Rep. Barbara Lee joined several leaders in Congress and a coalition of grassroots groups, labor unions, and Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders from across the country to introduce a bold plan for economic renewal known as the Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy, or THRIVE Agenda.
Eighty members of Congress across both chambers have already endorsed the THRIVE resolution as original co-sponsors. THRIVE lays out the unifying principles necessary to build a society that enables dignified work; increased racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice; healthy communities; and a stable climate.
In the Senate, the resolution is led by Senator Edward John Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both of Massachusetts, with support from Sen. Cory A. Booker and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) among others.
In the House of Representatives, the resolution is led by New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland with Rep. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna of California, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut with several others.
The THRIVE agenda is built on eight pillars, which span from creating millions of good, safe jobs with access to unions to averting climate catastrophe while investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
“The current COVID-19 crisis once again illustrates the legacy that racism and white supremacy has had in our country, and the desperate need to address the inequality that continues today,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “We cannot change 400-year-old systems of oppression without a fight. This resolution is an important step in addressing the issues of economic inequality, climate change, and empowering workers.”
A new poll finds that the eight pillars of the THRIVE Agenda are broadly popular across the country. Additionally, a new economic analysis from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that a bold economic renewal plan, as outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, would create nearly 16 million new jobs.
Under this agenda, these 16 million new jobs would offer safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits, and access to unions.
These workers would be part of a national agenda to deploy clean and affordable public transit, replace lead pipes for clean water, expand wind and solar power, care for our children and the elderly, retrofit buildings to cut costs and pollution, expand the manufacturing of clean technologies, restore our wetlands and forests, and grow food sustainably on family farms.
The THRIVE Agenda is supported by more than 200 national and local organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Church World Service, Climate Justice Alliance, Color of Change, Communications Workers of America, Green New Deal Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, League of Conservation Voters, Movement for Black Lives, People’s Action, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, United We Dream.
“To meet this moment, we cannot accept short-term solutions that pretend our problems are siloed and don’t seek to transform the systems that harm Black people,” said Karissa Lewis, National Field Director, Movement for Black Lives. “…We can’t address a pandemic that is ravaging Black and Brown people without ensuring access to quality health care and the basic right of not living with or drinking toxic pollutants. Everything is connected, and we do ourselves a grave disservice by maintaining normality when momentum is on our side and the people are demanding more.”
“Indigenous peoples know that everything in life is connected and related,” agreed Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network. “The THRIVE Agenda addresses the climate crisis, racial injustice, mass unemployment, economic injustice and the global pandemic while recognizing the importance of recognition of our Indigenous and tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. Indigenous knowledge provides a path forward, acknowledging any form of economic recovery must respect the sacred relationship to Mother Earth, to assure nature and ecosystems are not viewed as capital in a carbon and conservation offset market system and THRIVE recognizes that.”