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April 22, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer:

On behalf of the millions of people in the communities we serve, we would like to thank you for your swift action in moving forward the American Rescue Plan—which has brought economic and emotional relief to people across our nation—and urge you to take further action to advance equity. 

Today on Earth Day, we at Dream Corps Green For All urge you to prioritize investments in the  American Jobs Plan and related recovery and infrastructure legislation that boost wealth and health for BIPOC communities, workers, and entrepreneurs. The pandemic exacerbated stark health and economic inequalities, particularly for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. As we continue to recover from and build resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession, and harsh climate realities across America, we urge you to ensure these hard hit communities are first in line for solutions.  

There is perhaps no better frame and goal for our country than to “Build Back Better.” Before the pandemic, clean energy jobs were some of the fastest growing jobs in the United States, and we must continue to invest and expand in clean energy to guide our economic recovery forward. We support many of the priorities and equitable investments outlined through the American Jobs Plan, and have laid out a series of actions that would help build critical infrastructure, reduce pollution, invest in community recovery and create sustainable jobs that build racial equity and real pathways to prosperity for people who have long been excluded: 

Electrifying Medium and Heavy Duty Transportation: $100 Billion

  1. Invest $30B in electric school buses to reduce pollution, with at least 40% prioritized for school districts with the highest pollution and/or highest poverty areas. A federal investment of $30B between now and 2030 would electrify 50% of the electric bus fleet by helping school districts pay for vehicles, charging infrastructure, and workforce development.
  1. Invest $25B in electrifying ports across our nation to reduce toxic diesel pollution in  surrounding neighborhoods, which are disproportionately Black and Latinx.
  2. Invest $25B for electrifying transit buses to reduce pollution in American cities, especially exposure for transit riders and workers.
  3. Invest $20B in Community Transportation Grants that go directly to community organizations and local governments for locally-driven, equity-focused projects that improve mobility and reduce pollution, especially for communities hardest hit by COVID-19 and the economic recession. 

Inclusive Green Jobs and Workforce Development Training 

  1. Directly improve at least 1 million low-income homes through increasing funding ($10B) for the Weatherization Assistance Program, including funding for workforce development and “whole home retrofits” to simultaneously improve health and safety (e.g. remediation of lead, asbestos, or mold) in the homes being weatherized. This investment could create upwards of 100,000 jobs and provide career opportunities and training for people who face employment barriers. The energy efficiency industry is the largest job producer within the energy industry.
  2. Require inclusive hiring and federal contracting provisions that ensure equitable access for people and communities who face employment barriers, and for BIPOC green energy and clean-tech entrepreneurs who face barriers to capital. 
    • Build off the Administration’s Justice40 executive order to apply inclusive hiring, contracting, and spending to all federal investments.
    • Enact legislation that requires contractors to hire a proportional talent pool of people with disabilities, people who were formerly incarcerated, and veterans.
    • Rate contractor proposals based on the equity impact of their hiring and subcontracting.
    • Provide technical assistance to new entrants to federal contracting.

We urge Congress to move forward on these policies and investments that will spur economic prosperity and job creation, especially for BIPOC communities who have been historically left out of the clean energy sector.  Congress now has the opportunity to invest in infrastructure and programs that accelerate clean transportation and clean energy, support American households who have the fewest mobility options and the highest energy burdens, and create jobs and build wealth in institutionally under-resourced communities across the country. With these targeted investments in key sectors, we believe that we can truly build back better for all. 

Sincerely,
Michelle Romero
National Director, Green For All

For policy related inquiries:

Shannon Baker-Branstetter
Deputy Director of Policy, Dream Corps Green For All
Contact: [email protected], (571) 225-8128

Harry Johnson, II
Government Affairs Manager, Dream Corps Green For All
Contact: [email protected], (412)304-4492

For media/general inquiries:

Carmen Coffee
Director of Communications, Dream Corps
Contact: [email protected], (405) 473-2254

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