Green New Deal Advocates Storm Rep. Garamendi Office, Demand Support for Climate Change Resolution

By Crescenzo Vellucci
Vanguard Sacramento Bureau

DAVIS –  “Green New Deal” community supporters bum-rushed and occupied the district offices here of Rep. John Garamendi Friday – nearly 100 of them rallied earlier outside – delivering climate change petitions and urging Garamendi to join more than 60 House democrats and back a resolution to battle climate change on a massive scale.

Garamendi staff “hosted” the protestors for nearly an hour, and late Friday his office released a brief statement to the Vanguard, noting Garamendi “appreciates the passion from the community for action on climate change, and he shares their commitment to addressing the climate crisis in a swift and comprehensive manner. He is reviewing the Green New Deal legislation.”

Staff pointed to the lawmaker’s history on climate change/environmental policy, and explained how the Congressman “intends to use his newly awarded Chairmanship of the Readiness Subcommittee within the House Armed Services Committee to address climate change.”

But those attending the rally Friday at the federal lawmaker’s G Street District Office weren’t satisfied.

“Talk, talk, talk. We need action now,” said one activist inside Garamendi’s office. “There is a great deal of urgency. We’ve already been impacted by smoke and fires; we need to stop oil drilling in our oceans…just keep it (oil) in the ground,” said another.

Another young activist said she and friends are talking about not having children because they don’t want to bring them into the world with climate Armageddon.

The climate activists demanded Garamendi and other members of Congress for “real climate leadership (and) a Green New Deal.”

“For too long fossil fuel executives and politicians have bankrolled, have actively sowed doubt among the public about climate change to protect their power and profits. Indigenous peoples, communities of color and low-income families suffer the worst impacts of pollution and the climate crisis. Our window for action to prevent catastrophic climate change is quickly closing. We’re calling on elected leaders like you to fight for the bold, just climate solutions we need, before our communities and the planet run out of time,” read the petition delivered to Garamendi’s office.

Garamendi, and other congressional lawmakers, are being asked to support the resolution that includes (1) a halt to new fossil fuel extraction and subsidies, and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 or sooner (2) decarbonize agriculture and transportation sectors (3) expand access to public transportation, ensure “fair and just transition” led by impacted workers, low income and communities of color, “without relying on corporate schemes or market based mechanisms (4) uphold indigenous rights and finally, (5) pass a national jobs guarantee by creating good jobs with collective bargaining and family-sustaining wages.  

Nick Buxton, speaking outside the office, said that while it is easy to “blame Trump…we can’t continue with politics as usual…what is not realistic is to allow this to continue as is.

“What we need is the political will,” he said, recounting the story from World War II, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought the car companies in and told them to stop making cars and, said Buxton – American car manufacturers produced just 137 cars in three years. He also cited how the U.S. came up with trillions of dollars to resolve the bank crisis of about a decade ago. “Political will,” Buxton said.

Buxton said Garamendi and other lawmakers have to  have the same political will to “fight tooth and nail” and “not rest” until the climate crisis is resolved.

“The message came across loud and clear that we don’t want partial pragmatic responses to the climate crisis and that Garamendi’s actions and approach are not sufficient. We need bold ambitious urgent action embodied in the vision of the Green New Deal,” Buxton wrote after the rally.

Francisco Dominguez noted that “Indigenous Peoples have been targeted since Day 1,” and explained how Indigenous youth and others at Standing Rock were labeled terrorists just for wanting clean water to drink.

Garamendi, in an interview just today, said the effect of climate change on military installations would be a target of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee. He’s the chair.

“Climate change is going to be one of the principle reasons for wars, revolutions, refugees and … disruption around the world,” Garamendi said in an interview in Politico.  “This is the one [subcommittee] … where there’s a direct opportunity to have the U.S. Department of Defense and all of its various elements engaged, prepared, ready for that.”

The Green New Deal has made headlines ever since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) joined the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats in a sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office to promote the Green New Deal in late November.

“We do not have a choice. We have to get to one hundred per cent renewable energy in 10 years. There is no other option,” she said. Now, scores of Congressional members, at least five Presidential candidates and as many as 80 percent of American voters, according to some polls, support the Green New Deal.

The resolution introduced this last week brings forward the broad goals talked up by Ocasio-Cortez and others, but doesn’t go as far as some would like – it doesn’t ban all fossil fuel and leaves open the possibility of nuclear energy to reach zero emissions.

Supporters of the measure note how when President Kennedy five decades ago announced a goal of sending an American to the moon in 10 years, he didn’t say how it would be done. Eventually it took a rocket made of new metals that hadn’t even been invented when Kennedy announced the goal. But he said the Americans needed to be bold.

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts


    1. Jim Hoch

      Less than 5% of American voters could accurately describe what the Green New Deal is. This is rapidly becoming the Obamacare of the left. The Republicans voted to overturn the ACA more than 60 times when the votes made no difference. Once they were in a position to actually do it the instead just chipped away at it.

      Lots of Democrats will sign on as long as it remains a fantasy. If they are ever in a position to actually pass it there will be a different story. 

  1. Don Shor

    “as many as 80 percent of American voters, according to some polls, support the Green New Deal.”

    ;Here’s where that probably comes from:
    It’s pretty misleading to assert that 80% support this. 82% “had heard nothing about” the Green New Deal. Here is the paragraph they were read:
    “Some members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.”

    Nothing about all the social welfare programs that make up a significant portion of this particular version that Ocasio-Cortez and Markey are promoting. It bears some resemblance, a little stripped down, to the version Jill Stein ran on.

    If you want significant public support for a climate change proposal, it would probably be best to remove the unrelated proposals.

    1. Jim Hoch

      The advocates here are certainly more intelligent than the last group that marched on Garamendi’s office when it was closed and ended up milling around on the sidewalk while harassing him by cellphone. 

    2. Nick Buxton

      As one of the organizers, I can tell you it’s an exaggeration. We neither bum-rushed or occupied the office. They knew we were coming, we walked in and talked to a staff member and left at the end. Of course, we were far more people than they were used to and the staffer perhaps felt overwhelmed by that but that’s not an occupation. Having said that, I am not opposed to occupations of politician’s offices if they refuse to do the right thing. The Green New Deal in some ways got its first publicity when the Sunrise Movement occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office.

  2. Cres Vellucci

    Nick, sorry for the characterization. It wasn’t meant to be negative. But to a reporter’s eye when people go in, then walk out and then turn around and rush inside it looked like an occupation – albeit maybe a polite one. What I didn’t add, which made it feel even more like an unwanted “occupation,” was that staffers were upset to learn a reporter (me) was there and taking notes. And, in effect, demanded that I stop. Again, sorry for any unintended misunderstanding. Just trying to do my job. 🙂

    1. Nick Buxton

      No problem, Cres. And I very much appreciated you covering this story. I didn’t see the characterisation as negative necessarily, just not entirely accurate. The staffer may of course have felt it was an ‘occupation’ or a  ‘bum-rush’ but that was not our intent. But who knows? If Garamendi doesn’t respond, he may well see more intentional occupations… Civil disobedience has long been a time-honored tactic by popular movements and the climate crisis will need all forms of non-violent tactics to force a shift in a political system that has completely failed to address it.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for