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Zachary Announces His Climate Health Platform

Updated: Mar 9

DC needs leaders ready to act urgently and boldly to address climate change, which already is causing more punishing storms and flooding, more severe droughts, hotter heat waves, and sea level rise. Continued inaction threatens the health, well-being, and prosperity of our communities. As your next Ward 5 Councilmember, Zachary pledges to be a climate health champion.


While climate change affects us all, Black, Brown, and low-income families are being hit the hardest. The most marginalized communities have been pushed to the areas most prone to flooding, heat waves, and other climate change effects and yet have the least resources to withstand them. This is textbook environmental racism.

Zachary supports a Green New Deal for DC to transform our energy use to net-zero carbon by 2030, much sooner than DC’s current 2050 goal. We must make our infrastructure, housing, schools, public transit, and workplaces healthier and stronger. This is not only a matter of survival, but also one of racial equity. By taking the following steps, we can build a stronger economy and healthier society for the future.


Energy

  • Create thousands of new jobs through a green jobs program to install energy-efficient windows, electric heat pumps, weatherization, and solar rooftops

  • Accelerate DC’s goal of 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2032

  • Transition to zero-emission fleets for Circulator buses, garbage trucks, and school buses. Pressure WMATA to accelerate its transition to zero-emission buses (i.e., electric) faster than the current goal of 2045.

  • Subsidize Capital BikeShare and e-bike purchases for low-income neighbors

  • Support transitioning to community-owned energy infrastructure, also called public power, to make sure utilities are cheaper and more accountable to DC residents

  • Pass the Public Service Commission Member Qualifications Act to make sure our public utility commission has expertise in grid modernization and consumer protection

  • Support the transition to all-electric homes by fully subsidizing DC low-income households and providing sufficient rebates for heat pumps and electric appliances to incentivize other households to make the switch.

  • Prevent utility shut offs through better policies to identify households at risk and better funding for helping folks behind on their bills

Air


  • Deindustrialize communities like Brentwood that disproportionately house toxic factories, polluting infrastructure, and bus depots. We must change zoning, fine heavy polluters, and halt future projects in areas already facing poor air quality

  • Clean our air by halting the practice of allowing DC registration for old diesel engines on medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

  • Eliminate use of fracked gas in new commercial and residential buildings by requiring new construction and major renovations to be all-electric.


Land


  • Expand green space to cool down Ward 5 heat islands by demanding an appropriate ratio of green space to buildings in each neighborhood through the Comp Plan and land-use planning

  • Expand the RiverSmart program to help commercial and residential buildings implement green infrastructure

  • Weatherize schools into disaster relief centers for extreme weather events like heat waves, storms, and floods.

  • Invest in resilient infrastructure and nature-based solutions that can withstand more extreme weather and flood risks in communities facing the greatest threats

  • Re-implement recycling waste collection in all DC public housing.


Food & Water


  • Increase food access by incentivizing co-op grocery stores, farmer’s markets, fruit trees, and community gardens in food deserts and facilitate informal community support networks like mutual aid

  • Implement citywide composting accessible to all neighbors regardless of income

  • Require water testing for cancer-causing PFAS and other chemicals, as well as lead pipe removal in all homes and schools

  • Strengthen our zero-waste mandate to work alongside our net-zero carbon target

  • Feed our most vulnerable neighbors by requiring that grocery stores donate 100% of edible food waste and compost the rest.

  • Use schools as community hubs to to distribute food, energy, or other basic needs identified by the community.

  • Support and expand the Anacostia Green Boats program on Kingman Island, which provides free boat rentals in exchange for cleaning up the river