Since sweeping into Congress atop a wave of far-left support, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) has been very clear what her number one goal is: a Green New Deal for America.
The freshman congresswoman first attracted attention to the proposal when she joined more than 200 protesters staging a sit-in in support of a GND in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) office. Since then and with Ocasio-Cortez’s backing, the idea has swept through left-leaning media, attracting fawning reviews. It also has the support of a number of prominent left-wing environmental activists: deindustrialization advocate Bill McKibben has come out in favor, as has former Vice President Al Gore.
“This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation. That is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a Monday town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
The leftist proposal for A Green New Deal is not exactly new. It was central to Dr. Jill Stein’s campaign for president under the Green Party banner in both 2012 and 2016. But the idea is gaining currency among lawmakers: alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, at least fifteen members of the House of Representatives have expressed support.