Green New Deal Champion Ed Markey Defeats Joe Kennedy III in Win for Climate
By Jake Johnson
Bolstered by an energized climate movement, small-dollar donors, and support from prominent progressive lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green New Deal champion Sen. Ed Markey on Tuesday fended off a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III, whose name recognition and late endorsement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were ultimately insufficient to topple the popular Massachusetts incumbent.
Declaring victory Tuesday night with a 10-point lead over Kennedy, Markey, 74, shouted out the young voters and activists who fueled his campaign with on-the-ground organizing and social media efforts, including the production of viral ads that built enthusiasm for the incumbent senator and laid the groundwork for his comeback win.
"This campaign has always been about the young people of this country," Markey said in a speech to supporters in his hometown of Malden. "You are our future. And thank you for believing in me, because I believe in you."
Touting his support for the Green New Deal, the signature issue of the senator's reelection bid, Markey declared that "there will be no peace, no justice, and no prosperity unless we stop the march to climate destruction."
"This is a matter of life and death. The very future of our civilization depends upon it," Markey continued. "There is no time for simply 'doing what we can.' There is no time for compromise on the existential threat to our time. We must pass a Green New Deal... The time to be timid is past. The age of incrementalism is over. Now is our moment to think big, to build big, to be big. This is what this election is all about."
The Sunrise Movement—the first national organization to endorse the senator's reelection campaign—celebrated Markey's victory as a testament to the growing power of youth-led climate activism in Massachusetts and across the United States. The group said its volunteers made 250,000 calls on Markey's behalf, on top of directing and producing a striking Green New Deal ad that racked up four million views.
"From the outset, we worked with the campaign to put climate change at the center of this race," Evan Weber, political director for the Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. "As we gained momentum, the establishment clearly felt threatened and sent Nancy Pelosi to throw in a last-minute endorsement to boost funds for Kennedy's big money campaign."
"Despite this establishment opposition," added Weber, "we won a clear victory tonight—and with that, no one should underestimate the power of the climate movement to elect and defend our champions in Congress."
Before tonight, a Kennedy had never lost an election in Massachusetts. But even a 100 year dynasty can not overcome… https://t.co/eKdoYm55sx— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)1599012640.0
In a tweet late Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez—who joined Markey in co-authoring the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress last year—hailed the senator's win as a "victory for the progressive movement, for 21st century policy, and for the Green New Deal."
"Thank you to every single voter, supporter, organizer, grassroots donor, and everyday person who helped make this happen," said the New York Democrat, who slammed Pelosi's decision to back Kennedy against Markey as hypocritical, given her approval of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) policy of kneecapping progressives who challenge incumbents.
"On a personal note, when I first got to Congress the reception I got in many spaces was very chilly," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a separate tweet. "Ed Markey wasn't afraid. He offered his expertise and partnership. He wasn't scared of big policy and didn't use kid gloves. It's great to watch him overcome the odds and win tonight."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
- Sweeping Green New Deal Resolution Unveiled by Ocasio-Cortez ... ›
- 100% Clean Energy Bill Launched by Senators to Phase Out Fossil ... ›
- US Sen. Edward Markey Meets Pope For Climate Change Discussion ›
- How Does the Climate Crisis Impact the 2020 Senate Races? - EcoWatch ›
To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.
A new EarthxTV film special calls for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that call it home. EarthxTV.org
- Meet the 'Women Warriors' Protecting the Amazon Forest - EcoWatch ›
- Indigenous Tribes Are Using Drones to Protect the Amazon ... ›
- Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse by 2064, New Study Predicts ... ›
- Deforestation in Amazon Skyrockets to 12-Year High Under Bolsonaro ›
- Amazon Rainforest on the Brink of Turning Into a Net Carbon Emitter ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anke Rasper
"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.
- World Leaders Fall Short of Meeting Paris Agreement Goal - EcoWatch ›
- UN Climate Change Conference COP26 Delayed to November ... ›
- 5 Years After Paris: How Countries' Climate Policies Match up to ... ›
- Biden Win Puts World 'Within Striking Distance' of 1.5 C Paris Goal ... ›
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?
- This Indian Startup Turns Polluted Air Into Climate-Friendly Tiles ... ›
- How to Win the Fight Against Plastic - EcoWatch ›
In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
- Appalachian Fracking Boom Was a Jobs Bust, Finds New Report ... ›
- Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water ... ›
- Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than ... ›
Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.
- Kenyan Engineer Recycles Plastic Into Bricks Stronger Than ... ›
- Could IKEA's New Tiny House Help Fight the Climate Crisis ... ›