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Green New Deal Tour Highlights Black And Indigenous Voices

Travis Lux
Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, addresses a crowd at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Tuesday, May 7th.

Hundreds of advocates gathered in New Orleans Tuesday evening to show support for a set of environmental goals aimed at addressing climate change and inequality known as the Green New Deal.

Tuesday’s event was less about specific policy details, and more about prioritizing black and indigenous voices as those policies start to take shape.

Credit Travis Lux / WWNO
Hundreds of people showed up for the event in support of the Green New Deal.

It started with a drum circle and tribute to the Louisiana’s United Houma Nation at Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. From there, people marched into nearby Mahalia Jackson Theater. Inside, leaders from local and national advocacy groups talked about climate change and environmental justice. Colette Pichon Battle, director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, spoke about how the Gulf South has a lot of experience with disaster recovery.

“Even in our successes,” she said, “We’ve learned what to do and what not to do. We should be a leader on rebuilding this country’s infrastructure and creating millions of jobs to do it.”

The event also marked the launch of a new environmental initiative called Gulf South for a Green New Deal.

Specific legislation for the Green New Deal has not been proposed yet. So, over the next few years, Gulf South for a Green New Deal will be talking to residents across the region about the specific policies they want to see included in any future legislation.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Foundation for Louisiana, and local listeners.

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

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