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San Diego Groups Coalesce Around Local Green New Deal

A sunny sky shines over downtown San Diego on July 25, 2020.
KPBS Staff
A sunny sky shines over downtown San Diego on July 25, 2020.

Forty San Diego organizations have banded together to build support for a local Green New Deal.

The new local coalition is varied and unified. And they all say the ongoing COVID pandemic is shining a light on a number of social justice issues.

San Diego Groups Coalesce Around Local Green New Deal
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

The coalition features support from local politicians and a host of social justice, economic equity and environmental groups.

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The coalition's representatives talked about the way COVID-19 has exposed the injustices felt in poor communities, saying those injustices are all rooted in the same system of exploitation.

“This has been made clear watching the global pandemic devastate the health and livelihood of those already suffering the most from systemic racism, economic inequality, and environmental justice,” said Maleeka Marsden of the San Diego Climate Action Campaign.

Marston urged the groups to endorse a zero-carbon goal for San Diego and a regional transportation plan that does the same.

Zero carbon means only releasing as much carbon as a city or county can absorb.

video: Local Organizations Build Support for Green New Deal

“We know the climate crisis is a global problem with local impacts which is why we need local leadership,” said Nathan Fletcher, a San Diego County Supervisor. “Right now COVID is impacting working-class communities of color, the same communities on the front line of the climate crisis. The same communities that suffer from exploitive jobs and income inequality.”

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The groups hope to begin working on climate-friendly and socially responsible local policies, so the region will be ready when federal officials adopt some of the aspirrational programs in the national Green New Deal.