The THRIVE Agenda

by Ashley Thomson

March 11, 2021

The THRIVE Agenda is a roadmap to recovery in the vision of the Green New Deal. The THRIVE Agenda recognizes that any recovery must address the interlocking crises of today — racial injustice, economic inequality, climate change, and, now, the COVID-19 pandemic. The THRIVE Agenda offers a bold way forward that actually meets our challenges — and stops offering half solutions. 

© Greenpeace / Mathew Sumner

We are facing a series of interlocking crises: racial injustice, economic inequality, and now the worst public health crisis in generations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, climate change is getting worse. There are massive wildfires out West; back-to-back hurricanes sweeping across the Gulf Coast, and severe winds and floods that swept across the Midwest this summer.  

These crises are growing and making one another worse. COVID-19 is sweeping through our cities and towns and disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous, and people of color. We see how small businesses are closing, and billionaires are getting richer. We see it in how the California and Oregon skies turned red. 

The THRIVE Agenda – Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) –  outlines our movement’s demands to address all these crises. THRIVE is the only proposal in Congress that recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to racial injustice, runaway inequality, and climate change. THRIVE recognizes that to fight one of these crises, we must fight them all. 

We can’t keep waiting for half solutions. We need to pass the THRIVE Agenda. 

Who is part of the THRIVE Agenda?

The THRIVE Agenda has broad support: over 250 organizations across the country have endorsed THRIVE, including labor unions, environmental, racial justice, and Indigenous-led organizations, youth organizers, and many, many more. You can find a full list of endorsing organizations here

More than 85 Members of Congress are original co-sponsors of the THRIVE Agenda, in the form of a joint House and Senate resolution introduced in September 2020. THRIVE’s Congressional supporters include leaders such as Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Sen. Booker, Sen. Warren, and Sen. Markey.

What is in the THRIVE Agenda? 

The THRIVE Agenda defines a series of federal investments – resting on 8 key pillars – that will help steer us out of this current moment of crises and provide the foundation for a more equitable future: 

  1. Creating millions of good, safe jobs. THRIVE creates the jobs to build our future: cleaning up pollution, investing in public health and care work, making buildings more efficient and resilient, restoring nature, supporting family and local farms, and transforming our industrial base – all to help us meet the challenge of climate change while building better lives for all. 
  2. Building the power of workers to fight inequality. THRIVE offers a pathway for workers to demand higher quality jobs – expanding union representation, restoring workers organizing rights and bargaining power, and passing the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize). 
  3. Investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to build power and counteract racial and gender injustice. At least 40% of all THRIVE investment will go to marginalized communities, including those that are BIPOC, low-wealth, low-income, deindustrialized, or facing environmental injustice. 
  4. Strengthening and healing nation-to-nation relationships with sovereign Native Nations. THRIVE compels the government to honor Treaty Rights, strengthen its Trust Responsibility to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians (with specific attention to environmental and social justice); and fully recognize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including by codifying Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.
  5. Combating environmental injustice and ensuring healthy lives for all. We know that we need to address the horrific environmental degradation plaguing communities, often disproportionately BIPOC, for too long. THRIVE would drastically reduce the pollution across our air, water, and land, and improve access to public health services. 
  6. Averting Climate and environmental catastrophe. THRIVE would get us on track to keep warming under 1.5ºC Paris Target, while also, building resilience and ensuring sustainable resource use. This involves setting standards across industries to make sure the engines of society are running cleaner.
  7. Ensuring fairness for workers and communities affected by economic transitions. THRIVE expands good jobs with good benefits and invests in communities, including by retooling, converting, and remediating former factories, facilities, or sites for new uses; investing in care infrastructure; and diversifying the economic opportunities.
  8. Reinvesting in public institutions that enable workers and communities to THRIVE. To get these bold ideas off the ground, THRIVE looks to build the government institutions dedicated to making this happen.

Read more about the THRIVE Agenda pillars and see the text of the joint Congressional resolution.

Does the THRIVE Agenda follow the Green New Deal? 

YES. We see the THRIVE Agenda as the first step towards realizing the vision of the Green New Deal – and the first of many organizing and legislative agendas that will get our country out of crisis-mode and into a more just, equitable, and clean future.

The Green New Deal is a vision and framework to use every tool of government and mobilize the economy to tackle the climate crisis while ensuring justice and equity for all workers, families, and communities and counteracting historical and present racial injustices. 

The THRIVE Agenda applies this framework to meet the immediate needs of the moment – to rebuild from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ripple effects across existing racial inequities, economic inequalities, and the climate emergency.  

We need the THRIVE Agenda — and we need millions of people like you to take action to ensure this vision becomes reality. Please send a message to your Member of Congress to ask them to sponsor the THRIVE resolution.

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Ashley Thomson

By Ashley Thomson

Ashley is a Campaigner on the Climate team at Greenpeace USA where she works on Federal climate policy. For the past several years she's worked on global climate policy for commodity supply chains, and has organized locally in DC for environmental justice and equity.

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