Despite Huge Challenges, We Celebrate Good Leaders on Earth Day

MADISON, Wis.— In marking Earth Day each year, there are any number of issues to focus on, from the traditional, like climate change and pollution, to those that demand more attention like racial justice. This year, we are celebrating having leaders who recognize the importance of our environment to everything we care about, and are committed to equitable and judicious care of our planet. 

On his very first day in office, President Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, and he is hosting a climate summit this week. His recently introduced American Jobs Plan invests heavily in the clean energy sector, creating millions of well-paying green jobs and giving the United States the chance to be a leader in what will likely be the one of the most important industries of the future. But the American Jobs Plan addresses other elements of our environment as well. As U.S. Representative Gwen Moore has spotlighted, the infrastructure package would replace lead pipes in Milwaukee and other cities across the country. Lead pipes and lead paint are huge risks to childrens’ health and with serious, negative ramifications as they become adults. Black and Brown communities have disproportionately suffered from drinking water contaminated with lead, making this an investment not just in our environment, but a much-needed racial justice effort. 

On the state level, Governor Evers’ proposed budget plan also makes the necessary investments in our future through plans to clean up our environment and equip Wisconsin to combat climate change. It includes a plan to address toxic, cancer-causing chemicals in our drinking water, investments in resilient roads, wetland restoration, economic relief for farmers, and so much more. 

A Better Wisconsin Together Deputy Director Mike Browne commented, “Earth Day is not just about conservation or recycling. Wisconsin is lucky to have leaders who know that climate and the environment are both urban and rural issues, racial justice issues, anti-poverty issues, healthcare issues, and so much more. Even as we face challenges ahead, we can make progress by passing the American Jobs Plan on the federal level and Governor Evers’ budget proposal here in Wisconsin.”  

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives.