On Earth Day, celebrate AFSCME members in green jobs

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

Every year on April 22 – Earth Day – communities around the world celebrate our environment and are committed to making it healthy for future generations.

This Earth Day, I am thinking of the 50,000 AFSCME members who work green jobs to protect and care for our planet. Whether they’re leading nature walks in our county or state parks, making public buildings more energy efficient and resilient to climate disasters, or making sure our waterways are clean, AFSCME members are at the heart of healthy communities.

I recently visited one of my favorite green spaces in Washington, D.C., Rock Creek Park. I interviewed Sean Abel, a federal government arborist and Local 626 Agent (Local council 20). Sean talked about his work in a way that made me rethink the role of forests in our ecosystem. He said the tree owners provide health care for the trees so they will survive for decades to come.

AFSCME members like Shaun help preserve our environment and our quality of life. Every time we enjoy a picnic in our neighborhood park, turn on a tap, or hop on public transportation, public service workers make it possible.

Public service workers are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Nurses and other health care workers face higher rates of childhood asthma due to increased air pollution. County highway crews are repairing roads after severe storm damage. Firefighters face extreme temperatures and treacherous conditions to save our forests.

Local and local communities are hit hard by climate disasters. But increasingly, it is Countries that take the lead in mitigating the risks of these disasters and building greater resilience to climate change.

In the fight for the very survival of our planet, we must act for an urgent response. This Earth Day, let’s recommit to building a greener future. Let’s demand long-term investments to meet the challenges of climate change, help modernize our energy systems, and invest in public services like water, sustainable agriculture, and transportation.

Let’s put workers first because we support the green economy. We can ensure that workers who have been replaced by technological developments receive the training they need to keep their jobs or move to other union jobs. In 43 AFSCMEResearch and development At the international conference, delegates passed a resolution to “support education efforts about the threats of climate change and the associated economic, social and political costs so that we can be part of the solution in protecting workers.”

We are making tremendous progress with investments in green infrastructure and public services. President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill made it the largest investment in American history in public transportation, waterways, and more. Let’s keep pressing our federal, state, and local elected officials to continue passing meaningful climate legislation.

As I discussed with Sean, climate change is a crisis that requires individual and collective action. We are all affected by climate change, and that means we can all be part of the solution. Together we can move towards a cleaner and greener future.