obama administration.

"In the midst of major crises, including the hottest year on record, a global pandemic, record inequality and a failing democracy, America is at a crossroads," said Sunrise Movement's Executive Director Varshini Prakash. "The Decade of the Green New Deal must start now. We have a historic, once in a generation opportunity to secure a new social contract for the American people, create millions of good jobs tackling the climate crisis, and deliver racial justice and economic justice. And with Democratic control of Congress and the White House, there are no more excuses. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party must lead boldly to act on their mandate and deliver change for the American people."

Full text of the memo:

Sunrise Movement Top Priorities for the Incoming Biden Administration

Use your bully pulpit: This is your FDR moment. You have said you want to have an FDR-sized presidency, and much of what was accomplished in that time was done by FDR taking a leading role in corralling the nation into action and taking bold executive action.

  1. Build public support for your American Rescue Plan and Build Back Better agenda by boldly championing it across the country. Take your popular agenda to the American people to build support for it. Don't water it down, and don't compromise with Republican lawmakers who have tried to subvert democracy itself.
  2. Push Congress to enact changes to reform democracy to make your agenda possible and lasting, including abolishing the filibuster, expanding the Supreme Court and setting term limits, granting DC statehood and ensuring a self-determination process for Puerto Rico.
  3. Give the new White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy a mandate to coordinate bold action across all government agencies, including goals and timelines for decarbonizing all sectors of the economy, and the power to hold the cabinet, agencies, and departments accountable.

Mobilize the federal government: In order to successfully address the climate crisis, we must mobilize all parts of society. This means mobilizing the whole federal government, moving existing resources and creating new institutions and funding streams to support this mobilization.

  1. Declare a climate emergency and use the Defense Production Act to spur green manufacturing. You're rightly mobilizing everything we have to address the COVID-19 crisis, but we're also in a climate crisis, and no tool should go left unused in confronting it urgently.
  2. Create a National Investment Authority or Infrastructure Bank that drives public and private capital to clean and equitable infrastructure projects.
  3. Ensure we are well on our way towards a 100% clean & renewable energy economy by the end of the decade. 100% clean, renewable electricity by no later than 2035, 100% zero-emission vehicles by no later than 2030, 100% clean buildings by 2025, and aggressive standards across industry and agriculture as well.
  4. Lead by example. Transform all federal operations to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2025. Ensure Buy American and Buy Clean processes through all federal procurement, and use the authority of agencies to move existing federal money to solar and wind energy, electric vehicles, regenerative agriculture, and financing for rural communities.
  5. Prosecute fossil fuel executives, Trump administration officials, and other white collar criminals for their crimes against people and planet.

Advance environmental justice: Everyone deserves to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water. All climate and environmental policies put forward must address historic injustices experienced by communities of color, particularly Black and Indigenous communities, and by rural and low-wealth communities.

  1. 40% to the frontlines: ensure that at least 40% of all government investments go to frontline communities, as outlined in the Build Back Better Platform.
  2. Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for Indigenous Communities: Sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ensure free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect them and their traditional territories.
  3. No Hotspots: Develop and implement "No Hotspots" policy to prevent unjust pollution disparities.
  4. Global Fair Share: Ensure we are reducing emissions in line with our global fair share and increase the United States' contribution to the Green Climate Fund to at least $8 billion.

End the era of fossil fuels: we are already extracting and burning more fossil fuels than the planet can bear. It is critical to put forward policies that stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure while simultaneously developing a just and managed transition away from all fossil fuels.

  1. Deny all permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure on public lands and waters.

  2. Deny or rescind permits for the Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipeline, Line 3 pipeline and all other pipelines under federal review or jurisdiction.

  3. Develop and implement a "climate test" on all federally approved projects and investments to ensure that they do not increase greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Collaborate with workers, communities, and state and local governments to develop a plan to phase out all existing fossil fuel production that ensures the provision of at least five years of wages and benefits and supports communities currently dependent on fossil fuel development.

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