Photo by Jon Tyson via Unsplash
The 2024 presidential election has kicked off to an energetic start. The Biden campaign has taken the past few weeks to court voters ahead of the Democratic primary.
On September 20 2023 The Biden Administration announced the creation of the Climate Corp program.
The White House states these as the Climate Corp’s current goals:
“American Climate Corps will put a new generation of Americans to work conserving our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, advancing environmental justice, deploying clean energy, implementing energy-efficient technologies, and tackling climate change. American Climate Corps members will gain the skills necessary to access good-paying jobs that are aligned with high-quality employment opportunities after they complete their paid training or service program.”
The decision was made due to the public’s heightened concerns on the impact of the climate crisis; With Summer 2023 being the hottest in human history.
The temperature has been increasingly ticking upwards within the past eight years and has quickly become the warmest eight on record.
Extreme weather events such as floods, wildfires, droughts, etc. are more common due to the global climate crisis. Which are causing increasing amounts of damage to infrastructure, and forests.
This past summer, Canada experienced a series of devastating wildfires sweeping across the country. Nova Scotia saw the largest wildfire in its history with over 200 structures destroyed.
Various communities are still recovering from both the Shelburne Country and Tantallon wildfires, and over 16,000 people were evacuated from their homes for several days until the wildfires were brought under control.
Floods were also an ever-present force in the Summer of 2023. Halifax would receive three months’ worth of rain in a single day on July 21st, and up to 600 people were forced to evacuate, as well as 80,000 cut off from power. Three Haligonians lost their lives while fleeing their homes during the traumatic rainstorm: 6-year-old Natalie Harnish, 6-year-old Colton Sisco, and 51-year-old Nicholas Holland.
The White House states that the end goal of the program will be to train 20,000 young people in clean energy and skills involved in climate resilience.
The administration aimed to include the Climate Corp in its earlier proposed Build Back Better Act, which never made it out of Congress. Instead, congress settled on the Reduced Inflation Reduction Act, and the Biden administration now through executive order is enacting the policy.
The Climate Corps is inspired by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a policy established by President Roosevelt’s administration. The CCC focused on providing income to unemployed, unmarried men from the ages of 17-28.
The CCC was a major part of Roosevelt’s New Deal program aimed at curbing the Great Depression.
Although direct cash payments were made to families under the previous administration, the Roosevelt administration decided to create jobs to fill.
The creation of the CCC was more costly than direct cash payments; however, its psychological benefits were massive. The overall goal of the program was to help poorly educated individuals find a purpose in life.
Young men would be provided housing, meals, workwear, and medical care in exchange for their work in national forests and other government properties.
The American public would sign up for the CCC in large numbers making it the most popular of the New Deal programs. The public’s increasing outdoor awareness and knowledge of the country’s natural resources would prove to be a major success of the program. Participants’ morale and overall physical condition improved drastically.
The New Deal programs, however, are somewhat tainted by the racist history associated with Democratic politics at the time. Due to the majority of the Democratic party deriving from the conservative southern states they demanded the programs to be racially segregated. African-American communities notably received fewer benefits than white communities in the New Deal programs. The director of the program refused to appoint African Americans to leadership positions.
As Biden tries to court young voters into his base, the issues aforementioned are increasingly becoming aware among the public. In 2020, youth voters were essential to Biden’s victory, with 65% of individuals aged 18 to 24 having voted for Biden in the election. having played a critical role in victories in battleground states such as Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
Young people have been growing increasingly disenfranchised from politics. Politico finds that voters under 30 are currently less likely to Democrats as compared to 2019;
Instead, young people are more often identifying as independent and few see politics as a way to make meaningful change.
Young voters have been extremely concerned with issues on climate, abortion rights, and the rights of LGBTQIA2S++ people.
Many young individuals have been worried about supporting the incumbent President because the rights of Queer people have been often trampled on by state governments as well as the Biden administration’s approval of the controversial Willow project.
It will have to be seen if the Climate Corp can launch the first step into a Green New Deal which has been championed by progressives.
This is not the only action the Biden administration has made to court voters in recent weeks.
Last Tuesday afternoon President Joe Biden joined striking workers on the U.A.W picket lines. Biden becomes the first sitting president to join a picket line, Biden greeted workers at the Belleville Michigan General Motors Redistribution Center.
Biden signaled record profits achieved by the Big Three U.S. Automakethroughing through a bullhorn “The auto industry is doing incredibly well, You should be doing incredibly well, too”
UAW has been on strike since Sept 15 and involves involved 18 300 workers. This is 12.5% of UAW member’s labour contracts that expired on September 14th.
The White House originally sent two senior officials to Detroit however late last week the President asked to join the picket line.
Biden’s support for the strike backs up his claim that he is the most pro-union President in history.
Former President Donald Trump has also visited Michigan in response.
The two will most likely battle for the Midwest in the 2024 Presidential election.
In the past two elections the Midwest has been an incredibly important gateway to victory with Trump taking it in 2016, and Biden in 2020.
Trump comes despite union leaders warning him to stay away, Trump claims to be pro-workers however as President he implemented policies that directly worked against union members.
Trump’s remarks will be given at a non-union shop.
Biden has painted himself to be the champion of young people, and the working class. Time will tell if he can fulfill these promises.
Previously Presidents have been involved in union activity. Franklin Roosevelt’s Labor Secretary Frances Perkins worked with strikes.
She served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945 and emphasized labor issues in the Roosevelt administration.
The Labour Department would mediate strikers via the United States Consultation Service.
Previous to Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt would invite union and business leaders to the White House in 1902 to arbitrate a deal.
All eyes are on the candidates to figure out what is next for the 2024 Presidential Election.