Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined dozens of colleagues and a national coalition of grassroots groups; labor unions; Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders to introduce a bold plan for economic renewal in Oregon and across the nation – the Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy, or THRIVE Agenda.
“While progress has been made over the years, significant work remains to achieve true equality and justice for all,” Wyden said. “Congress must take deliberative and decisive action to tear down systemic barriers and invest in those communities in Oregon and across the country that are often oppressed or forgotten.”
“Oregonians and Americans in every corner of our country are hurting in so many ways. They’re crying out for racial justice, while also fighting to pay their bills and stay safe from raging wildfires and the coronavirus,” said Merkley. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the administration’s handling of the pandemic, it’s that big problems don’t go away if you ignore them. Our communities need a blueprint for a better future that tackles climate chaos and systemic racism and builds back a stronger, more inclusive, sustainable economy. We can turn the page, rise to the moment, and solve big problems, and the THRIVE agenda shows the way.”
THRIVE would work to build a society that enables dignified work; increased racial, economic, gender and environmental justice; healthy communities; and a stable climate. The THRIVE agenda was based 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 THRIVE Agenda is supported by 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.
A new economic analysis from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that a bold economic renewal plan, as outlined in the THRIVE Agenda, would create nearly 16 million new jobs. Under this agenda, these 16 million new jobs would offer safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits and access to unions. These workers would be part of a national agenda to deploy clean and affordable public transit, replace lead pipes for clean water, expand wind and solar power, care for our children and the elderly, retrofit buildings to cut costs and pollution, expand manufacturing of clean technologies, restore our wetlands and forests and grow food sustainably on family farms.
Wyden and Merkley introduced the resolution alongside U.S. Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass, Cory A. Booker, D-N.J., Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Martin Heinrich D-N.M. In the House of Representatives, the resolution was led by Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Donald McEachin, D-Va., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif.