WILL ON THE
GREEN NEW DEAL
We’ve all seen the devastating effects climate change has had on our communities and our state's economy. Faced with rising sea levels, and larger and more damaging storms, the vulnerability of our nation’s coastline could not be more glaring. Almost a decade after Superstorm Sandy, which led to at least $29.4 billion in losses for our state and caused flooding that engulfed more than 80% of Atlantic City alone, communities in South Jersey are still reeling from its effects. We cannot continue to deny the existence of climate change, at the detriment of our shoreline – which is vital to South Jersey’s economy – and our residents’ livelihoods. We can't wait for the next Hurricane Sandy to hit for us to start acting and protect our beaches. We need to be proactive with safeguarding our local economy, our communities, and our environment for the long-run.
South Jersey needs a two-pronged, local and national, approach to protect against the disastrous effects of climate change. Coastline devastation, environmental destruction, and rising sea levels threaten to uproot entire communities and permanently alter our country geographically.
New Jersey has spent over a billion dollars on beach restoration since the 1990s. However, simple restoration measures do not create the kind of long-term solutions necessary for when the next natural disaster strikes.
Bayside towns and shore communities are projected to spend $1.7 billion each year in damages over the next 50 years. There is a solution on the table that will save South Jersey's coastal communities from having to pay this bill and it would pay off before 2030. The Army Corps of Engineers has a $10 billion proposal that would invest significantly into potential bulkheads, levees, floodwalls with protective gates, dikes around barrier islands, and building retrofitting. If elected, I will fight to ensure our district receives the necessary funding to implement the cost-effective Army Corps of Engineers Comprehensive Risk Mitigation Package.
But the country as a whole must go further, which is why I am a huge proponent of the Green New Deal. In Congress, I will fight for our district and support efforts such as the “CLEAN Future Act” and the “100% Clean Energy Economy Act” that will help usher in a future with 100% clean and renewable energy. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to seize this moment.
Investing in innovations that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as allow energy to be consumed and created in a responsible manner, will have a positive effect on New Jersey’s economy and the country as a whole; the clean energy industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the nation. With the high-demand for job creation in our district, especially in the wake of economic recession due to COVID-19, we must ensure New Jersey is not left behind.
A climate focused recovery from the current pandemic will responsibly rebuild our economy while simultaneously jumpstarting green industries. America must be a global leader in combating climate change, and the Green New Deal lays the groundwork for what is necessary to make this transition possible. With federal grants and tax deductions to incentivize home owners and businesses to transition to renewable energy, as well as climate focused funding to states, and industry to create “green” jobs such as proper weatherization of buildings, a green future can be a reality.
America and South Jersey must harness innovative new technologies like offshore wind farms and make our district a welcome place for clean energy companies to set up shop, creating thousands more jobs for New Jersey residents as is the goal of bold proposals like the Green New Deal.
Climate change affects portions of our community differently. As a formally homeless teenager, African-American, and advocate for environmental justice, I am also prepared to be a voice to communicate the urgency of our current environmental crisis that will disproportionately impact our most vulnerable communities. In Congress, I will support bills like the “Environmental Justice For All Act” and “Clean Water for All Act.”
Ensuring our district benefits from the advances in the green energy industry is paramount to our long-term success, and it will be a top priority for me as your Congressman.