Candidates for City Council Endorse a Green New Deal for Philadelphia

April 2019 · 3 minute read

From economic justice to asthma rates to immigration, candidates for City Council share why they endorse a Green New Deal for Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA – Young people with Sunrise Philadelphia held a press conference at City Hall to launch a Green New Deal for Philadelphia. They were joined by eight candidates for City Council who are some of the earliest to endorse the Green New Deal for Philadelphia. Candidates spoke for a few minutes each about economic, racial, and climate crises in the city and how a Green New Deal for Philadelphia is the solution.

“Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country, and the climate crisis will only intensify every inequity that Philadelphians already face,” explains Nicole Karsch, a volunteer with Sunrise Philadelphia. “We need a Green New Deal for Philadelphia and we need candidates for City Council who are willing to champion it.”

Sunrise Philadelphia launched a Philadelphia Green New Deal Platform modeled off of the Resolution introduced in the House and Senate by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. The platform includes climate solutions such as eliminating greenhouse gas pollution and committing to renewable energy by 2030, but also economic solutions including the creation of living-wage union jobs to retrofit city buildings, housing, and schools.

“A Green New Deal is not only about climate justice, it is also about racial and economic justice for our communities,” said Adrian Rivera-Reyes.

Other candidates connected the work that they do in the city to the climate crisis. “For the last 8 years I have been working for Juntos. Many of the families I have supported come because climate change is causing immigration. With the Green New Deal, we can be a model for the country like we were with the sanctuary city,” said Erika Almirón.

Some spoke about public health. “Whether it’s mold and asbestos poisoning our students or rising waters that will flood the city, climate change is upon us,” said Tonya Bah, a Sunrise endorsed candidate in the 8th District.

Sherrie Cohen touched on the future of energy in Philadelphia. “We must reject Philly’s LNG [liquified natural gas] proposal. The city must commit to an energy transition of PGW to 100% renewable energy.” Beth Finn called for the creation of a public bank.

Candidates echoed the urgency that young people are bringing to the Green New Deal. “Our city is in a state of emergency. This is a fight for our lives,” declared Joe Cox. They are ready to champion solutions. “It is the Philly Green New Deal that I am excited to run on,” said Tonya Bah.

The full list of candidates who endorse the platform so far include Tonya Bah, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Beth Finn, Joe Cox, Erika Almirón, Sherrie Cohen, Justin DiBerardinis, Isaiah Thomas, and Helen Gym. Organizers are encouraging candidates to make public statements in support of the Philadelphia Green New Deal Platform. The full Philadelphia Green New Deal Platform can be found at

PA State Director Sophia Zaia speaking City Council candidate Sherrie Cohen speaking

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