The Sunrise Movement aims to stop climate change and create millions of jobs in the process. Founded in 2017, its primary focus is to propel forward the Green New Deal, a congressional resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward J. Markey in 2018. The resolution aims to mobilize every aspect of American society to 100% clean and renewable energy and guarantee well-paying jobs through a 10-year plan.
There are over 470 chapters (or hubs). One is the Miami Chapter, which was founded in April 2020 by 18-year-old John Paul Mejia. He said he experienced a lack of communication and coordination in Miami during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staying true to the movement’s mission, the Miami chapter is developing a localized version of the Green New Deal through an initiative called Green New Dade.
“What the Green New Dade seeks to achieve is to share this new vision, and arise this new popular sentiment for how our county officials and how our government should be owned more by regular people,” Mejia said. “The climate crisis, the economy and the well-being of the people aren’t separate things, they are all incredibly related. And this campaign seeks to foster that amongst the public and in the long-term to our county officials and congressional candidates.”
The Green New Dade also seeks to tackle other issues, such as affordable housing, clean transit and ending climate gentrification, according to Hub Leader Gabriela Rodriguez.
“The beautiful idea of the Green New Dade is that it would take the climate crisis and use that transition into a green energy economy to not only keep us from having rising sea levels and intensifying hurricanes, but also to uplift our most vulnerable folk,” Rodriguez said.
The chapter plans to initiate actions targeting county officials, to form a civilian climate core, to hold town hall meetings and invite different stakeholders to build the campaign and, of course, to drive the Green New Dade forward.
It is currently presenting the initiative to Miami’s local environmental, climate and social justice groups and organizations to become movement partners. Although it is still being developed, Sunrise Movement Miami hopes to have the Green New Dade ready to present to Miami-Dade County officials at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center by Earth Day, April 22, 2021.