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As Congress considers the Biden administration’s $2 trillion climate and infrastructure proposal, progressive lawmakers are beginning to signal their vision of what it would take to, in the president’s words, “build back better.” On Monday, Democratic Representatives Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, which would distribute $1 trillion directly to cities, towns, and tribes over four years, allowing local governments to enact ambitious climate justice initiatives without buy-in from more conservative state legislatures. On top of that, on Tuesday Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey reintroduced the joint resolution that first popularized the Green New Deal concept.

The cities bill introduced on Monday, which has been co-sponsored by 23 other Democrats, provides funding that can be spent on a range of environmental issues: replacing lead pipes, retrofitting water infrastructure, building bike lanes, installing electric vehicle charging stations, testing soil and water for contaminants, and phasing out fossil fuel infrastructure, among other options. It also “supports reparations programs for Black and Indigen... Read more

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