Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform

This launch of A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy: Protect, Repair, Invest and Transform guides us collectively into a sustainable future, wherein Indigenous sovereignty and values are front and center. This is important because in order to visualize a better path forward, we must reconceptualize our framing away from the capitalistic systems that harm our Grandmother Earth, our Father Sky, our communities, our families, and our futures. We must recognize the way governmental infrastructure, jobs, the environment, and our communities are being negatively impacted by not only the climate crisis and demise of capitalism, but also the way these impacts are exacerbated by a global pandemic with Covid-19. It is our stance that the problems created and perpetuated by colonization and capitalism cannot find solutions in those same frames. This is why it is crucial our Indigenous communities and nations recognize our place in this conversation. Our Indigenous Principles of Just Transition is our platform for any economic policy including green New Deal, which will lead us into a Regenerative Economy, reorienting us away from the colonized frames that, while sometimes well intentioned, only replicate the problems we are seeking to solve.

A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy has 14 Planks entailing over 80 policy ideas.  The first Plank is focused on Indigenous and Tribal Sovereignty, with other Planks incorporating Indigenous positions for action.

Starting this week’s public launch of A People’s Orientation, we uplift Justice for Black Communities recognizing the political moment we are in, in which our Black relatives are faced with a crisis of police violence, brutality, and even murders in their communities all across the nation. By uplifting our solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter, we are joining together in solidarity to amplify our collective power. We recognize that when we uplift Black liberation movements, we are tackling the crux and root of our shared oppression: colonization and white supremacy. We are stronger together. Indigenous sovereignty and black liberation will put us on the path toward a better future, in which a regenerative economy will be realized, nourished, and implemented for our future generations.

The Indigenous and Tribal Sovereignty Plank will be the focus next week. Stay tuned and let us start putting our minds and hearts together to build our Indigenous nations and communities.

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Working Definitions

Click on a term to learn more.

Regenerative Economy is based on ecological restoration, community protection, equitable partnerships, justice, and full and fair participatory processes. Rather than extract from the land and each other, this approach is consistent with the Rights of Nature, valuing the health and well-being of Mother Earth by producing, consuming, and redistributing resources in harmony with the planet. A Regenerative Economy values the dignity of work and humanity and prioritizes community governance and ownership of work and resources, instead of oppressive systems that devalue people and their labor through violent hoarding by a few. Rather than limit peoples’ ability to fully shape democracy and decisions that impact our communities, a Regenerative Economy supports collective and inclusive participatory governance. It requires a re-localization and democratization of how we produce and consume goods, and ensures all have full access to healthy food, renewable energy, clean air and water, good jobs, and healthy living environments. A Regenerative Economy requires an explicit anti-racist, anti-poverty, feminist, and living approach that is intersectional and eschews top-down, patriarchal, classist, xenophobic, and racist ideology.

Adapted from Movement Generation, Indigenous Environmental Network, Climate Justice Alliance, People’s Action, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance drawing upon Indigenous leadership and generations of work and vision from Black farming cooperatives and labor movements.

Feminist Economy visibilizes and repairs the harms of capitalism’s exploitation of both paid and unpaid reproductive labor. It focuses on eliminating the gendered division of labor and gender binary that enforces global capitalism’s exploitation and extraction of resources from women all over the world—especially from the Global South, Black, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, migrant women, and gender non-conforming (GNC) people. In a feminist economy, we recognize, value, and center reproductive labor—low-carbon, community-generating, life-affirming, and skilled work—that is necessary for the wellbeing of everyone and to sustain human society and nature itself. Feminist economy focuses on four principles to re-envision our world: ensuring bodily autonomy and self determination as it relates to feminized and GNC people; socializing reproductive labor; being in right relationship with people globally; and being in right relationship with nature. The Regenerative Economy is inherently a feminist economy because it understands life—its production, growth, sustenance, and reproduction—as the center of gravity from which value is created. A feminist economy  requires undoing centuries of extractive economic policy founded on the ideology of individualization, isolation, and invisibilization of the reproductive labor required to sustain human life from one day to another—from the carework that happens in the home, to the support that happens in communities, to the resource generation that happens in the planet. Rather than commodify war, the feminist economy engenders peace.

 Working definition and description by Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

An Extractive Economy is a capitalist system of exploitation and oppression that values consumerism, colonialism, and money over people and the planet. The extractive economy perpetuates the enclosure of wealth and power for a few through predatory financing, expropriation from land and commonly accessed goods/services, and the exploitation of human labor. An extractive economy views natural resources as commodities—expanding the free-market logic into all cycles and functions of the Earth with an oppressor mentality—which places a price on nature and creates new derivative markets that will only increase inequality and expedite the destruction of nature—to dig, burn, and dump with no regard for its impact on communities and utilizes oppressive force to undermine democracy, community, and workers.

Adapted from Movement Generation, Just Transition Framework informed by the Just Transition Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Climate Justice Alliance.

Climate Justice focuses on the root causes of climate crisis through an intersectional lens of racism, classism, capitalism, economic injustice, and environmental harm. Climate justice supports a Just Transition for communities and workers away from a fossil fuel economy and focuses on making the necessary systemic changes to address unequal burdens to our communities and to realign our economy with our natural systems. As a form of environmental justice, climate justice means that all species have the right to access and obtain the resources needed to have an equal chance of survival and freedom from discrimination. As a movement, climate justice advocates are working from the grassroots up to create real solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation that ensure the right of all people to live, learn, work, play and pray in safe, healthy, and clean environments.

Adapted from Alternatives for Community and the Environment and Indigenous Environmental Network

Energy Democracy frames the international struggle of working people, low-income communities, Asian and Pacific-Islander, Black, Brown and Indigenous nations and their communities to take control of energy resources from the energy establishment and use those resources to empower their communities literally (providing energy), economically, and politically. It means bringing energy resources under public or community ownership and/or governance—a key aspect of the struggle for climate and energy justice, and an essential step toward building a more just, equitable, sustainable, and resilient economy.

Fairchild, Denise and Weinrub, Al. Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions

Environmental Justice embraces the principle that all people and communities have a right to equal protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, including human health. Environmental justice recognizes that, due to racism and class discrimination, communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, and Indigenous nations and communities are the most likely to be disproportionately harmed by toxic chemicals, exposures, economic injustices and negative land uses, and the least likely to benefit from efforts to improve the environment.

 Dr. Robert Bullard and the Ella Baker Center

Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.

Excerpted from La Via Campesina – the Declaration of Nyéléni, 2007 Forum for Food Sovereignty in Sélingué, Mali.

Frontline Communities are those impacted most by climate change and its root causes, which include white supremacy, patriarchy and colonization. These communities are embedded in legacy struggles against social, economic, and environmental injustices exacerbated by extractive and pollutive industries that have been purposely and systemically situated adjacent to their communities, and in some communities, on the actual land of the communities. This disproportionate exposure to climate and environmental injustice results in acute and chronic impacts to human and environmental health. Frontline organizations are those created of, by, and for frontline communities, and are accountable to a base of frontline community members.

It Takes Roots

Green New Deal pays homage to one of the most exclusionary sets of policies in the history of the U.S. that advanced economic solutions at the expense of Black, Indigenous peoples, and poor white domestic workers. Paired with the forces of white supremacy, these policies have prevented Asian and Pacific Islander, Black and Brown people, Indigenous peoples, workers and communities from taking part in programs that created generational wealth for the majority of white people, while also contributing to the creation of sacrifice zones and frontline communities via redlining. For these reasons and more, we hold that a Green New Deal must be more than a resolution or set of policies. It must be a tool for systemic change that builds and sustains grassroots power in a way that supports and scales out existing initiatives, locally, regionally and nationally through translocal organizing models that address and repair decades of discrimination associated with the New Deal. For this to occur, and for the purposes of the UNFT, any Green New Deal must align with the 1991 Principles of Environmental Justice and uphold the principles and tenets of Just Transition, energy democracy, and food sovereignty, as well as address myriad sectoral shifts including, but not limited to, housing, healthcare, mass incarceration and preservation of democracy and for Indigenous peoples – recognition of treaties and the US government to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We believe this to be the only way that a Green New Deal can be the vehicle that delivers us to an equitable Regenerative Economy available to, and accessible by, all.

Just Recovery is a framework that resists the status quo solutions of disaster recovery that focuses on aid, extraction, and displacement and moves toward transformative solutions that respond, recover, and rebuild. “Respond” means to activate mutual support networks to support communities on the ground to meet the articulated needs of those most impacted and vulnerable, rather than national emergency response that often marginalizes those most impacted. “Recover” means to provide resources and support so that all people can get back their homes and work, rather than extract cheap labor and land from impacted communities for exploitation. “Rebuild” means long-term support to communities so they are stronger than prior to disaster and no longer vulnerable, rather than displacing people from their communities. A Just Recovery framework was advanced after Hurricane Havey as a way to incorporate and build upon the incredible work of so many people and communities, particularly led by women of color, from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the BP oil disasters.

Adapted from the Just Recovery Framework by Jayeesha Dutta, the leadership of Bryan Parras and T.E.J.A.S., and Another Gulf is Possible. For more visit the Our Power Puerto Rico: Moving Toward a Just Recovery report by Climate Justice Alliance.

Just Transition is a framework for a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a Regenerative Economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste free. The transition itself must be just and equitable, redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be. Just Transition describes both where we are going and how we get there. The Just Transition framework focuses on stopping the bad to build the new by divesting from the exploitation of labor and extraction of resources and investing in cooperative labor and regeneration. Just Transition challenges the dominant worldview of colonialism, consumerism, and the concentration of power governed through violent force and advances a worldview of sacredness and care, as well as ecological and social well-being governed through deep democracy.

Climate Justice Alliance based on historical Just Transition principles developed by the Alliance informed by many members including the principles by the Just Transition Alliance, and the Indigenous Environmental Network and Movement Generation.

Reproductive labor encompasses all the work we do to create and sustain human life—from giving birth, parenting, and raising children to providing food, shelter, clothing, and care for people who rely on us to meet their physical and emotional needs. Reproductive labor encompasses building and maintaining familial and intimate relationships, broader communal ties, crisis planning and management, and passing on cultural knowledge and wisdom. Though this work implicates all of us, of all genders—and some aspects of this work have been commercialized by capitalism—the majority of it remains invisibilized, unpaid, and expected from bodies understood as women. This labor is neither recognized nor valued as work within the capitalist economy, enabling capitalists to accumulate massive wealth from feminized labor by not paying for it. The very concept of waged work in our present reality thus depends on, and simultaneously relies on the invisibility of, unwaged work.

Sacrifice Zones are communities that are poor and working class Black, Brown, multi-racial, white communities, and Indigenous Peoples whose health, wealth, and lives have been sacrificed to advance the profits of corporations that control polluting industries. These specifically include communities impacted by pollution hotspots created by ports, transportation centers, fossil fuel, chemical, manufacturing, mining, and industrial agriculture industries.

People’s Action based on the historical struggle of environmental justice and frontline communities fighting against extractive industries.

How to Use This Resource to Enhance Your Work

To achieve the solutions within this toolkit, it will require five critical points of intervention by community-led frontline organizations, advocates, and policymakers. These intervention points were developed as part of a joint committee breakout session during the Frontline Green New Deal + Climate and Regenerative Economy Summit that took place in Detroit during the Summer of 2019. They are as follows:

​Represented by seeds, we understand that all of our efforts must begin with the narrative: our story and vision for the world we want and know is possible. Short, medium and long term organizing strategy—indeed, entire movements—grow and are derived from narratives. As the Center for Story Based Strategy teaches us, “The point is not to tell our own stories better. The point is to change existing stories. The currency of story is not truth, but meaning.” As we continue to craft our story of a Regenerative Economy, we understand that through greater meaning, we also establish a greater set of truths. The seeds of our narrative form the roots to weather the many storms ahead.

Our narratives are nourished and made tangible by the strength of our organizing, the water that provides life for our stories and vision. We view organizing as the vehicle that moves us from where we are, to where we want to be, as articulated and driven by our narratives derived from our collective wisdom, vision, and power. Many Indigenous traditions tell the story of the women being the “keepers of the water,” that is rooted in the important role of women in organizing.

With our seeds nourished by our organizing, we are better positioned to design and develop the policies that are informed by our principles, be they Just Transition, Just Recovery, Energy Democracy, Food Sovereignty, the UFT believes in the inexorable nexus between policy development and grassroots organizing.

Developing and introducing policies is one part of the overarching process that gets us to a regenerative economy. As organizers, we understand that the people we put in positions of power through a fair, transparent, and accessible electoral process must be beholden to the people, the workers and their communities, not the wealthy few or corporations. This is the best way to ensure that even when policies are enacted, the implementation phase serves those on the frontlines of intersecting crises first and foremost. The people we put in power must act as nourishment that increases the ability for us all to live our power as individuals and collectives.

We hold that while transition is inevitable, justice is not. As Fredrick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Only through principled struggle in the form of organized defiance can we hold the people we put in power accountable to the masses. We all must become stewards of our movements and the struggles that guide them. It is incumbent upon us all to create critical connections that lead to critical mass to serve as a reminder that our lawmakers and our systems of governance must, and always, be by and for the people. We must struggle to fight the bad, build the new, change the story, and move the money. This is how and why we utilize direct action.

The five points of intervention serve as a guide and pathway to develop our narrative, shape our organizing, design and develop the policies required to uplift our people and communities, while ensuring that we place good actors into positions of power who will serve us through just implementation. We reserve the right to utilize and unleash our power through direct action when necessary to establish and maintain universal and bi-lateral accountability.

A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy offers three dynamic tools to advance these interventions. First, we offer a series of questions to inform narrative and policy development for Just Transition and Regenerative Economy. Second, to advance this transition, we provide a framework: Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform. This framework offers overarching demands, non-negotiables, and solutions. Lastly, we present over eighty policy ideas broken into fourteen planks. These  fourteen planks are deeply intertwined and should be held as a collective framework to achieve a Regenerative Economy.

Fourteen Planks: Regenerative Economy Policy Stances

These fourteen planks entail over eighty policy ideas. They are deeply intertwined and should be held as a collective framework to achieve a Regenerative Economy. The planks are organized starting with a focus on championing human rights and dignity, moving into infrastructure shifts for a Regenerative Economy, and ending with how we can resource these solutions.

Justice for Black CommunitiesJames Baldwin once wrote, “The truth is that this country does not know what to do with its Black population now that the Blacks are no longer a source of wealth.” Whether killed for jogging by white terrorist vigilantes, or killed in their own homes by militarized police, imprisoned at a disproportionately higher rate, denied loans for farming, or denied the right to take part in the democratic voting process, Baldwin’s words are vindicated every day. Black lives are perpetually dehumanized by U.S. society and forced to exist in a proverbial Apartheid state. Pursuing a Regenerative Economy requires a society committed to anti-racism, and a transformation in how we view and value the lives of Black people. For this to occur, the U.S. must embark on a massive truth and reconciliation initiative that addresses everything from symbols of hate, in the form of confederate statues and street names, to acts of hate that place Black lives at risk. In addition to these demands, we should engage with the comprehensive Vision for Black Lives platform by Movement for Black Lives. The dream deferred has since exploded; it is time for the nation, and the world, to wake up collectively.


Policy Stances and Priorities


End Mass Incarceration and Capital Punishment

Black families, to great measure, are disproportionately separated through the carceral system. Black men and women are more often held in jail with untenable and inequitable bail requirements and often receive legal support from an underfunded and overwhelmed public defense system. We must divest from, and reject, privatization of prisons. We must end cash bail and invest in stronger legal support for our communities. We must make our families whole through transformative justice approaches and by freeing Black folks who have been disproportionately jailed for non-violent offenses.


Make Reparations

The nation is built on continental displacement of persons and commodification of bodies, violent extraction of labor and infliction of physical, emotional, and mental abuse, resulting in multigenerational trauma to Black Peoples. We must find pathways to repair, reconcile, and move forward through transformative justice processes that are legal and equitable remedies to heal communities spiritually, physically, and economically.

Reinstatement of Voting Rights

A Regenerative Economy requires deep democratic processes and the ability to vote for what matters. Policies must allow for communities to have a say in how resources flow into a community and how projects are developed. Therefore, policies must reinstate protections under the Voting Rights Act and expand voting rights to all incarcerated, and formerly incarcerated, people without fines, fees, or new day “poll taxes.” Invest in better voting infrastructure in Black neighborhoods to ensure everyone has a right to vote.

Equitable Access to Housing, Jobs, Healthcare, and Education

Black people have been redlined, credit-checked, discriminated against, and ignored when soliciting services and goods necessary to thrive and survive. In particular, Black trans, queer, and gender non-conforming folks have felt the deep burdens of marginalization and isolation in the extractive economy. Policies must establish mechanisms that maintain justice and equity as part of the implementation of access and care..


Invest in Community-Governed Infrastructure

Make and expand direct investments in Black communities, cooperatives, food sovereignty programs, Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), arts, cultural, and spiritual programs, land trusts, and other socio-economic programs  to create thriving communities.


Build Community Governance and Oversight Over Local Institutions and Economies

Recognize that Black cooperatives have long been a model for deep democracy in action and central to the success for economic health of Black communities. Unfortunately, too many local economic and political institutions—such as policing, courts, school boards, chambers of commerce, and others that directly impact the day to day lives of communities—have ignored the wisdom of Black cooperatives, resulting in the lack of true community input, oversight, and accountability. Any federal or state investment that utilizes local institutions as implementers must recognize the legacy of Black-led cooperatives and require community-governed mechanisms moving forward.

Divest from Extraction and Invest in Our People

Advance a massive divestment/reinvestment package–starting with defunding and demilitarizing police–  designed to foster the trajectory toward a Regenerative Economy rooted in equity that values community and environmental well-being above all else, and that leaves no one behind. Moreover, past and cumulative harms associated with militarization and mass incarceration must be redressed and repaired to create robust justice mechanisms.

Indigenous peoples have suffered and continue to suffer from historic injustices as a result of dehumanization and racism and the colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right of self-determination in accordance with their own needs and interests, extending to their rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements entered into with the United States and its several States. We must address the urgent need to respect and promote their inherent rights as peoples. When considering energy, climate change, and Green New Deal policy, it is important that the U.S., and its agencies, consider the history of destructive energy and mineral exploitation in Indigenous lands and territories. A just nation-to-nation relationship means breaking the cycle of asking Indigenous nations to choose between a colonial imposed model of an extractive economy or preservation of their Indigenous sovereignty, including protection of their traditional lands, waters and air, and the right to practice their spirituality and cultural lifeways.

Protect Sovereignty

Strengthen and support Indigenous nations in the exercise of sovereignty to prevent further erosion of tribal and Indigenous sovereignty and recognition of off-reservation treaty reserved hunting, fishing, gathering, and ceremonial rights—including Indigenous measures to protect and preserve Indigenous language, culture, spiritual practice, sacred sites, and traditional relationships with Mother Earth. Demand that the U.S. fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without any attempted qualifications that seek to diminish the inherent rights and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples.

Protect Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

Codify and enshrine Free, Prior, and Informed Consent principles in U.S. federal law, with a right of judicial review. The U.S. shall, by rule or order, establish a consistent standard and procedure requiring U.S. federal agencies to secure the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous nations and entities confronted with federal actions affecting the protection of their environment, lands, water, livelihoods, and culture.

Repair Address and Heal Broken Responsibilities

All efforts must be made to pressure the U.S. administration to order and commission an independent review and determination of broken environmental and social trust responsibilities to all Indigenous nations (American Indian and Alaska Native nations and their citizens). This review shall be used to formally and legally recognize liability of the U.S. government, and on that basis, to direct Congress to establish a 12 year-fund specifically dedicated to repairing its government-to-government relationship ensuring an economic Just Transition for Indigenous nations and their peoples..

Invest Indigenous Just Transition

In recognition of the federal trust responsibility—as a legally enforceable fiduciary obligation on the part of the U.S. to protect Indigenous treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources—now is the time for the U.S. to invest in Indigenous-led Just Transition. This investment must support Indigenous nations and Indigenous grassroots leadership in developing the transition to an Indigenous-based regenerative-living economy, transitioning from tribal housing with black mold to green, affordable, energy-efficient sustainable homes, to community health care, clean renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable community planning and ecosystem restoration, and meaningful work and localized community-building jobs.

Transform Strengthening and Reclaiming Power

Now is the moment to create systemic changes in U.S. policies towards Indigenous nations and their peoples. It is an opportunity for transformation to bring procedures and mechanisms for redress, restitution, and a Just Recovery of treaty violations and due recognition to Indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs, and land tenure systems—including those lands which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used and which were confiscated, taken, and damaged without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

No More Family Separations

Reunite children with their families and families in detention centers must be freed. A Green New Deal must divest from, and reject, unjust immigrant detention and family separation. No deal should ever fund the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.


Divest from Militarism and Imperialism

Refugees and immigrants often flee their home countries due to war, violence, and oppression as a result of U.S. foreign policy. U.S. Department of Defense resources have overwhelmingly gone to support private interests, fossil fuel interests, and other extractive economies. We must divest from militarism and imperialism and reinvest these dollars to support a global and Regenerative Economy that protects immigrants, refugees, and creates stability for communities across the globe.


Full and Fair Compensation for Essential Work

Guarantee and pay living wages to the many undocumented immigrant workers who grow and harvest our food, do care work, and drive the service, retail, and hospitality economies. As COVID-19 has shown, their work is critical to the economy and daily modern life. All work and workers, regardless of immigration status, must be respected and dignified through livable wages; safe working environments; fair treatment, free of harassment and threats; and workers’ rights protected by law.

Equitable Access to Housing Healthcare, and Education

Immigrants have been discriminated against, denied access to care, and denied entry to schools. In particular, undocumented trans, queer, and gender non-conforming immigrants have felt the deep burdens of marginalization and isolation in unjust immigration policies and services. Policies must create equitable and caring pathways for members of this community.


Full Asylum and Protections to Undocumented Immigrants

A Regenerative Economy values the lives and dignity of all people and workers. We cannot achieve our vision if millions of immigrants are forced into the shadows. We must create an inclusive society that grants protections and asylum to all immigrants, treated equally, and granted full participation in democracy.

Justice for Immigrant CommunitiesTorn away at the border. Criminalized for being the “other.” Underpaid for labor. In the U.S., immigrants—particularly immigrants from Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and immigrants who practice Islam—are too often seen as less than human. Immigrants have been falsely accused of crimes, causing job losses, and terrorism. Since 2017, over 5,400 children have been separated at the border, while many families are held in detention centers across multiple states. To pursue a Regenerative Economy requires that we uphold the rights of refugees and immigrants as equals in our society.

The dignity of the worker and the voice of community are two values that should be central to any economy. Yet, the extractive economy has prioritized profits at the expense of people and often wedges workers and communities against each other. Too often, we have witnessed the fossil-fuel industry pit community concerns against workers’ rights, when we should be united in a common goal: to build healthy and vibrant communities where we work and live. Bringing community and labor together is critical to fully address the climate crisis and move forward a Regenerative Economy.

No Automation without Direct Union Job Placement

Automation of jobs must be recognized as a critical reason for job losses. Starting with unionized sectors as a standard, all workers should receive training and job placement support, along with fully guaranteed pensions, due to industry changes.


No More Extractive Wealth

Fossil fuel companies, Big Ag, waste incinerators, and financial corporations profiting from these sectors have heavily extracted from frontline communities, particularly in Appalachia, the Gulf South, and Indigenous lands. These corporations must be penalized for harms and not allowed to profit, practice greenwashing, or lead the transition away from these extractive practices. In addition, all subsidies for fossil fuel and corporate agricultural practices and commodities, including tax breaks for land and water, must be phased out by 2024 and reinvested in renewable energies and regenerative agriculture and frontline-led Just Transition.


Labor Rights and Fair Compensation

Secure and enforce worker protections, guarantee collective bargaining rights, and expand unionization and bargaining rights for day laborers, domestic workers, and other marginalized and exploited workers. Provide a federal living wage and a guarantee to honor prior labor agreements (including pensions and other retirement plans) in cases of corporate bankruptcy, dissolution, and/or transition.



Provide non-extractive investment resources to workers, worker-owned cooperatives, and small-scale businesses who will integrate ecological practices and relocalize production, aggregation, and distribution.

Support for Public Sources

Shore up funding for schools and other public programs that provide vital services to communities and currently rely on tax dollars paid by extractive industries.


Community governance of our economies—from food, energy, and housing, to transportation, production, and waste, along with other Just Transition projects—must put the decision-making for planning, siting, operations, and investments in the hands of impacted communities.


End Racial Capitalism in Jobs

Expand just and equitable job opportunities in any labor solution that also strategically combats racism, discrimination, patriarchy, and income inequity.

Pathway to Living Wage Work

Create millions of low- to no-emission, good jobs with security and living wages for workers in industries transitioning off of the extractive economy—especially those working in the fossil fuel industry, displaced and new healthcare workers, and workers typically excluded from collective bargaining, such as domestic, childcare, food chain, service sector, gig workers, and arts and cultural workers..

Establish a national rent control standard so no one is forced out of their homes because landlords or land speculators seek to drive up profits at the expense of people.


Community Governance of Land

Millions of acres of Indigenous Peoples’ sovereign lands were taken through the Dawes Allotment Act and the Burke Act, creating land fragmentation and illegal property and tax structures resulting in loss of lands and jurisdictional authority. Black and Brown people have been driven off land and dispossessed of homes due to land theft, racist lending practices, land speculation and gentrification, and tenant exploitation. Policies should tax land speculators and support community control of land through the creation of, or investment in, existing land trusts and other cooperative measures as determined by each community to support a Just Transition and anti-displacement practices.


Make Homes Healthy

Invest $1 trillion over ten years in protected funding for public housing authorities, community land trusts, and tribal and local governments to build new, green, socially-owned housing. Acquire existing housing stock through tenant option to purchase acts, and retrofit all housing that needs it. Enforce healthy homes and energy efficiency standards on private landlords.


Guaranteed Permanent Affordable Housing

Make homes attainable for all by investing and building 12 million units of climate-resilient, healthy, and permanently affordable social housing to end homelessness and drastically lower rent burden for low- to middle-income people.

Housing in Tribal Nations

Recognize U.S. governmental obligations to Tribal Nations and provide additional, and increased, funding to the Indian Housing Block Grant formula distribution portion. Earmark funding for the Indian Community Development Block Grants and Imminent Threat Grants, resulting in Tribal eligibility for additional appropriations within federal housing and homeless assistance programs.

Shelter in place or “safer at home” has been essential in addressing the current pandemic. Yet, prior to the pandemic, nearly 40 million people face some level of housing insecurity or rent- and mortgage-burden. Furthermore, too many low-income rental units are in a state of disrepair leaving many marginalized communities dealing with lead paint, leaking roofs, mold, and other toxic issues. A majority of people are one or two paychecks away from being evicted, while many Asian and Pacific Islander, Black and Brown communities are continually displaced due to land speculation and gentrification. The current pandemic and the climate crisis exacerbate these challenges. Our homes must not be commodified in ways that leave people out. Our homes, in all forms, must be secure, safe, affordable, healthy, and central to a thriving community.

Healthcare for All

Health Care for AllHealthcare is a human right. It should be reliable, safe, and nurturing. When the pandemic hit, millions lost healthcare because they lost their job. A pandemic shut down an economy and our healthcare. It also showed the deep racial disparities in health coverage, treatment, and prioritization. No one should be turned away because they cannot afford care. No one should be treated differently by doctors because of their race. Our healthcare system continues to marginalize poor and working class communities and fails to address the deep racial disparities in access and care. A Regenerative Economy requires that society create a different system that is healthy, holistic, nurturing, and job-creating.

No More Inequitable and Radicalized Burdens

Create an immediate regional-based healthcare system that addresses inequity and disparity, and removes the economic burdens and occupational and environmental health impacts on Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor, and marginalized people, which include at-risk workers in extractive industries.


Right to Clean Air, Water, and Communities

All communities—especially environmental justice communities who have borne the adverse health impacts and other unjust costs of our extractive economy for decades—have a right to clean air, water, and communities free of known and unknown toxic environmental contaminants. Access to clean, healthy, affordable, and community-held water systems, and measures to ensure healthy soils and clean air and breathable communities, must be part of the infrastructure that ensures and protects everyone’s right to clean air, water, and communities.


Equitable Healthcare Infrastructure

Aggressively build and resource an accessible, equitable healthcare infrastructure aimed at ensuring robust, quality, and resilient healthcare to all people in the country, especially those who are neglected by the current medical system and who endure unstable health conditions caused by environmental and climate injustice.


Right to Just, Equitable, and Accessible Healthcare

Design and publicly fund a universal healthcare system that guarantees equitable and just access to holistic health- care for all people. A universal healthcare system must be designed to address and eradicate racist healthcare practices of our current system. The public health system should prioritize those under-served by for-profit insurance companies and those with occupational and environmental health impacts from chronic and acute exposure to multi-contaminants and hazardous working and living conditions due to work in and proximity to extractive, polluting industries.

Improve and Expand Healthcare Systems for All Indigenous Communities

Recognize the U.S. government’s commitment and responsibility to provide healthcare to Indigenous Peoples. Recognize the limitations of Indian Health Services as the primary healthcare provider by making significant investments to expand and improve the availability of healthcare services to Indigenous Peoples within Tribal Nations, as well as through urban Indian hospitals, clinics, and health programs. The dire needs include immediate access to safe water and sanitation systems; funding for Tribal Epidemiology Centers, specialists, and health research facilities; and expansion of tele-health capacity within Indian Territories, which requires investment in bridging the digital divide via increased broadband access and technological skill-building.

No More Inequitable Investment

Require stipulations on any public funding for “green development” or subject remediation of sacrifice zones to local planning ordinances to ensure against gentrification or family displacement.


Protect and Prioritize Those Most Impacted

Do no harm and prioritize the voices and decisions of climate-impacted communities, sacrifice zone communities, Tribal Nations, and frontline communities in any energy, jobs, land use, and other policies or public investments that impact their communities.

End Mass Incarceration and Capital Punishment

Identify sacrifice zones and other racially- and economically-discriminated communities and Tribal Nations using a cumulative impact standard which would measure the historical, current, and potential abuses of all polluters, including public health and multigenerational health impacts; air, soil, and water pollution from multi-contaminants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; other environmental hazards and hotspots; economic and environmental justice impacts from extraction; and climate vulnerability. These standards would then be linked to restrictions to prevent the establishment of new extractive and pollutive industries or practices—as well as the dismantling of existing ones—and to proposals to maximize co-pollutant reductions in the design of GHG mitigation policies.


Repairing Harm

Finance targeted investments to repair the harms that have been historically inflicted on environmental justice communities, with an added emphasis on ensuring that financial penalties levied on specific polluters and their corporate parents be reinvested in reparations in the specific impacted communities.

Pass and Enact Strong Regulations

As we transition away from an economy dependent upon extractive and pollutive industries and practices—which disproportionately impact Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Brown, Indigeneous, poor, and marginalized people—we must strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections and regulations. For example, we need to restrict and regulate greenhouse gas emissions, surface transportation of fossil fuels, disposal of waste from oil and gas drilling, petrochemical development, use and disposal of toxic agrichemicals—the list is endless. These practices are wreaking havoc on communities and the environment.


Community Governance over Remediation, Reclamation, and Restoration

Environmental justice and sacrifice zone communities must have governance over the planning, funding, and implementation over the remediation, reclamation, and restoration of toxic and polluting sites, while investing in solutions that are ecologically-just and build community-wealth.

Protections and Investments for Sacrifice Zones and Environmental Justice Communities

Protections & Investments for Sacrifice Zones & EnvironmentalEveryone has a right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. But that right is not afforded to people living next to the engines of the extractive economy: refineries, incinerators, industrial agriculture, etc. The extractive economy has sacrificed communities in exchange for accumulating wealth, resources, and power. The past and present harms done to people living in “sacrifice zones” and environmental justice communities must be rectified and repaired. Our society cannot build a more just and healthy economy if communities continue to be seen as expendable.

Energy Sources and Pollution Mitigation

Energy Sources & Pollution MitigationOne in three people struggle to breathe clean air. Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. live in a community with poor air quality, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown people. Indigenous Peoples have suffered negative health impacts from uranium mining. Poor rural white communities have lost access to healthy water and farming due to fracking and oil drilling. Instead of ending these practices, mainstream advocates, investors, and policymakers seek to commodify carbon and fossil fuels at the expense of frontline communities.. These solutions fail to address the impacts of pollution, environmental racism, or the extractive economy. A Regenerative Economy rejects these solutions and embraces a more holistic, renewable, ecologically just energy system from beginning to end.

No More Extractive Market-Based Mechanisms


No Corporate Bailouts or Corporate Takeovers

No bailouts of corporate energy companies using taxpayer dollars; no privatization of municipal or public energy systems or rural electric cooperatives; no investment and subsidization of monopolized corporate energy generators and distributors.


Community Governance of Energy Development

Shift to community governance over planning processes, zoning decisions, regulations, and siting of renewable energy projects and grid build-out, through a strong anti-racist, anti-gentrification analysis.


Repair Relationship between People and their Energy System

Prioritize and center Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, frontline, and poor people in decisions on energy supply and distribution.


Equitable Electrification and Energy Efficiency Retrofits

Invest in equitable electrification programs under a publicly-owned system that prioritizes low-income communities and decreases energy bills, improves green building standards that minimize energy use and support passive housing designs, and prioritizes low-income residents with deep energy efficiency retrofits.

Renewable Energy and Grid Integration Research

Invest in research to explore the best technological approaches to determine whether horizontal integration of renewable energy into the current grid infrastructure is possible at the scale needed, as well as how to support and strengthen resilient systems of community-governed and local renewable energy systems and projects.


Grid Models and Modernization

Build out resiliency through community-governed microgrids; research new technology to modernize the grid to prioritize decentralized renewables and support resilient systems that include storage, conservation, and efficiency.

Make the Grid a Public Utility

Create mechanisms for local governance of energy systems integrated into a public grid, without privatization.

Recognize Energy as a Public Good

Publicly take over investor-owned utilities that fail to commit to transition from fossil fuels, seek bailouts and rate-hikes, or fail to address the climate crisis adequately. Give workers and communities oversight of public takeovers, and call for liquidation of assets that can be utilized to invest in renewable energy.

Energy Democracy

Energy DemocracyWhen the power goes out due to storms, wildfires, or grid failures, private utilities and energy companies get bailed out and the people get shut-off. The lack of community control and governance of our energy systems has created one of the most extractive systems in our society. Our energy system has polluted our communities, fueled our climate crisis, and concentrated wealth into the hands of corporate executives, while nearly one-third of families go to bed struggling to pay their energy bill. There is a different way forward. The original New Deal created pathways for energy to be a public good, yet purposely neglected to center racial equity and justice in that effort. We can learn from this and position communities to govern their energy decisions. Collectively, we can reprioritize how we create, use, and distribute clean, renewable energy, without nuclear, in order to power our Regenerative Economy.

Food Sovereignty and Land Sovereignty

Food and Land SovereigntyFrom seed to harvest, too many of us are disconnected from our food. We live in food apartheid, where white and wealthier communities can access healthy foods, leaving the rest of us to be held captive by corporate agriculture and chemical companies that push unhealthy food options. Our food system is so unhealthy that in this current pandemic large-scale farms have thrown away food, while over 40 million people go to bed hungry each night. Not only are we disconnected from our food, we are disconnected from the land on which we live. The land provides the soil for our food and the ground for our homes, yet the land has been commodified and extracted to serve our economy, rather than being held with the sacred care that it should be given. We need to reshape our society’s relationship to the land and our food for us to cultivate a Regenerative Economy.

Create local and federal mechanisms that will decommodify land and stop the displacement of Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Black and Brown people.


Sacred Relationship

Repair our relationship with the Earth and protect the Rights of Nature/Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth through non-carbon market regenerative agriculture, land stewardship, and Indigneous-led reclamation projects.


Rural Infrastructure

Invest in rural communities, particularly in Appalachia and the South, to develop community-governed broadband, energy, water, transportation systems, and regional agricultural food hubs. Deepen investments in socially-disadvantaged communities, particularly Black farmers and land stewards, who have been marginalized and wronged through previous rural development programs, as well as poor white communities who lack necessary infrastructure and whose resources have been utilized by extractive companies.

Tribal Infrastructure

Invest in Tribal Nations to advance community food systems under the nexus of food sovereignty and policy areas of agriculture, land, water, and climate change. Reclaim, revitalize, and revive traditional knowledge, such as gathering, hunting, fishing rights and practices, and traditional seed-keeping systems.

Food Sovereignty

Invest in localized food and farming systems in urban and rural communities: seed saving, healthy soil testing, and ecological land development through agroecology, permaculture, and other sustainable land uses. Invest in worker and community-ownership of regional food systems through non-extractive finance to worker-owned food businesses including food distribution.


Ecological Restoration

Provide environmental protections and ecological restoration pathways to address the human-caused damage, destruction, and degradation of ecosystems by extractive industries, such as industrial agriculture and fossil fuel infrastructure. Mandate that governments and businesses adhere to ecologically-just practices and frameworks as we transition to sustainable economic systems and infrastructure, including energy, food production, transportation, and construction.

Invest in Translocal and Regional Systems

Build out intentional regional systems that connect local communities to each other through restorative land, energy, and agricultural practices, and that break down the false—and deeply radicalized— urban-rural divide among our communities. Investments in food relief/aid should support shifts to a needs-based farm-to-community regional distribution system, rather than the current profit-driven model.

No more “Smart Growth” Development

Require stipulations that any public funding for transportation be met with local planning ordinances to ensure against gentrification and family displacement.


No more Highway Capacity Expansion

Stop investing in highway-centric transportation projects for single-occupancy vehicles that come at the expense of mass transit. Strengthen protections and community decision-making processes regarding transit projects especially in frontline communities who have borne the disproportionate burden of pollution.


Rural Public Transit

Invest in connection and public transit in rural communities, including electric vehicles (EV) where needed and community-owned EV infrastructure.

Urban Public Transit

Invest in mass transit that is free or low-cost, renewable, sustainable, and regional, with zero displacement.


Support EV infrastructure and vehicle deployment, after investments in equitable and sustainable mass transit are developed and deployed.

Equitable and Clean Energy/ Emissions-Free Transit

Equitable & Clean Energy Emissions-Free TransitTransit cuts, bus drivers inadequately protected, and a lack of options for rural communities without a car are the outcomes of decades-long investment into highways rather than in public transit. This has created a deeply inequitable transportation system leaving many urban and rural frontline communities without access to reliable, affordable, and equitable transportation. The development of highways has created unhealthy air for marginalized communities whose neighborhoods were torn apart due to highway projects, and it fuels the climate crisis as the largest sector of greenhouse gas emissions. We must reprioritize our transportation system if we want to actualize a Just Transition. Transportation is also a massive living-wage job creator and expanding and improving our transit systems would create millions of new jobs in a Regenerative Economy.

Just Recovery

Just RecoveryIt takes roots to weather the storm, a pandemic, economic collapse, and a neglected democracy. In the midst of the trauma and toll that storms such as Katrina, Sandy, and Maria have had on our communities, the current pandemic’s inequitable impacts, or the long history of economic and political disenfranchisement, frontline communities have created sophisticated and strong networks of response, recovery, and rebuilding. We must invest in these roots to strengthen their reach to protect the most marginalized, while leading the way to a more just recovery.

Right to Return

Protect the rights of climate migrants and climate refugees who settle in new communities, while providing a right to return to lands that remain livable and/or providing full and fair compensation for losses. For example, Alaska Native villages, which are facing a myriad of legal, political, cultural, and economic factors complicating government funding for finding new lands for relocation from melting permafrost and ice.


Community Governance of Restoration Practices

Support restoration of land, soil, and water through community governance and care, prioritizing Indigenous and rural communities impacted by climate disasters.

Fair Housing Recovery

Fix discriminatory inequities in disaster housing assistance and long-term housing recovery. Codify enforceable federal standards, rules, and procedures for prioritizing low-income homeowners, renters, and unhoused people in the allocation of housing aid and recovery resources, with a particular focus on long-term housing recovery programs.


Invest in Community Hubs

Move resources to build out local infrastructure and community hubs powered by renewable energy to meet the needs of disaster-impacted communities to offer broadband services, and to provide shelter, heat/cooling, electricity, food, water, medicine, and communication in times of crisis and need.

Invest funds in Mutual Aid Collectives

Community initiatives are often more effective and impactful in disbursing funds, supplies, and counseling support compared to national nonprofits. Funding should be made available to staff local mutual aid networks, and these centers should be prioritized for disaster and federal funding support in order to move resources in local and accountable ways.

Just and Equitable Recovery Funding

Increase funding and resources to support community-driven recovery and mid- to long-term rebuilding and implementation projects with improvements that further equitable mechanisms for adaptation, recovery, and rebuilding. Local control should be fostered for administering disaster insurance programs, such as the National Flood Insurance Program, rather than allowing private companies to control these resources, services, and processes.

Protect Women and Girls from Violence in Extractive Industries

Protect women, girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. and across the Global South from violence perpetrated by those working in extractive industries. Women and girls, particularly Indigenous women, suffer violence at the hands of men working in deeply extractive “man camps” in remote locations with no accountability or justice. Man camps—along with the larger dynamics of colonialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy—create conditions that contribute to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women across North America. Advance protections for environmental defenders in frontline communities in the U.S. and in the Global South.


Strengthen Worker Rights and Protections

Strengthen labor laws that protect “worker rights to organize” in critical frontline industries, particularly essential workers in health, caregiving, food production, and the service economy who are mostly Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women. This includes policy tools such as the Essential Workers Bill of Rights for example.

End US Sanctions

Permanently lift U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and 25 other countries. Sanctions have been used as a weapon of resource control around basic survival needs, often forcing sanctioned governments to rely on extractive industries to provide resources for their populations.  Sanctions destroy governments’ ability to provide basic resources leaving women to take up the burdens that result from the chronic impact of war and militarism.


Pay Our Climate Debt

Make ambitious and urgent carbon emission and pollution reductions to address U.S. climate debt to the Global South. Transfer resources to repair the harms to impacted communities, especially rural, Indigenous, Afro-Descendent, trans, and gender non-conforming, women-led communities throughout the Global South who are most impacted by the climate crisis.


Invest in the Care Economy

Use public funding to greatly expand financial support for housework, childcare, and elder care. Demand social recognition of this historically, and current, unpaid and underpaid work as valuable, low-carbon, community-based, and critical work in a Regenerative Economy.


Transform Health Care & Reproductive Justice

Transform Health Care & Reproductive Justice: Reject false population growth alarmism and arguments that affix the blame for climate change on people’s, especially women’s, reproductive capacities. Invest in healthcare access, globally and inside the United States, that respect bodily autonomy—particularly in environmental justice communities where toxic chemicals pollute the water, air, and land jeopardizing our health, including reproductive health, often with a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, and Latinx women.

Investing in the Feminist Economy

Feminist EconomyIn a feminist economy, we recognize, value, and center reproductive labor as low-carbon, community-generating, life-affirming, and skilled work that is necessary for the well-being of everyone and to sustain human society and nature itself. Feminist economy focuses on four principles to re-envision our world: ensuring bodily autonomy and self-determination as it relates to feminized, transgender, and gender non-conforming people; socializing reproductive labor; being in right relationship with people globally; and being in right relationship with nature and Mother Earth.

Investing in the Regenerative Economy

Finance is critical to realizing our vision for a Regenerative Economy. However, most tools that we have at hand are extractive and fall short of achieving what we need. Finance should be an instrument designed to ensure communities can meet their needs and have full exercise of rights, from participatory budgeting to creating commons of capital. We should subordinate debt to the health and well-being of communities and not the other way around. Finance is currently designed to extract, concentrate, and control wealth. It must be regulated and restructured to restore capital into communities for long-term health, well-being, and resilience.


Protect Communities from Corporate Majority Control

Limit the level of ownership outside investors can have on community and Regenerative Economy development projects, e.g. require a minimum of 51% interest held by the public or community of a given locality.

No More Regressive Financing

Stop subsidizing corporate control of energy and agriculture through large-scale tax credit programs that incentivize profit-driven and extractive solutions for our energy and food systems.


Debt Relief and Reparations

Use public funding to provide debt relief for rent, mortgages, utilities, etc. must direct resources towards community ownership rather than being used to prop up the current extractive economy.


Enact Progressive Taxation

Impose a wealth tax on the 1% (individuals and corporations) and reinvest funding to repair and build communities most impacted and marginalized by our current inequitable economic system.

 Eliminate Subsidies and Tax Breaks to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Eliminate subsidies and tax breaks funneled into fossil fuels to fund and invest in Just Transition.


Public Banking

Establish postal, state, and municipal public and community-owned banks to finance and seed regenerative efforts rather than extractive efforts that commodify land and nature. Convert private banks to public ownership after a financial crisis.

Invest in Local Governance

Build the capacity of frontline community residents, institutions, and organizations to develop, plan, and implement participatory budgeting practices to advance community-governed projects such as investment in healthy homes (including social housing), regenerative agriculture, broadband, and resilient and renewable energy systems that will require massive public investments.

Divest from a War Economy and Re-Invest in our Communities

Divest from funding military contractors, weapons development, and military spending that harms our communities and re-invest federal dollars to fund a Just Transition for a Regenerative Economy.

Non-extractive Financing

Provide financing, technical support, and training for frontline communities to establish, operate, and cooperatively own enterprises that meet community needs (i.e. community solar, regional food systems, etc.), whether those be cooperatives or public institutions. Non-extraction means removing barriers to financing (i.e. collateral, credit, etc.) for communities and to not take out more from the community than was invested.

Frontline Green New Deal (GND)+ Climate and Regenerative Economic Policy Summit

The People’s Orientation was first envisioned in the summer of 2019 in Detroit, Michigan, when 64 organizations came together and identified green lines (what we want), yellow lines (what we’re still questioning), and red lines (what we say no to) for GND policies. This was a tool that was originally shared by People’s Action to workshop in Detroit.

This powerful gathering was put together by Climate Justice Alliance, It Takes Roots, People’s Action, and East Michigan Environmental Action Council to build political power for the frontlines for 2020 and beyond.

Click here for photos from the summit.

Alliance for Appalachia, Alternatives for Community and Environment, Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Black Dirt Farm Collective, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Center for Economic Democracy, Center for Story-Based Strategy, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Climate Disobedience Center, Climate Justice Alliance, Communities for a Better Environment, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, Cooperation Jackson, Corporate Accountability, Dēmos, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Farmworker Association of Florida, Got Green, Grassroots Global Justice, Ground Game LA/ POWER, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Harambee House Citizens for Environmental Justice, Illinois People’s Action, Indigenous Environmental Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Ironbound Community Corporation, Jobs with Justice San Francisco, Just Transition Alliance, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Local Clean Energy Alliance, Michigan United, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Movement Strategy Center, Movement Strategy Innovation Center, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Family Farm Coalition, Native Movement, Native Organizers Alliance, NC Climate Justice Collective, New Economy Coalition, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, New Jersey Organizing Project, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER), Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER), People’s Action, Poor People’s Campaign, Push Buffalo, Race Forward, Richmond Our Power Coalition, Rights & Democracy, Soulardarity, Southwest Workers Union, SustainUS, The Moving Forward Network, The Ruckus Society, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, UPROSE, Urban Tilth, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, We Own It, WV Citizen Action Group

About – People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy

The Frontlines Are Taking the Lead

Frontline organizations and networks have been working to advance a Just Transition and equitable solutions to the interlinked crises of economy, climate, and democracy for years, calling for the end of an extractive economy that lays waste to people and the planet. Over the years, we have built relationships and solutions across local communities from California to Mississippi, New York to Puerto Rico, Illinois to Massachusetts, Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and with a myriad of Indigenous communities from Alaska to the Lower 48. Long advocating for climate justice through a Just Transition, the emerging Green New Deal (GND) has created an opportunity to deepen this work. And while a GND has been characterized as the required scale to address the climate crisis, the need to define what it means to people presents a set of challenges.

From national efforts like the New Economy Coalition’s Pathways to a People’s Economy, to regional efforts like Gulf South for a Green New Deal, to the local frontline-led efforts of PUSH Buffalo and Our Power Richmond, community leaders have been organizing, educating, and working collaboratively to take concrete actions to make the concept of a GND real on the ground. This work has expanded over the last year, across frontline networks, geographies, and silos. In the Summer of 2019, Climate Justice Alliance, It Takes Roots, People’s Action, and East Michigan Environmental Action Council gathered 64 frontline and allied organizations consisting of 80 leaders to participate in the Frontline Green New Deal + Climate and Regenerative Economy Summit in Detroit. At this summit, we identified green lines (what we want), yellow lines (what we’re still questioning), and red lines (what we say no to) for GND policies, from development through implementation. This was a tool that was originally shared by People’s Action to workshop in Detroit that we re-adapted during the COVID Pandemic into the Peoples Orientation for a Regenerative Economy designed to develop policy and organize to Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform our communities and the economy.

The document offered herein is a result of this work, with over 80 policy ideas and solutions presented as fourteen planks for a Regenerative Economy, which a Green New Deal could provide. These planks are grouped into four overarching stances: Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform. A Green New Deal requires all four, together. We must protect and repair communities and workers from the historic and present violence and tolls of an extractive economy. We must invest in resilient and sustainable infrastructure and systems that center the rights and expertise of Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor, and marginalized people. And we must transform the interdependent relationships that connect our governance system, people, communities, workers, and the Earth.

The United Frontline Table (UFT) is comprised of the following networks, alliances, coalitions, and their members, with the cooperation of movement support organizations: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Center for Economic Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Dēmos​, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, Indigenous Environmental Network, It Takes Roots, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Labor Network for Sustainability, New Economy Coalition, People’s Action, Right to the City Alliance, The Rising Majority, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, and UPROSE. This is a subsector of groups that were present at the Detroit Frontline GND Meeting. The Frontline Table has plans and criteria for expansion in Fall of 2020.

A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy is created in partnership with the Just Community Energy Transition Project.


Strategy Questions for Any Just Transition to a Regenerative Economy

Investing in the Regenerative Economy

In 2019, Climate Justice Alliance and Labor Network for Sustainability developed the People’s Solutions Lens for a Green New Deal (the People’s Solutions Lens is adapted from a tool created by It Takes Roots), offering five questions to determine whether a Green New Deal and all associated policy and organizing initiatives are rooted in justice, equity and deference to workers, frontline communities, and the environment.

The UNFT asks the following strategic questions derived from the People’s Solutions Lens to inform policy and organizing for a Regenerative Economy. We encourage community organizations, policymakers, and advocates to refer to and utilize the 80+ policy recommendations when crafting and implementing local, state, tribal, or federal policies, and while developing the organizing strategies necessary for the successful implementation of each. As policy proposals are advanced, they must include assurances that center racial, intergenerational, and gender equity, as well as human rights, economic and environmental justice, within all solutions. The following People’s Solutions Lens questions are meant to serve as a clarifying guide to assist policymakers and advocates in developing solutions that center and prioritize frontline communities and workers.

Download the People’s Solutions Lens for a Green New Deal

1 Who tells the story?

Clarifying Questions:

  • Who developed the narrative depicting the frontline-led struggle against the interlinked crises of climate change and the extractive economy? Are frontline communities and the people who reside in them centered, or not, in media stories about a Green New Deal? Are they always portrayed as indigent or are their solutions, including Just Transition, Food Sovereignty, Housing, Healthcare, Energy Democracy, and Just Recovery, also uplifted?
  • Are the people impacted first and worst by the extractive economy speaking for themselves to policymakers, the media, and society at large? Or is someone who is not accountable to them telling the story?
  • Why is it essential for those directly impacted to control their own narrative? How does this relate to policy development and associated organizing? How are artists and cultural workers from frontline communities supported to shape the narrative of their communities?

2 Who makes the decisions?

Clarifying Questions:

  • Do marginalized communities have access to the power to fully self-determine their future and the decisions that directly impact their lives? At what point in the policy making and organizing strategy development process do those who will be most impacted need to be included in the overall process?
  • What roles do they need to play, during the drafting and implementation phases, to ensure that any policy meant to benefit marginal communities actually does?
  • Are there existing power dynamics that prevent or limit inclusiveness, information flow, and full participation?

3 Who benefits, and how?

Clarifying Questions:

  • Does the proposed solution directly benefit Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Brown, Indigeneous, poor, and marginalized people and their communities in the short, medium, and long term? In what ways does the proposed solution benefit and provide pathways to uplift marginalized communities from impoverished to thriving?
  • How will this solution take on larger structural issues that harm all communities? How are workers’ rights prioritized and expanded in this solution?

4 What else will this impact?

Clarifying Questions:

  • What physical, financial, and social infrastructure is impacted by this solution? Does this support the community or create more challenges? Does the solution address and mitigate cumulative impacts?
  • What are the unintended (or intended) consequences of this policy idea? What are the trade-offs that must be considered, and who would these trade-offs benefit or adversely impact?

5 How will this build or shift power?

Clarifying Questions:

  • How does this solution create opportunities for more community governance and ownership of capital, resources, land, and means of production?
  • Where are the existing power dynamics? Do they need to be altered or transformed to ensure far-reaching and lasting benefits? How will the proposed solution redistribute power?
  • Where are the regulatory, legal, or legislative entry points for implementing this solution at local, state, tribal, regional, or federal levels? Who needs to be a partner in order to build power to advance, implement, and maintain this policy?

Adapted from the People’s Solutions Lens for a Green New Deal, Center for Social Inclusion, Noor Consulting, and Just Community Energy Transition Project. The People’s Solutions Lens for a Green New Deal was inspired and adapted, with permission, from the original People’s Solutions Lens – a collaborative creation by It Takes Roots and their Funder Support Circle.

Framework for Policies that Advance a Regenerative Economy

This is an arc of evolution for our work. Whether we are advancing a People’s Bailout right now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, summoning grassroots power to take on the climate crisis through Just Transition and Green New Deal policies, or advancing implementation and organizing strategies, we see this as a continuous process that puts us on a trajectory toward collective justice, rooted in a Regenerative Economy that is intersectional—anti-racist and feminist. This evolution requires that we reorient our relationship to each other and to Mother Earth to seed a Regenerative Economy.

The framework offered here—Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform—is meant to orient us in this continual evolution. We must invest in solutions that protect our communities today, while building the world we want to live in tomorrow and beyond. These four categories often blend together; for example, reparations require repair, investment, and transformation. However, we offer this framework with the intention, and purpose, that all elements must be advanced in concert to successfully transition to a Regenerative Economy.

Indigenous & Tribal Sovereignty

Justice for Black Communities

Justice for Immigrant Communities

Just Transition

Protections & Investments for Sacrifice Zones & Environmental Justice Communities

Health Care for All

Homes Guarantee

Energy Sources & Pollution Mitigation

Energy Democracy

Food and Land Sovereignty

Equitable & Clean Energy Emissions-Free Transit

Just Recovery

Feminist Economy

Investing in the Regenerative Economy


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