The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Running on Green New Deal, Virginia Democrats Take Full Control of State Government for First Time in Decades
By Jake Johnson
The Virginia Democratic Party took full control of the state government for the first time in nearly three decades Tuesday night by winning majorities in both chambers of the legislature, a massive shift progressives celebrated as a testament to the electoral power of bold policy proposals like the Green New Deal.
Democratic candidates — including Green New Deal backers Joshua Cole, Ghazala Hashmi and Dan Helmer — flipped at least five Republican seats in the House of Delegates and at least two in the state Senate, overcoming the GOP's thin majorities. Additionally, Green New Deal champions like Democratic socialist Del. Lee Carter, Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler and Del. Elizabeth Guzman won reelection.
In a statement, the youth-led Sunrise Movement noted that Virginia Democrats' historic victory comes just months after the state's Democratic Party unanimously endorsed a Green New Deal for Virginia.
"Tonight showed that running on the Green New Deal is a key part of how Democrats can win elections," said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement. "The polls and election results tell a clear story: the Green New Deal is a winning issue."
"When Nancy Pelosi and corporate Democrats try to argue otherwise," Prakash said, "it's nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to shut down progressive policies and protect the interests of corporate donors."
According to Data for Progress polling conducted ahead of Tuesday's election, progressive policy proposals like the Green New Deal, free insulin, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and expanding Medicaid were widely popular across the state.
Delegate-elect Cole flipped a district President Donald Trump won in 2016 by running on a bold policy platform including a Green New Deal and ending cash bail.
"Rethink your 'electability' assumptions," tweeted Nick Tagliaferro of Data for Progress in response to Cole's victory.
Evan Weber, the Sunrise Movement's political director, said Tuesday's election demonstrated that "when candidates reject corporate money and run on ambitious plans to tackle climate change, lower utility costs, and create good jobs, they win — despite right-wing attack ads trying to paint them as too radical."
"This is the roadmap Democrats need to follow in the years ahead," said Weber.
Voting data uploaded by VCU Capital News Service on Nov. 6 shows support for Democratic candidates strongest among younger and middle-aged Virginians.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.