Civilian Climate Corps

There are so many reasons why a Civilian Climate Corps is important now. Millions of people, especially young people, are looking for meaningful work. And there is such a huge amount of work to be done. We routinely see images of the catastrophic damages from the wildfires in the West, and the hurricane and rains in the East.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see thousands of people deployed to disaster sites? Thousands of caregivers for childcare or to be there for senior citizens? To help in school classrooms. To coach sports teams. To raise healthy foods locally. To restore healthy soil and water. To build and repair housing. To build renewable energy infrastructure. To teach people how to pursue their interests, such as various forms of art.

I’m glad Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) is working to support a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC). You can use the link below to send a letter supporting CCC to your Congressional representatives.

Inspired by the ambition and impact of the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, a modern CCC will gainfully employ residents to confront the interlocking crises of climate change, environmental and racial injustice, and economic inequality. Doing work for the public good such as:

  • Retrofitting homes for energy efficiency, clean electrification, and climate resilience
  • Restoring native wetlands, prairie, and sustainable farming practices with Indigenous leadership to keep our water clean and soil rich
  • Collaborating with local governments to develop climate action plans and distributing aid in the wake of climate disasters

Corps members should be paid a living wage, receive healthcare and childcare support, and pre-apprenticeship training or full tuition reimbursement for stable careers in the clean economy.

Senate Democrats have included a Civilian Climate Corp in the reconciliation bill currently being debated. We need to step to ensure it is big enough to meet the scale of the crisis we face and that it prioritizes BIPOC folx who were cut out from the original New Deal.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI)
We need a fully funded CCC (Civilian Climate Corps)

Climate change and the actions the government takes to address it are a key concern for the vast majority of young voters, who are set to take on more of the burden of dealing with increasingly extreme weather caused or exacerbated by human industrial activity.

Voters aged 18 to 29 are much more likely than older voters to list tackling the climate crisis as one of their top two priorities, according to Abacus Data polling released last week. Those who voted for the Green Party in 2019 and residents of Quebec and British Columbia also rate climate change as a particularly pivotal issue.

“One thing that we’ve heard from young Canadians that they want to see and that we haven’t heard lots of parties talk about yet is green jobs,” said Camellia Wong, a spokesperson for Future Majority, a nonpartisan group of young people pushing for politicians to take more notice of their concerns.

She said that a robust green jobs program would help address two major issues facing the younger generation: the climate crisis and the precarity of work.

NDP promises to double transit funding; youth want green jobs by Morgan Sharp, National Observer, September 8th 2021

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