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Ocasio-Cortez: Activists 'have deeply influenced' Democratic positions on climate

Ocasio-Cortez: Activists 'have deeply influenced' Democratic positions on climate
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAdams, Garcia lead in NYC mayor's race: poll House Republicans introduce resolution to censure the 'squad' This week: Democrats face fractures in spending fight MORE (D-N.Y.) hailed the reintroduction of "Green New Deal" legislation and credited environmental activists for influencing the Biden administration’s climate goals while speaking to constituents on Friday.

In a virtual town hall event, Ocasio-Cortez said she was “incredibly excited about the progress we’ve been making” on climate issues, noting that the Green New Deal legislation was reintroduced with a record number of congressional co-sponsors.

“We have deeply influenced the way the Democratic leadership and the country have approached the issue of climate,” she added, pointing to the Biden administration’s stated target of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030.

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“That was unthinkable two years ago and I think environmental activists and everyone who has spoken up in support of this issue can claim credit for that,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez also expressed excitement over the United Mine Workers union’s announcement of tentative support  for a transition to clean energy if miners’ jobs could be preserved in the switch.

“We’re going to work together to make sure those jobs are absolutely being focused in places like coal country so that those families aren’t left to transition with no opportunity,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez went on to say that while the Green New Deal legislation was a “north star” for climate solutions, she and colleagues had introduced several pieces of companion bills in recent weeks. She pointed to the “Green New Deal for Public Housing” she co-sponsored with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Politics of discontent: Who will move to the center and win back Americans' trust? MORE (I-Vt.), which would involve wide-scale retrofitting of public housing.

“If you see public housing in other parts of the world you would be shocked at how beautiful and dignified and eco-friendly it is,” she added.

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She also cited Rep. Cori Bush’s (D-Mo.) introduction of a “Green New Deal for Cities” as well as her own introduction with Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyClimate progressives launch first action against Biden amid growing frustration Senate Democrats urge Google to conduct racial equity audit Senate climate advocates start digging in on infrastructure goals MORE (D-Mass.) of legislation to create a Civilian Climate Corps that she said would create more than one million new jobs.

“It’s a really exciting program — this was very successful during the New Deal,” she said, citing the Depression-era Works Progress Administration. “This is an idea that we’re bringing back, putting a climate twist on it and adding a focus on equity and racial and social justice.”