Environment or Jobs?

Why not both?

Connecticut is a leading state in reducing greenhouse gasses. Offshore wind is gaining momentum, while solar panels keep popping up all over. These changes are a modest start. Let’s build upon this while creating jobs all over 2nd District.

Global Climate Disruption is threatening the very structures upon which modern civilization rests. Rainfall patterns, extreme weather events, and increasingly chaotic weather events are affecting our lives already, and is only getting worse. Our reliance on carbon-based fuel brought us the industrial revolution. It may bring our very destruction, as food sources become challenged, and our coasts become flooded and much less accessible. On a less scientific and more personal note, I can’t imagine how anyone who spends a good amount of time outside hasn’t noticed the changes.

One of the defining characteristics of Connecticut 2nd District is our preservation of land. Many people here appreciate the forests, rivers, streams and coast of Eastern Connecticut. All of this is threatened by climate change.

The Green New Deal offers a positive way out of this. Switching to solar, wind, water and other renewable energy sources, as well as increasing passive efficiencies, such as insulation, etc, will require investment and innovation. All of this stimulates the economy and creates jobs. Jobs to install, jobs to manufacture the parts, jobs to research which systems would be appropriate to which community, jobs to work on the infrastructure on how energy is distributed.

Right now, Democrats and Republicans alike in Congress are owned by, and dedicated to, Big Oil. Not only do many oil companies pay no taxes, they are often subsidized at taxpayer’s expense. Our state money is being siphoned off to billionaires. It’s nice that the Democratic Party occasionally has better rhetoric, but the majority of money goes right to the oil companies under either party. A party bought by oil money can only ever support oil. We need to do better.

These solutions should be locally run and administered to maximize the benefits to all local residents. Let’s create jobs all around 2nd District, not just at the sub base! Making control of our power systems more local will help ease up on distribution challenges, keep monies in communities, and build up local community resilience.

I believe we can create a better society for the 2nd District, increase quality of life, and boost the economy, all at once. Currently, Germany and China are leading in producing solar energy. By reorganizing our priorities to prepare for the future, rather than merely enriching the richest from the past, we can become a leader in renewable energy, while helping local economies and promoting local independence. A big win for everyone, except Big Oil.

I propose ending tax subsidies and tax breaks to big oil companies, fracked gas, and shale oil. Instead, this money should be invested in helping local communities move away from carbon-dependence.

The two major parties are owned by big corporations. They are not interested in real change, just enough to keep people quiet while enriching their corporate donors.

It’s corruption, plain and simple. We can never expect anything else from corporate candidates. They are restrained by corporate leashes.

I believe we deserve representation for the people, not the corporations. I believe jobs for residents should take preference over profits for billionaires. I believe our quality of life is more important than Exxon’s stock portfolio. I believe that we have choices beyond which those delineated by “practical” billionaires whose values are only ever to enrich themselves. I believe that the choice between no government at all, and a governement run by corporate elites is a false choice.

Government should be there to protect us from the excesses of corporate US, not to glorify them with “market-based solutions,” “third-way Democrats,” or whatever new moniker right wing Democrats choose next.

Government should, and still can be made to, serve the citizens it purports to represent. It does not currently.

Change is possible, but it takes courage, it takes coming together, it takes actual pressure applied to power.

I am committed to those changes. I hope you will join me.

Together, we can make a better future for ourselves and our children.

Cassandra for Congress, 2nd District Connecticut.