With the likelihood of a federal government sharply divided between Republicans and Democrats, states are likely to play an expanded role in shaping the American future. The aspirations for a Green New Deal may have support from the presidency and the House, but they are likely to be fiercely contested in the Senate and perhaps the Supreme Court. Bold action to address climate and inequality could emerge at the state level. The Labor Network for Sustainability’s new discussion paper “States of Change: What the Green New Deal Can Learn from the New Deal in the States” explores how the role of states in the original New Deal can illuminate the strategies, opportunities, and pitfalls for the Green New Deal of today and tomorrow. The discussion paper concludes,
Even before a national GND is in place, states are laying the groundwork for GND programs. They are amplifying actions like the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the strikes by teachers for safe COVID-19 policies to incorporate them in state policy. They are supporting the national movement for climate justice. And they are starting state-level “Little Green New Deals.” As the original New Deal demonstrated, a national movement of reform can realize some of its most significant achievements at a state level.