SAN FRANCISCO / July 20 / SOURCE: NextGen America / NextGen Climate today relaunched as NextGen America, reflecting the breadth of the organization’s efforts to promote American values and stand up to Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s assault on our way of life. The rebranded organization will continue its efforts to empower citizens and urge them to participate in their democracy.
Climate change is the existential crisis of our time. Left unchecked, it will have disastrous effects on the health and prosperity of every living person, and will hit hardest those who can least afford it, exacerbating existing racial, gender, and wealth inequality. Because of the wide-ranging impacts of climate change, NextGen’s advocacy efforts have always involved related issues like health care, prosperity, and equality. Today’s rebranding formally recognizes NextGen America’s commitment to fighting for progressive solutions to economic and social justice issues—and to fighting back against Trump’s efforts to undermine American democracy and enrich himself and entrenched special interests at the expense of working Americans.
“This is a fight for the soul of American democracy, and we have expanded our mission to meet the challenge at hand,” said Tom Steyer, President and Founder of NextGen America. “Trump and his Republican enablers threaten everything we hold dear. In order to protect American democracy and stand up to Trump, we will step up our efforts to unite citizens behind a cross-section of progressive issues.”
In February, Steyer released a video asking Americans what they would like to see NextGen Climate do in order to protect American values and resist Trump. The video inspired over 13,000 responses from people across the nation who expressed concern about the harm that might result from a Trump presidency. Their ideas contributed to the formation of NextGen America, and to the organization’s commitment to empowering Americans to protect their values.
“Climate change is a key issue that affects every person on the planet and connects to every other issue, from health to economic justice to human rights,” said Heather Hargreaves, Executive Vice President of NextGen America. “We can’t move forward as a nation without solutions to each of these issues, and NextGen America’s expanded scope will allow us to advocate, organize, and act across a broad range of concerns. We believe that, in order to make progress, we must engage as many voters as possible—and that means reaching Americans on the issues they care about the most.”
This week, NextGen America celebrated a key victory in the fight to prevent climate disaster: the extension of California’s cap-and-trade policy after a months-long effort to mobilize Californians in support of the extension. NextGen America will also continue to fight the Trump Administration’s dangerous environmental rollbacks and encourage state and local leaders to protect their constituents’ air, water, and public heath.
In addition to preventing climate disaster and advancing clean energy nationwide, NextGen America will engage in grassroots action across four additional issue areas: prosperity, health care, immigration, and equality. More detailed plans for each of these issue areas will be announced later, but work has already begun on some of them.
As part of the organization’s support for policies that address economic inequality and increase prosperity for all, NextGen released the Fair Shake Commission Report in June. The report examines how economic inequality has affected California and proposes solutions to address the problem. On health care, NextGen America has worked to drive citizen engagement to oppose Republican efforts to cut taxes for the wealthy, deny millions of Americans access to health care, and increase costs for those who have it. Since the election, NextGen has redoubled its efforts to stand up against attacks on the immigrant community and are partnering with leading immigrant rights groups to advocate for their place in our society.
NextGen Rising, a new national campaign to motivate, persuade, and turn out thousands of young voters in targeted states during the 2017-2018 elections, launched in June. The program expands on previous efforts to mobilize young people on and off campus in eight key states—Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and California. NextGen Rising starts with an investment of $7.5 million in 2017, with the budget and footprint set to increase in 2018.
The non-partisan, non-profit policy organization NextGen Climate America will also relaunch as NextGen Policy Center to reflect the American people’s interests and to fight for progressive policy solutions to a wide range of issues.
For more information, please visit nextgenamerica.org.