Rep. Cleaver Co-Introduces THRIVE Agenda for Economic Renewal
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) announced his support for the Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy, or THRIVE Agenda. Congressman Cleaver joined U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM), over 80 lawmakers in the House and Senate, and a coalition of grassroots groups; labor unions; and Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders from across the country to introduce the bold plan for economic renewal.
The THRIVE resolution lays out the unifying principles necessary to build a society that enables dignified work; increased racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice; healthy communities; and a stable climate. THRIVE is built on eight pillars, which span from creating millions of good, safe jobs with access to unions to averting climate catastrophe while investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
“The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have opened the eyes of the nation to the economic, racial, health, and environmental injustices that have long been interwoven into the fabric of our nation,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Just as the pandemic has compounded the institutional inequities in our public systems, climate change can—and already does—exacerbate the burdens on Black and Brown communities across the nation. As we seek to rebuild from the public health and economic calamity caused by COVID-19, we must not settle for a return to the status quo. We should build back in a way that directly combats climate change and the inequalities we see in every industry from public health to public housing, and the THRIVE Agenda is the blueprint.”
“The promise of the American dream should be available and accessible to everyone, but right now, our country is facing crises that are fatefully intertwined: tens of millions of people are unemployed, the COVID-19 pandemic rages, racial and economic injustice are rampant , and the climate crisis is accelerating,” said Congresswoman Haaland, Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. “I grew up in a culture that welcomes everyone, a culture in which we support each other in times of need so everyone thrives. We have an opportunity to not just recover from these interlocking crises, but to thrive by creating millions of good paying, union, clean, green jobs while building a more just, healthy, and stable economy that leaves no one behind.”
“The solutions to help rebuild from the current health and economic crisis will help combat another – the climate crisis. The THRIVE Agenda is the kind of economy-wide job and justice creation mobilization we will need,” said Senator Markey. “We can and must do more than simply rebuild our economy, we must transform it -- into an economy and a democracy that works for all Americans and saves the planet. We can thrive as we recover, and I thank Rep. Haaland and my Senate colleagues for their partnership on this important agenda.”
“Like no other time in our nation’s history, we are facing multiple intersecting and compounding crises that threaten public health, our economic future, and the health of the planet for future generations. The THRIVE Agenda puts forth a bold, transformative vision for our society, economic renewal, racial injustice, public health, and mitigating climate change. I am proud to co-lead this resolution with my House and Senate colleagues, as well as all the groups backing this effort and their tireless fight to address the long standing economic and racial inequities that have plagued us for too long,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
“COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated many of the inequalities in our country, from racial injustices to economic inequity and exposure to pollution,” said Senator Cory Booker. “We still have so much work to do to stop the spread of this virus, but as we prepare for the long recovery ahead we must ensure we are laying the foundation to address climate change and build a more just country for everyone.”
“To meet this moment, we cannot accept short-term solutions that pretend our problems are siloed and don't seek to transform the systems that harm Black people,” said Karissa Lewis, National Field director, Movement for Black Lives. “We can’t stop police from murdering Black people, without divesting from policing and investing in Black and Brown communities through secure jobs with living wages and benefits. We can’t address a pandemic that is ravaging Black and Brown people without ensuring access to quality health care and the basic right of not living with or drinking toxic pollutants. Everything is connected, and we do ourselves a grave disservice by maintaining normality when momentum is on our side and the people are demanding more.”
“Communities across the country cannot afford incremental and piecemeal solutions to the dire intersectional issues we face, including the climate crisis, racial injustice, mass unemployment, and the deadly pandemic, to name a few,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club. “Our government must rise to the moment and enact the bold, large-scale solutions outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, which lays out a forward-thinking vision that creates millions of secure jobs, supports cleaner air and a more stable climate, takes aim at racial injustice, and invests in the health of frontline communities. The Sierra Club calls on members of Congress to take immediate action and invest in a healthy, just, equitable economic recovery for all.”
“Black, brown, white, and Asian Pacific Islander working-class families are more likely to live in zip codes with hotter temperatures, dirtier air, or more polluted water,” said Rocio Sáenz, International Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union. “That’s not an accident. It’s the outcome of policies that force working people to suffer the worst consequences of a changing climate. As frontline service and care workers, SEIU members will fight for the THRIVE Agenda because we want policies that create a secure, livable future for our kids and grandkids.”
“As our nation confronts a global health pandemic, a recession, and as fires rage in California and a White House bent on division and fear rather than confronting the long needed reckoning with racial, environmental and economic justice, the THRIVE agenda helps lay out a plan to meet this moment,” said Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers. “It includes investing in equitable public education opportunities, including career and technical education pathways that prepare students for high-quality jobs of the future, and providing for the critical social, emotional academic and digital supports kids need to learn and thrive. After decades of neglecting our schools and other critical public institutions, it’s clear we must put investment at the center of the agenda, and demand the federal government take action to fund our future. THRIVE contains important building blocks in our journey toward a more just and equitable future for all.”
The THRIVE Agenda is supported by a wide array of more than 200 national and local organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Church World Service, Climate Justice Alliance, Color of Change, Communications Workers of America, Green New Deal Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, League of Conservation Voters, Movement for Black Lives, People’s Action, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream.
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or Matthew.Helfant@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.