AOC wants you!
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats backing the Green New Deal are seeking to create a 1.5 million-strong group of Americans to join a “Civilian Climate Corps” to work on federal projects to battle climate change, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
The New York Democrat and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts are among the progressive lawmakers who introduced the bill to establish the civilian force that will be tasked with “responding to climate change and transition to a clean economy.”
The “corpsmembers” would receive on-the-job training and work with community groups to “reduce carbon emissions, enable a transition to renewable energy, build healthier and more resilient communities, implement conservation projects with proven climate benefits, and help communities recover from climate disasters.”
It would expand on the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and draws inspiration from the New Deal-era Civilian Conservative Corps created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression that allowed unemployed young men to work in federal programs to improve the country’s public lands, forests and parks.
The Civilian Climate Corps would try to draw 1.5 million Americans, who would be paid at least $15 an hour and receive full health care coverage, to work for five years.
It would also award education grants of $25,000 a year, up to $50,000, “eligible for further education at any level or to pay down student debt,” the proposal says.
“What we’re going to do is make sure communities like Flint, Baltimore, the South Bronx, St. Louis, rural communities whose infrastructure was never properly built in the first place, are first in line to rectify the injustices of the past and make sure they get everything they need to thrive in the future,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters when introducing the legislation alongside Markey.
A Markey aide told Fox News that the corps would be included as part of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and would cost an estimated $10 billion.
Biden showed his support for the Civilian Climate Corps when he introduced his American Jobs Plan, noting it would “put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate.”
That plan and his American Families Plan are part of his sweeping “Build Back Better” agenda that would direct trillions of dollars into infrastructure projects as well as child and elderly care, pre-K education and free community college.
It would be paid for with a series of tax hikes, including raising the corporate tax rate.