Sunrise Boone, a youth-led environmental advocacy group, rallied outside of Congresswoman Virginia Foxx’s office Wednesday, asking her to join their cause.
The Sunrise Movement, founded in 2017, is an American youth movement with over 400 chapters fighting to end anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change.
On Wednesday, Sunrise hubs across the country rallied and called on President Biden and local representatives to sign their “Good Jobs for All” pledge, agreeing they will work to pass legislation to guarantee jobs for all Americans.
“This first step is helping combat the 18 million people who are unemployed,” said Skye-Anne Tschoepe, hub coordinator for Sunrise Boone. “It’s laying the groundwork for clean jobs for everyone.”
By pushing politicians to sign the pledge, the Sunrise Movement hopes to create a “just, sustainable and people-centered” economy, according to its website.
“It’s basically pushing for policies that would make it easier for people to find good jobs and green jobs,” said Emily Gottlieb, social media coordinator for Sunrise Boone.
Tschoepe said a “good job” must be safe, pay a livable wage, be union backed and support a sustainable future.
Congresswoman Foxx left her Boone office around 9:30 a.m. while the members of Sunrise Boone were setting up a banner in the parking lot.
While the congresswoman and the group did not speak in person Wednesday, Foxx responded to the group’s inquiries via email that morning.
In the message, Foxx thanked the group for contacting her and listed several pieces of legislation she has worked on to combat joblessness and counter the impacts of COVID-19, including H.R. 8083, the Pandemic Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Act of 2020, and H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.
“Please know that I have duly noted your request,” Foxx wrote. “Rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should the House consider relevant legislation in the future.”
Foxx’s work is not as bold or as sustainable as it should be, Tschoepe said, adding that Foxx should be doing more for workers’ rights and sustainable jobs.
Members of Sunrise Boone tried to enter the congresswoman’s office but were told they could not come in without an appointment. Instead, they posted a physical copy of their pledge on Foxx’s door.
As supporters of the Green New Deal, Sunrise Boone members said that properly addressing the climate crisis will create millions of jobs.
“The Green New Deal is perfectly in line with Sunrise’s goals, and it’s to stop climate change and to create millions of sustainable jobs, good-paying jobs, union-backed jobs,” said Alex Brodie, recruitment lead for Sunrise Boone.
Brodie said these goals should not be partisan issues, saying that Foxx is “out of touch with her constituents” by not signing their pledge.
The group members said they will continue to work for better jobs in the area.
“We’re not done. Sunrise Boone is going to be sticking around,” Tschoepe said.