By Tom Lux and Kristen Beifus, Co-chairs of PSARA’s Environmental Committee and PSARA Executive Board members
PSARA inaugurated our new Environmental Committee at its first meeting Thursday, March 14th. Why should PSARA have an Environmental Committee when we are already very active in so many economic and social justice issues?
Many in PSARA feel that climate change is an economic and social justice issue and that PSARA is in a good position to lend its voice to the environmental discussion.. A number of our members are or have been very active in the Labor Movement. We know what it is like to be out of work, we know what it is like to fight for family wage jobs, we know the difference between a good job and a bad job, and we also know that we as workers deserve a healthy environment and a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.
All too often we are given a false choice by the fossil fuel industry and others between jobs for our unemployed brothers and sisters and having clean air and water and doing something about climate change. This is divisive of our collective movement which works together to Scrap the Cap, and improve social security, support labor rights, and work together to strengthen Medicare, and Medicaid. On climate change just as on these other issues, we need to put our heads together to encourage good, sustainable jobs in Washington State.
At our meeting PSARA members discussed ways we can contribute to this dialog. We started to put together a strategy that includes allies, resources, and research to help us identify and mobilize around sustainable jobs that are needed now and will not be a threat to our environment.
We know that everyone is not going to agree on every issue, however we need to first promote understanding of the real issues we are facing. PSARA’s goal is to work with our allies in the labor and environmental communities to support concrete programs whose goal is to create good family wage jobs that are consistent with the need to confront the challenges of climate change.
PSARA’s Environmental Committee’s next meeting is Thursday, April 11th at 10am in the Seattle Labor Temple, Room 226. For more information about this committee please contact Tom or Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join this dynamic committee — open to everyone who lives on our shared planet!