Washington, D.C. – Today, the Great American Build, a multi-million dollar public awareness campaign by Climate Power, League of Conservation Voters and Potential Energy Coalition to elevate the immediate need to Build Back Better and make transformational investments in clean energy and infrastructure, launched with the backing of climate and environmental organizations, racial justice organizations, organized labor, progressive groups, and leaders from across the country.
WATCH: “Calling All Builders”
The campaign will focus on the urgent and immediate need for transformational investments in our nation’s infrastructure and action on a top priority that motivated millions of people to support pro-climate Congressional candidates and delivered a pro-climate sweep of the White House, U.S. House, and Senate.
“Calling All Builders,” the first television spot in the eight-figure paid media campaign, began airing on cable in Washington, D.C. Additional paid advertising and campaign activities will be announced in the days and weeks to come.
“We need big investments in jobs and clean energy, and we need them quickly to give communities across the country the economic boost they need. With the right investments in clean energy and infrastructure, we can put millions of people to work and build big things in America again,” said Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power. “Americans elected pro-climate majorities in Congress, and they expect big things on the issues that drove them to the polls — including clean energy and climate change. The Great American Build is about delivering on the investments we need and the results people are expecting.”
“The historic American Rescue Plan provides the resources we need to address the pandemic and for people to get the immediate help they need to get by. But just getting by is not enough,” said League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski. “It’s critically important that we move quickly to a broader economic recovery plan that centers climate solutions, makes transformative investments in healthy, equitable, safe communities powered by clean energy, and gets millions of people back to work in good-paying jobs. We can and must build back better.”
Major, transformational investments in clean energy infrastructure remain a priority for people. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans nationally and in key states — from both sides of the aisle — believe Congress should take bold climate action and strongly support Biden’s plan to Build Back Better. Clean energy is the fastest growing industry in America and provides a huge opportunity to build back better with high-quality, union jobs that help rebuild the middle class. At the start of 2020, clean energy jobs employed nearly 3.4 million workers in the U.S., and transformational investments in our nation’s infrastructure will create millions of new good-paying clean energy jobs in communities across the country.
Leaders Across the U.S. Express Support for the Great American Build
Leaders from across the country are coming together behind the Great American Build. They know clean energy jobs aren’t dependent on where you live. New opportunities are everywhere in America. These won’t be red state jobs or blue state jobs. They will be American jobs in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
“Michigan put the world on wheels and built the middle class. Now we’re ready to help America build back better. We need to push for a recovery plan that focuses on good-paying jobs in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy. We can put millions back to work and prepare states like ours to face climate change while creating unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses and prosperity for our people. We must seize this moment and launch a Great American Build so we can stay competitive, revitalize domestic manufacturing, and keep clean energy jobs in the U.S.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak
“Now that the American Rescue Plan is providing Nevadans and people across this country with the relief they need, it’s time to take the next step: bold investments in infrastructure and jobs, especially clean energy jobs. That could be a trifecta for Nevada: get to work building infrastructure for our future, create millions of clean energy jobs that get people back to work — and in doing so, help combat climate change. The Great American Build means new jobs for all kinds of Nevadans, regardless of their background. Building back better will create good-paying jobs for builders, roofers, pipefitters, engineers, electricians, accountants, researchers, teachers, and others all across the country and in the Silver State.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
“We have a responsibility to leave our kids and future generations with a better life and world than the one we inherited. It’s time we embrace a future where we don’t have to choose between mitigating climate change and protecting our environment and good-paying jobs and economic development — we can do both. We need to launch a Great American Build to make the big, bold investments in clean energy and infrastructure that we need to create millions of family-supporting jobs, build a stronger economy, and invest in people and communities here in Wisconsin and across the country.”
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean
“The pandemic forced us to make sacrifices and building back better is a must. As a community that’s growing quickly with rising housing costs, it’s imperative that we build an economy that includes clean, well-paying jobs, and that we make housing affordable with clean energy, accessible transit, and infrastructure of the future. With the help of the Biden Administration, Boise will invest in affordable housing, clean energy, climate innovations, and transit to ensure that we’re a city for everyone. Working together, we’ll support our people and rebuild our nation, community by community.”
Nederland (CO) Mayor Kristopher Larsen
“Building back better is critical for small towns across the country. For years, we have had to delay improvements on our infrastructure because the costs of improving our roads, our water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, and transit has been too great a strain on already tight budgets. The opportunity to build resilient systems that will carry our small towns into the twenty-first century, while addressing the need for clean energy infrastructure, high-paying jobs, and innovative programs is what we have been hoping for for years.”
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto
“Workers around Pittsburgh — from upper Appalachia to the Ohio Valley — have for generations provided U.S. industry with the resources it needed to grow, but are now seeing their jobs evaporate due to the hard realities of climate change. With strong federal investments in clean energy and industry we will build out a cutting-edge 21st century economy that provides jobs to new generations of workers throughout the Rust Belt.”
Tempe Mayor Corey Woods
“Tempe continues to invest in a clean energy economy, sustainable transportation, and infrastructure that is resilient to extreme heat. We are excited to work with partners in Arizona and at the federal level to accelerate investment in climate action to improve our cities and towns today and ensure we have livable communities into the future.”
Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
“Even before COVID-19, the nation’s schools and our public infrastructure were long overdue for serious modernization, retrofitting, and conversion to more sustainable sources of energy. No student in America should be breathing in contaminants, mold, or asbestos while they are trying to learn. No child should be drinking lead-contaminated water or fearing the next cloudy day could lead to flood, a fire, or power grid failure. This is a lesson we should have learned by now: the longer we wait, the worse it gets. If the last year taught us anything, it should be that we need to embrace our responsibility to our children and face the facts. We cannot wait for another catastrophe. We have a chance right now to tackle the climate crisis by transitioning to clean energy, investing in our infrastructure, and creating good new jobs. We can fuel our recovery by getting people back to work in good clean energy jobs that both support a family and start building a future where all our families can thrive.”
Christy Goldfuss, Senior Vice President of Energy and Environmental Policy, Center for American Progress
“The climate crisis leaves us no time to waste. Today is our climate moment. We have an opportunity to tackle multiple crises by investing in climate action that spurs economic recovery. We can use this opportunity to create millions of good-paying union jobs, reduce pollution, and help communities hardest hit by climate change right now.”
Mike Fishman, President of Climate Jobs National Resource Center and former Secretary-Treasurer Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
“Working families across the country are waiting for paychecks and jobs to reappear with the same urgency they are fighting to prevent climate change from hurting their communities. To meet these crises, we must invest in a just transition to our new economy: in clean infrastructure, technology, and the millions of clean energy jobs that accompany such investments. This is our chance to reduce the threat of climate change before it’s too late, and our moment to ensure that clean energy jobs promise family-sustaining, good-paying, union careers to millions of Americans who are waiting for a recovery.”
Felipe Benítez, Executive Director of Corazón Latino
“A bold investment in clean energy and infrastructure is essential for the immediate economic recovery of millions of people of color throughout the country, particularly Latinos, one of the hardest hit communities after the COVID economic downturn.”
Michele Roberts, National Co-Coordinator for the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) and National Co-Coordinator for the Equitable and Just Climate Platform
“For decades, many communities of color, Native Indigenous communities, and low-income communities have been permitted to suffer from the cumulative effects of multiple toxic pollution sources: there’s a pre existing poison in the air they breathe and for those with access to the water they drink; they are hit first and hardest by pandemics and climate change. These communities have no time to wait.
“Right now, we have the chance to take action to provide the long overdo remedy and redress needed for the health and well-being of all communities, create good-paying jobs and really work towards justice at the same time. We must meet the decades-long injustice of environmental racism with a diverse movement toward clean energy that leaves no worker or impacted community behind.”
Jamal Raad, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Evergreen Action
“Passing the American Rescue Plan was an important first step to deliver on President Biden’s vision to build back better, but we can’t afford to slow down now. We need bold and immediate action to deliver on the infrastructure and clean energy investment that the American people voted for. Going big on clean energy investment must be at the top of our nation’s agenda.”
Jim Williams Jr., General Vice President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
“Throughout the past year, it has been clear that if the American people are to survive the current economic disaster brought on by the pandemic, we must focus our collective energies on three things: response, relief, and recovery. Clean energy jobs and infrastructure hold an opportunity for millions of Americans to Build Back Better, but to ensure these new jobs are good, family-sustaining jobs, we must demand that labor standards be attached to all incentives and funding mechanisms that will make this recovery, a reality.
“Our members are already performing work to a high degree in the green economy, retrofitting buildings, installing photovoltaic glass on building envelopes, and weatherizing rooftops with reflective coatings. We understand the burgeoning economic opportunity that these jobs can bring to all communities and collectively stand behind the efforts of the Great American Build.”
Harold Mitchell Jr., Founder of ReGenesis Project
“We need to make sure no community gets left behind in our national recovery. That means making equitable, targeted investments in communities suffering from decades of environmental racism. From the clean-up and redevelopment of Superfund and Brownfield sites and now turning them to new renewable energy projects, to building new roads and energy efficient homes, to providing good health care and job training, in Spartanburg where my fight began: the answer to environmental racism all over South Carolina and the country includes investments into communities. This means more clean energy infrastructure to create good-paying and high-quality jobs. Right now, President Biden and Congress have the chance to make these investments, and launch a just transition towards prosperity, environmental health, and revitalization.”
Mary Kay Henry, International President, SEIU
“Now is the time to go big and bold to simultaneously address the escalating crisis of climate change while creating millions of good, new, union jobs and addressing racial justice through strong investments in disadvantaged communities. The COVID pandemic has laid bare our vulnerabilities to crisis. We need to build out the clean energy economy while also investing into the resilience of our nation and communities through strengthening our ability to respond to crisis while protecting and caring for the young, elderly, and disabled members of our society.”
Tom Steyer, Philanthropist and Founder of NextGen America
“America must invest in the clean energy future to lead internationally, to create the millions of jobs we need at home, and to remedy our deep environmental injustices. As the international climate summit in Glasgow approaches in November, we are going to need domestic action, both in the public and private spheres, if we are to have the international credibility we need. That starts with making big investments in clean energy and showing that America is dead serious about addressing our climate crisis.”
Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party
“For years, we talked about the jobs and economy of tomorrow. Tomorrow is right now. Great American Build is all about dreaming of a nation that leaves nobody behind, investing in the people ready to get the job done and making the promise of prosperity real for everyone. Our planet cannot afford another moment of inaction and neither can the communities who have been ravaged by the devastating effects of climate change, environmental racism and jobs that don’t pay a living wage. Failure is simply not an option.”
Great American Build Produced by Award-Winning Firm
“Calling All Builders” was written and produced by Pereira O’Dell. Pereira O’Dell also recently volunteered its creative services to create the “It’s Up to You” creative platform, a campaign by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to increase confidence in vaccination against COVID-19. It is the largest PSA campaign in U.S. history.
“What we feel this effort needed was not an ad, but a big unifying idea.” said PJ Pereira, co-founder and creative chairman of Pereira O’Dell. “One that inspired optimism and highlighted the opportunities it would bring, for everyone. That’s how The Great American Build was born.”
For more information please visit TheGreatAmericanBuild.com.