MD Gubernatorial Campaigns Join Climate, Labor and Justice Activists in Speaking Out for 100% Clean Electricity

Speakers Applaud Majority of Democratic Candidates for Maryland General Assembly and Statewide Offices for Pledging to Support First-Ever Climate Justice Resolution

View or Download Press Conference Recording

ANNAPOLIS, MDCCAN Action Fund and its allies held a press conference yesterday outside of the Maryland State House where they announced that 153 candidates – including a majority of Democrats running for the Maryland General Assembly or statewide offices – have pledged to support 100% clean electricity by 2035 with strong equity and labor provisions. Those candidates have joined a growing list of 70 environmental, labor, business, and justice groups in signing the Maryland Climate Justice Resolution.

Activists and campaign leaders spoke via livestream about their commitment to the Maryland Climate Justice Resolution, which is sponsored by and was developed with input from CCAN Action Fund, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26, CASA, and the NAACP Maryland State Conference. This landmark resolution offers a shared vision of 100% clean electricity by 2035 (without incentives for trash incineration), investments in underserved communities, and increased access to clean transportation and strong labor provisions for large clean-energy projects. 

View MD Climate Justice Resolution and General Assembly candidate signatories. 

Among the 153 candidates pledging their support for this historic resolution are eight leading gubernatorial candidates. The campaigns for four of those candidates – Douglas Gansler, Ashwani Jain, John King, and Tom Perez – spoke at today’s press event. (PHOTO AT TOP OF PAGE shows MD gubernatorial and Lt. governor candidates: Candace Hollingsworth, Shannon Sneed, Michelle Siri, LaTrece Hawkins Lytes, and Ashwani Jain. Also pictured is Anthony Field from CCAN Action Fund. Additional photos are available upon request.)

Ashwani Jain, Candidate for Governor of Maryland on the ticket with LaTrece Hawkins Lytes for Lt. Governor:

“I’m a candidate for Maryland Governor and – most importantly – a sincere climate activist.  Back in January 2021, we became the first statewide campaign in Maryland to release a comprehensive Climate agenda. As such, I deeply appreciate this resolution’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2035, as well as investing in underserved communities, many of whom face the greatest challenges but have the fewest resources. Thankfully, today – with THIS forceful resolution – I believe we can finally enact the change that we need.”

Candace Hollingsworth, Candidate for Lt. Governor on the ticket with Douglas Gansler for Governor:

“Black and Brown communities — from our ancestors to our neighbors – are the growers who historically cared for this earth to feed this nation and this state. Yet they are the ones who have been disproportionately impacted by the harm humans have done to this earth. I am honored to join former Attorney General Doug Gansler in committing to this resolution. Our administration will ensure that those who have suffered from environmental injustice are leading the conversation when decisions are being made that impact the health and safety of their communities.”

Michelle Siri, Candidate for Lt. Governor on the ticket with John King for Governor:

“Our campaign was proud to sign the 2022 Maryland Climate Justice Resolution… We need to start by making Maryland a net-zero carbon emissions state by 2035. We must also invest in climate equity and address the long-standing environmental injustices that have disproportionately harmed Black and Brown communities throughout our state. And we have to address the climate crisis in a way where we are also investing in the long term future of our state, creating a strong economy for everyone with good, green jobs. John and I look forward to working to make the goals in this resolution a reality.” 

Shannon Sneed, Candidate for Lt. Governor on the ticket with Tom Perez for Governor:

“Maryland can and will create a cleaner, greener future. We can do it in a way that is focused on environmental justice for all so we can equitably provide lasting solutions, create good-paying jobs, and spur economic growth. All of us are ready to make Maryland a green energy leader. We’re ready to increase access to public transit, especially in our under-served communities… We can do it. We can be pro-business, we can be pro-environment, and we can be pro-labor at the same time… Maryland can be an environmental leader. It just requires us to come together and face the challenges ahead.” 

Statements from the activist leaders included:

Mike Tidwell, CCAN Action Fund

“This is a historic moment. Never before have climate, labor, and justice groups come together to develop anything quite like the Maryland Climate Justice Resolution. We’ve had separate resolutions addressing some of our respective issues but this is the first time we’ve asked candidates for public office to commit to passing legislation to achieve our shared goals. And that is incredibly important because they fit together. You cannot solve one without the other on a warming planet.”  

Don Slaiman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26:

“IBEW Local 26 spends over $12 million in self-funded dollars annually on training the next generation of electricians. Our members learn all aspects of the craft including; erecting solar arrays, installing electrical vehicle charging stations and the very latest in the greening of operating and maintaining commercial lighting and power systems. Local 26 is committed to leading the way on providing sustainable jobs in a sustainable environment. The transition from a fossil fuel economy to a carbon free economy offers a not to be missed opportunity for Local 26 to further diversify entry into our craft as well as at the management and ownership level. Working in coalition with our partners to promote climate and economic justice and racial and gender equity we want to target underserved communities as well as women to enter the construction trades.” 

Staci Hartwell, NAACP Maryland State Conference

“As children, we were taught, actions have consequences. We were taught to be accountable for our actions. We have avoided paying our dues and now it is time to pay. We must do the heavy lift. We have to do the hard work to turn our climate crisis around… There is no option other than to go electric – our homes, facilities, transportation, infrastructure, everything – we must go electric. The NAACP Maryland State Conference does not support net emissions, we advocate for zero emissions. Countless individuals, communities, organizations have cried out for the transition to an all-electric future. We need government, elected officials, and corporate America to get on board. 100% electric is the future, and the future is now.”

Madison Green, CASA
Environmental degradation and climate change always impacts immigrants and working class communities first.  One of the main ways is that immigrants come to the United States from Central and South America because of major environmental events like hurricanes and earthquakes.  They do not have ways to avoid or prevent catastrophes, so they are forced to immigrate.  Immigrants and working class people here often live in food deserts not because we do not have food but because we make it inaccessible for them to access it. For all these reasons and so much more CASA supports the Maryland Climate Justice Platform Resolution as one tool to help prevent harm and improve environmental justice.”  

In addition to the four gubernatorial candidates represented at this press conference, the Climate Justice Resolution has also been signed by four other candidates for governor of Maryland including Rushern Baker, Peter Franchot, Wes Moore, and Jerome Segal.  

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The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For almost 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. 

 

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