Climate Change and Environmental Justice

With less than eleven years to adopt radical solutions to solve our climate change crisis, we call upon Dane County and the City of Madison to declare a climate emergency and begin immediate work to mitigate our climate disaster. We support the 2030 net neutral, 2050 all-renewable plan of the City of Madison, but we demand more. We support a radical, worker-first, and union-friendly Green New Deal that includes the following concrete actions to improve our ecological footprint and achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in Dane County by 2030:

  • Develop a People First Transportation policy that puts people before cars, paving the way for free bus transit and a car-free isthmus by providing fare-free bus transit to Madison residents, prioritizing bus rapid transit options that favor buses over personal vehicles, ensuring easy bus accessibility to all members of the Madison community, including the disabled and elderly, and eventually expanding the State Street car-free zone to the entire isthmus when public transport works for everyone. Madison Metro workers must be supported by guaranteeing all new public transit jobs be Teamster jobs.
  • Restore the sovereignty of Ho-Chunk people. Dane County and the surrounding area must build an active and good-faith relationship with the Ho-Chunk Nation, recognizing their sovereignty and right to self-determination. Cease production of the Line 66 oil pipeline through ancestral Ho-Chunk lands, and refuse to permit any new interstate oil pipelines.
  • Land Back. Recognizing that the City exists on land stolen from the Ho Chunk and other Tribes and honoring the leadership of Indigenous groups on environmental issues by following their lead to achieve sustainable practices and policies. 
  • Perform a public buyout of Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) and begin providing 100% renewable energy through city-owned assets. Guarantee the retention of MG&E’s unionized employees at the same or better pay, keeping their labor unions intact, and providing them with any and all necessary retraining.
  • Prepare for more frequent “100-year floods”. In addition to implementing natural stormwater management techniques, Dane County must begin immediate co-study with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources into how we can lower the lakes of the Lower Yahara Watershed back to their natural levels.
  • Promote telecommuting. Enact policies that incentivize companies to allow and encourage their employees to work from the comfort of their own homes, reducing both road congestion and carbon emissions from personal vehicles.
  • Water conservation: Sustained attention to Madison’s water system to ensure a comprehensive long-term plan for new and existing wells, water conservation, efficient water distribution, and support for innovative techniques to save and reuse existing water. Responsible land use and stormwater management requirements for large retail developments.

Review development from a sustainable viewpoint: Carefully evaluating mixed-use development proposals, considering the square footage of empty commercial properties in the area, and supporting wholly residential developments when there is not a demonstrated need for additional commercial space in the area.

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