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‘Green New Deal’ Housing? Isn’t that kind of political?

At a recent Board meeting, one of our Directors shared that he receives this question every time he tells someone about our organization. I’d like to answer that question here and now.

My answer is … yes.

The word “political” has become divisive. It can be an accusation. “Don’t be so political.” I want to reclaim the word “political.” The origin of the word is the Greek “politika,” which translates to “affairs of the city.” I would say that the work of Green New Deal Housing (aka GNDH) definitely relates to the affairs of the city.

Our work centers on environmental and economic justice, contributing to change much needed in our region and in society as a whole. This is political work—but it’s not lobbying or policymaking. From time to time we may add our voice in support of policy or legislation that supports the mission and vision of our organization. However, this kind of support is not the essence of our work.

We exist to serve our communities directly with our activities and programs. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity. And unlike a political organization, contributions to Green New Deal Housing are fully tax-deductible.

Why are we called “Green New Deal” Housing? Because the Green New Deal is a fitting and inspiring paradigm for the work we do, first discussed publicly by Thomas Friedman (2007) and Van Jones (2008). It concisely expresses the idea of a massive transformation characterized by integrated big and broad solutions (both public and private) to the economic and environmental crises faced by communities all across America. The concept gained visibility and traction when the Sunrise Movement (founded in 2017) pressed Congress to adopt the Green New Deal as a Congressional Resolution “to mobilize every aspect of American society to 100% clean and renewable energy, guarantee living-wage jobs for anyone who needs one, and a just transition for both workers and frontline communities.” We intend for GNDH to be part of this larger mobilization, and hope that our efforts support and stimulate this greater effort.

With that, on behalf of our first Board of Directors, I’d like to welcome you to the launch of Green New Deal Housing. It is my hope that this blog provides a forum for people connected with our organization to share ideas, inspiration, stories, news, and resources relevant to the health, resilience and welfare of our communities. Please peruse our website and I think you’ll learn how Green New Deal Housing hopes to positively impact the affairs of our city.

Rachel Wagner

co-founder and Secretary of the Board of Directors, Green New Deal Housing

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