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Together, we’re winning massive public investments in climate, care, jobs and justice.

State Bills

PASSED: Oregon Climate Resilience Package (2023) As a part of this package, the following bills related to resilience passed: 

  • Community Resilience Hubs (HB 2990). Funds community resilience hubs and networks across the state to provide access to resources for vulnerable populations during disasters.
  • Healthy Heating & Cooling for All (SB 868). Aligns our energy efficiency programs with our state climate goals, accelerates statewide heat pump deployment, and ramps up other energy efficiency efforts like weatherizing and retrofitting existing homes to save money and energy while increasing Oregonians’ resilience.

PASSED: New York  All Electric Buildings Act A.8431-B | S.6843-C (2023)  This legislation requires all new single-family and low-rise buildings be emissions-free by 2024 and all remaining new construction to comply by 2027, with limited exemptions when electrification is not technically feasible. The timeline is consistent with the zero-emissions new construction timeline recommended in the Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan. It also tracks with New York City’s local law banning gas hookups for new construction starting in 2024.


PASSED: Oregon Climate Resilience Package (2023). As a part of this package, the following bills related to building decarbonization passed: 

    • Housing Choices (HB 2001): The Affordable, Abundant Housing provisions will increase the number of affordable homes built in our state and make sure they are built in a way that will most benefit frontline communities, addressing the housing crisis today and for the long term.
    • Healthy Heating & Cooling for All (SB 868): Aligns energy efficiency programs with state climate goals, accelerates statewide heat pump deployment, and ramps up other energy efficiency efforts like weatherizing and retrofitting existing homes to save money and energy while increasing Oregonians’ resilience. 
    • Build Smart from the Start (SB 869): Improves building codes for new construction, codifying Oregon’s base building code so that all new buildings are to be more energy efficient and resilient from the start.
    • Building Performance Standard (SB 870): Improves the energy efficiency of large, energy-intensive commercial buildings across the state through the adoption of a Building Performance Standard and incentives.
    • Smart State Buildings (SB 871): Reduces barriers for state-owned buildings to be made healthier and more energy efficient.


ENACTED: Pennsylvania Whole Home Repair Program (2021). The Whole-Home Repairs Program will provide funding for county-wide agencies to address habitability and safety concerns, provide measures to improve energy or water efficiency and make units accessible for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, this program provides funding to the counties for construction-related workforce development.


ENACTED: Washington Building Energy Upgrade Navigator Program. Supports building owners in accessing electrification and energy efficiency services, with specific priority for low-income households, vulnerable populations, and overburdened communities.

ENACTED: California. Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (2013). In California, child care workers just won a 16-year battle for the right to unionize. Now, 12 states allow child care workers to negotiate over wages and benefits. A handful of states have recognized unions for home care workers paid through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

PASSED: Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority (2023). The state passed legislation to create the Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority, a green bank with the state contributing an initial $45 million in funding while expecting additional funds from the IRA. 


PASSED: Massachusetts Community Climate Bank (2023). Governor Healey announced the creation of the nation’s first green bank focused on making affordable housing more climate-friendly. The Massachusetts Community Climate Bank will receive $50 million in state funding, and will be eligible to receive federal financing from the IRA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.


PASSED: Minnesota State Competitiveness Fund (2023). Governor Tim Walz signed HF 1656 into law, establishing the State Competitiveness Fund in the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The $115 million Fund provides grants for state agencies and local and Tribal governments to meet matching fund requirements for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding opportunities. Other entities, including nonprofits, higher education institutions, and utilities, are also eligible for grant funding. The Department can also use funding to cover grant development and technical assistance costs.


ENACTED: Wisconsin  Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation (2023). In April, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #195 to create the Commission to advise on the state’s first-ever Green Innovation Fund, the first environmental and clean energy fund in Wisconsin. Advises on establishing the Green Innovation Fund, the state’s first green bank. The Fund and its partners will leverage public and private financing to invest in projects that provide environmental and clean energy solutions to businesses, reduce pollution, lower energy costs for families, and expand access to clean, affordable energy options. In addition to private financing for the Fund, the federal Inflation Reduction Act created the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and allocated $27 billion in competitive funding for states and nonprofit entities that collaborate with community financing institutions.

ENACTED: Texas LoanSTAR Revolving Funds. Finances energy-related, cost-reduced retrofits of facilities supported by the state, including public school districts and public colleges and universities, as well as units of local government such as counties, cities, towns, public hospital taxing districts or political subdivisions. LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Fund currently supports energy efficiency retrofits but could be easily expanded to include Direct Pay-eligible EV charging stations and energy generation projects like rooftop solar or wind turbines.  To maximize state funds, states could provide funding in the form of a no- or low-cost loan from a revolving fund. While there is not a federally created revolving fund for clean energy, states can establish their own revolving funds to finance clean energy projects. Direct Pay makes those revolving funds considerably less risky, as eligible entities will have a head start on repayment with their Direct Pay reimbursement funds.

ENACTED: California Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617) (2017) — requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and air districts to develop and implement additional emissions reporting, monitoring, reduction plans and measures in an effort to reduce air pollution exposure in disadvantaged communities. 


ENACTED: Massachusetts S.9, Creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy (2021) — Sets a net-zero target by 2050 and requires the state to set interim 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, and 2045 emissions reduction targets.



  • ENACTED: SB 528, Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 (2022) Enacted Establishes a target of 60% reduction below 2006 emissions levels by 2031 and net-zero emissions by 2045. 
  • PASSED: Maryland Climate Pollution Reduction Plan (2023) With funding from the CPRG in the Inflation Reduction Act, Maryland has developed a detailed plan to meet its climate goals. The new policies in the plan reduce emissions while generating up to $1.2 billion in public health benefits, $2.5 billion in increased personal income, and 27,400 jobs compared to current policies, according to modeling by Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute. The average household will save up to $4,000 annually on energy costs. Highlights of the plan include:
    • Completing the transition away from coal-fired power plants
    • Scaling renewable infrastructure, including solar, wind and battery power
    • Providing more incentives for consumers to choose electric when they are ready to replace vehicles and expanding available charging infrastructure
    • Advancing energy efficient retrofitting of 9,000 existing buildings and helping consumers electrify their homes by switching to heat pumps, electric water heaters and electric appliances
    • Electrifying school buses, transit buses and government fleet vehicles


ENACTED: Washington SB 5116 Clean Energy Transformation Act (2019) Commits Washington to an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The law provides safeguards to maintain affordable rates and reliable service. It also requires an equitable distribution of the benefits from the transition to clean energy for all utility customers and adds and expands energy assistance programs for low-income customers.  

DID NOT PASS: Maine Public Power Initiative (2023) This ballot initiative proposed a bold plan to create a new power company governed by an elected board to acquire and operate existing for-profit electricity transmission and distribution facilities in Maine. The public power company, Pine Tree Power Company (PTP), would have been governed by a Board of 13 voting members, seven of whom are elected in statewide public elections, and the remaining six of whom are appointed by the elected members. Board members serve staggered terms of six years. While the measure did not pass, it’s a great example of how to shift away from polluting private utilities to energy democracy.


ENACTED: Maryland HB079/ SB07813 POWER (Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act) State Goals and Procurement (2023) Sets a state goal of expanding existing plans for generating 2 gigawatts of power from offshore wind to 8.5 gigawatts of power from offshore wind by 2031. Maryland’s POWER Act quadruples the state’s previous offshore wind goal and is projected to create 12,000 direct full-time equivalent jobs. The POWER Act directs state agencies to work with Maryland’s regional electrical grid operator, PJM Interconnection, to build the necessary transmission lines needed to bring the power generated at the offshore wind turbines to where it’s needed on land. Under the new law, the state will work to create a single transmission line for  offshore wind projects. The POWER Act also situates Maryland’s offshore wind goals to be consistent with federal tax incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, specifically around domestic content requirements and labor standards. 


PASSED: Michigan Clean Energy Future Plan Package (2023) By addressing key financial and accessibility issues with transitioning to renewable energy sources, the Clean Energy Future Plan allows more homes and businesses across the state to improve their energy usage. This plan includes:

  • Cleaning the Electrical Grid: Phase out of coal-fired electricity generating plants by 2030, require utilities to make progress toward the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by 2035, and develop a 100% clean energy standard by 2035.
  • Energy Waste Reduction (EWR): Achieve at least 2% annual electric energy efficiency savings by increasing the current EWR target for electric utilities, and restore the energy waste reduction target for municipal and cooperative electric utilities.
  • Expand the Purview of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC): Allow the MPSC to evaluate climate, health, equity and affordability in the approval of utility Integrated Resource Plans.
  • Codify Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s PA 116 Program: Allow farmers to rent land for solar operations while maintaining preservation of farmland enrolled in the PA 116 program.
  • Clean Fuels Standard (CFS): Adopt to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 25% by the end of 2035.
  • Repair and Decarbonize Homes and Businesses: Reduce emissions related to heating Michigan homes and businesses by 17% by 2030 by developing a Michigan Construction Decarbonization Strategic Plan.
  • The Clean Energy Future Plan will include additional bills that are being developed now, including legislation to promote the purchase, use and support of electric vehicles and make energy more affordable for Michiganders.

DID NOT PASS: California AB 2419 – the California Justice40 Act (2022) – Sought to codify the federal J40 goal into California law by requiring at least 40 percent of federal climate and infrastructure funds benefit DACs, and an additional 10 percent benefit low-income communities. It also aimed to create good jobs through high-road labor standards on large-scale construction projects, as well as ensuring community voices are heard through the creation of an advisory committee to provide recommendations on how to use funds to improve climate, equity, and labor outcomes across the state.


PASSED: New Jersey S232 – Cumulative Impacts Law (2020) Requires DEP to evaluate environmental and public health stressors of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications.


New York

  • ENACTED: Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act  S6599 (2019) Requires that 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the proceeds from greenhouse gas reduction initiatives go to disadvantaged communities.
  • ENACTED: New York Cumulative Impacts Law (SB 8830/AB 2103D) / Bill S1031 (2022) Makes provision to regulate the location of environmental facilities to ensure equity for minority communities, economically distressed areas or disadvantaged     communities; requires environmental impact reports to assess whether the facilities cause or increase a disproportionate environmental burdens. Modeled on the 2020 New Jersey Cumulative Impacts Law

PASSED: Colorado HB 19-1314 (2019) Just Transition from Coal-based Electrical Energy Economy Creates the Just Transition Office and tasks a Just Transition Advisory Committee with developing a draft Just Transition Plan to submit to the Governor and to the General Assembly. 


ENACTED: Minnesota HF 1842 (2020) Solar Energy Production Incentive Program Establishes a program for community energy transition grants for host communities of coal, nuclear or gas plants that have or will retire (from special revenue fund in the state treasury).


New Mexico

  • ENACTED: SB 19-489 (2019) Energy Transition Act Enacted Creates the Energy Transition Indian Affairs Fund; the Energy Transition Economic Development Assistance Fund; and the Energy Transition Displaced Worker Assistance Fund. 
  • ENACTED: New Mexico SB 21-112 (2021) Sustainable Economy Task Force Creates the Sustainability Task Force to help New Mexico, among other things, develop an annual strategic plan that provides policy recommendations to add new jobs statewide to replace jobs that rely on the extraction or development of natural resources. 

PASSED: New York S3100A (2023) Non-Compete Ban Prevents employers from restricting an employee’s future employment opportunities through the use of non-compete agreements. 


PASSED: Illinois The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), Public Act 102-0662 (2021) Includes provisions to phase out carbon emissions from the energy and transportation sectors. The Illinois EPA is directed in CEJA to establish rebate and grant programs for electric vehicles and charging stations and oversee the phase-out of fossil fuel-fired electrical generation units. Other strong provisions include:

  • Federal money to amplify at the state level
  • 13 equity workforce hubs
  • 3 labor hubs
  • Contract incubator hubs
  • 3 prime contractor accelerators
  • Returning residents program for incarcerated folks
  • 40% benefits to equity eligible communities and persons
  • Community navigators that identify people who would benefit from trainings and links them to hubs


ENACTED: Michigan Restoring Workers Rights (2023) House Bills 4004 and 4007 and Senate Bill 34 strengthen our labor laws to protect workers’ safety, keep the government from getting in the way of negotiations between businesses and workers, and empower workers to advocate for better working conditions and wages. The bills also restore prevailing wage, ensuring the best value on infrastructure for Michigan taxpayers and raising wages for working people, helping them support their families and improve their quality of life.

PASSED: New York A00279/S04134 – Build Public Renewables Act (2023) The BPRA will enable the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the state’s publicly owned power provider, to assess each year whether New York is expected to meet its targets of achieving 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2040. If not, the agency will step in to build enough renewable energy to fill in the gap.



PASSED: Take Back Our Grid Act H.B. 7006 (2020)  AAC Emergency Response by Electric Distribution Companies, also known as “Take Back our Grid” legislation, creates a solid framework to not only hold utility companies accountable, but pushes them to improve their services and how they respond to future storms. The legislation will: 

  • Establish Performance Based Ratemaking – where state regulators (PURA -Public Utilities Regulatory Authority) establishes standards the utilities must meet, develops metrics for determining progress, and allows the issuance of penalties if the utilities fail to meet the standard;
  • Require the utilities to provide $25 daily bill credits and $250 total claim for food and medicine, as well as reduced charges to residential customers without power lasting more than 96 hours;
  • Tie the portion of executive salaries that come from ratepayers to the company’s performance;
  • Develop minimum staffing levels for lineman, communications personnel and others to make sure the utilities respond to storms quickly and convey timely information to their customers. 


PASSED: Colorado Utility Regulation Act (2023) Prohibits investor-owned utilities from charging their customers — known as ratepayers — for any membership dues in trade associations, lobbying expenses, or any other activities influencing legislation, ballot measures, and other regulatory actions. It also bars utilities from spending ratepayer money on political advertising or any messaging intended to boost the utility’s brand.

PASSED: Minnesota HF 2887 Transportation Spending Package (2023) Budgets $7.8 billion for roads, transit, airports and more from 2024-2025. In addition to increasing transit funding (for both operating and capital expenditures) for the Twin Cities area, the key feature is that it requires both state and municipal transportation-planning agencies to take the state’s climate goals into account when assessing new capacity expansion projects — if a project is not project to meet these goals, and MnDOT can’t make sufficient mitigations through non-car projects, they can’t even include it in state and MPO plans. There are some drawbacks to this provision (Lines 106.7 to 109.14), namely that this doesn’t apply to expansion projects already in state/MPO plans or projects that just maintain existing capacity no matter the merits. However, even with these caveats this legislation is still the gold standard we have so far for stopping highway expansions not already planned. 


PASSED: Colorado Sustainability Of The Transportation System SB21-260 (2022) Creates new sources of dedicated funding and new state enterprises to preserve, improve, and expand existing transportation infrastructure, develop the modernized infrastructure needed to support the widespread adoption of electric motor vehicles, and mitigate environmental and health impacts of transportation system use; expanding authority for regional transportation improvements; and making appropriations. While not as transformative as Minnesota on issues, this legislation still has numerous upsides, including a requirement that CDOT put into place procedures that take into account how “regionally significant transportation capacity projects” impact GHG emissions and VMT. This resulted in CDOT’s GHG Transportation Planning Standard. In addition, the rules are credited with canceling two highway expansion projects. In essence, this legislation and rule combine to have a similar effect to Minnesota’s legislation. The phrasing of “regionally significant” as opposed to the focus on capacity expansion in Minnesota casts a wider net for projects in some ways. However, there are some gaps – the rules do not apply to projects that already had records of decision under NEPA, there were no VMT targets in the final rule, and improvements in freight rail access like those made possible by Massachusetts’ IRAP program outlined below aren’t included as mitigation strategies. 


PASSED: Washington Senate Bill 5974 Complete Streets Provision (2022) This bill was part of a package of bills and budgets constituted as Move Ahead Washington. Although there were some upsides, environmental justice and transportation groups assessed that the money dedicated to new and widened highways outweighed any benefits. That said, Sec. 418 of SB 5974 advances progress ro make walking and rolling safer by requiring State DOT project over $500,000 “be analyzed with a Complete Streets mindset.” The impacts of this legislation are already being seen in proposed designs for state highways. However, due to the increased costs of projects with Complete Streets elements, complying with this requirement from the legislature is set to take up half of the $1.5 billion originally set aside by WSDOT for maintaining their current assets. This is why it is crucial to partner provisions like Sec. 418 with sufficient funding, such as in Minnesota and Colorado.


PASSED: California Advanced Clean Trucks Rule (2020) Requires truck makers to sell an increasing number of clean, zero-emission trucks in California in place of dirty diesel and gasoline, will cut toxic fossil fuel emissions in polluted communities throughout the state.


PASSED: Virginia Transforming Rail in Virginia (2019-2030) A series of actions that advance investment in passenger rail that includes purchasing right of way and trackage from freight railroad, identifying specific projects that provide more frequent service, and the successful pursuit of federal grants. With ridership from Richmond to DC breaking records (FY23 ridership was more than 40% higher than past record ridership), greater, earlier, and more guaranteed investments can make passenger rail a convenient, reliable, and efficient mode of travel for their residents.


ENACTED: Massachusetts Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) H4371 (2012) A funding program for small projects (no more than $700,000) to improve freight rail infrastructure.  Although only $1.3 million worth of projects were funded in 2023, these three projects promise to eliminate over 10,000 truck trips annually, for about $120 of public funds per truck trip eliminated. Many states have similar programs; dramatically increased funding could combat the decline of  freight rail networks around the country and improve the supply chain while reducing our reliance on polluting truck infrastructure.

Local Bills

ENACTED: Tucson, AZ (2020) Climate Emergency Declaration (2020) This declaration “directs all City departments to prioritize and align efforts with the Paris Agreement and the Green New Deal, and identify climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that are people-centered and prioritize certain climate and sustainability solutions.” The City of Tucson created the Resilient Together Climate Action Plan adopted in March 2023.


ENACTED: New York City  Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines  LL41 (2021) Mandates a five-year pilot program to help ensure new City infrastructure and public facilities are prepared for the worsening impacts of climate change, including intense rainfall, coastal storm surge, chronic high tide flooding, and extreme heat. Under this program, 23 City capital agencies will begin designing and constructing dozens of new projects using the standards in the NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines.


Chicago, IL Mayor Johnson’s progressive budget (2023) also re-established the Department of Environment to coordinate all of the City’s environmental and resiliency efforts. The budget also sustains key investments in the City’s tree planting and maintenance system and increases funding for the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s forestry division.  This is a crucial first step to advancing a Green New Deal for Chicago!

PASSED: Cincinnati, OH. Green Cincinnati Plan (2023) The Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP) is the City’s guiding plan and community vision to address climate change, bolster the environmental resilience of the city and its neighborhoods, and equitably mitigate and repair the impacts of climate change. Goals include:

  • Electrify 20,000 households by 2030
  • Obtain 40% of electricity load from clean energy sources by 2030
  • 100% of public schools have safe and accessible outdoor learning spaces by 2028
  • 4,000 individuals trained for green economy jobs by 2028
  • Increase local food consumption, distribution and production by 100%
  • Decrease food going to the landfill 50% by 2030


PASSED: Los Angeles, CA LA’s Green New Deal (2019) Includes several aggressive targets for sustainable action, such as 100% renewable energy by 2045, sourcing 70% of LA’s local water via stormwater capture by 2035, increasing transit by 50%  (bike, bus, walking, or bike) by 2050. While Green New Deal branded, the timelines drag significantly behind those needed.


PASSED: Chicago, IL City of Chicago Climate Action Plan (2022)


PASSED: Boston, MA City of Boston Climate Action Plan (2019)


PASSED: Seattle, WA City of Seattle Climate Action Plan (Updated 2018)


PASSED: Cambridge, MA City of Cambridge Climate Action Plan (updated 2019)

New York City, NY

  • ENACTED: Climate Mobilization Act (2019) Includes the landmark Local Law 97, which requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions limits starting in 2024. This law is expected to reduce cumulative emissions from large buildings at least 40% citywide by 2030 through building retrofits.
  • In addition, the CMA establishes a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to enable retrofits through long-term financing, and requires the installation of solar PV and green roofs on new buildings and major renovations
  • PASSED: All Electric Buildings Act Local Law 154 (2023) Amends NYC’s building code to require all-electric new construction in all buildings. New York City’s amendment takes a phased approach, requiring all-electric construction for new low-rise buildings in 2024 and for taller buildings in 2027.


PASSED: Portland, ME Green New Deal (2020) Increased green building standards for all building projects that receive at least $50,000 in public funds; Requires 25 percent of units in new building developments of 10 units or more to be affordable; Rent for those units cannot be more than 80 percent of the area’s median income; Requires the city to track its use of fossil fuels; Contractors are required to hire a percentage of workforce employees as apprentices. 


Boston, MA

  • ENACTED: Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools (2022) A set of initiatives that include planning for electrification, building resiliency, improving nutrition in schools, improving indoor air quality in schools, etc.
  • ENACTED: Healthy and Green Retrofit Pilot Program (2023) A pilot program that gives 10 owner-occupants of two- to four-unit homes $50,000 per unit to electrify and decarbonize their buildings. 
  • ENACTED: Renew Boston Trust (2017/2022) Renew Boston Trust (RBT) began in 2017. It is a city program that conducts energy audits and invests conservation upgrades for municipal buildings. In 2022, Renew Boston Trust extended its scope to include an energy audit of all exterior city-owned lighting. This program is an important tool for Boston as it leads by example in reaching carbon neutrality and becoming a Green New Deal city. 


ENACTED: Cambridge, MA Net Zero Buildings (2023) Requires that all existing nonresidential buildings over 25,000 square feet achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with a more aggressive deadline of 2035 for the largest buildings.

  • ENACTED: Embodied Carbon Policy (2023) A zoning petition that would require large, new non-residential buildings to calculate their expected annual emissions every year until 2050, as well as calculate their expected embodied emissions from construction materials, creating an opportunity for the Planning Board and CDD to help reduce emissions during the special permit application building design and planning phase. 
  • ENACTED: Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (2023) Amendments to the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance that will require large new commercial buildings to be net zero from day one as defined by the Emissions Reductions amendments proposed by CDD. CDD’s proposal includes a fee for excess emissions of $234/ton, which would be used for energy efficiency and green jobs training programs. The GND amendments would charge large new non-residential buildings for all of their emissions, including embodied emissions, creating an incentive for developers to minimize building emissions during design, construction and operation of the building.


Seattle, WA.

  • ENACTED: Solar Readiness Requirement (2021) The city of Seattle  requires commercial and multifamily buildings to install renewable energy or be solar-ready. As part of this policy, if solar is not feasible, the building must achieve energy efficiency savings more stringent than the current code.
  • ENACTED: Seattle Tune-Up Policy (2016) Requires the owners of nonresidential buildings over 50,000 square feet to perform building tune-ups to optimize energy and water system performance once every five years. In addition to tune-ups, the Seattle Tune-Up Policy  requires the owners of nonresidential buildings over 50,000 square feet to perform energy assessments to optimize energy and water system performance once every five years.
  • ENACTED: Energy Benchmarking Law (2012) Requires owners of non-residential and multifamily buildings (20,000 square feet or larger) to track energy performance and annually report to the City of Seattle.
  • ENACTED: Priority Green Program (2009) Seattle offers expedited permitting to green building projects 
  • ENACTED: Funding for Electrification and Rebates Seattle provides a rebate for residential households to switch from oil to electric heat pumps.


Chicago, IL 

  • ENACTED: Low-Income Home Decarbonization Fund (2023) The city of Chicago, announced a 15 million dollar fund to help decarbonize low income family homes. The initiative will pay contractors to retrofit homes at no cost to the home-owner. 
  • ENACTED: Progressive City Budget (2023) Chicago passed Mayor Brandon Johnson’s progressive city budget with major wins for the environment, housing, mental health services and more. Mayor Johnson ran his campaign on the Green New Deal and environmental justice, and is a champion of a GND for Education and GND for Housing. The budget expands the Department of Housing’s Home Repair Program with an additional $10 million investment, offering critical support to low-income homeowners in need of repairs that will make their living conditions safer, and increases funding for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Home Modification Program, to ensure that residents with disabilities can make their homes accessible.  

Boston, MA  Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (2013). The design of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston was influenced by lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and other extreme weather events. This led to a strategic shift towards resilience and sustainability in its construction. The hospital includes key resilience features such as its first floor being elevated 30 inches above the 500-year flood level, and high-efficiency energy systems. 


ENACTED: Chicago, IL Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance (2023) Enacted The Ordinance takes effect on 31 December 2023, and replaces Chicago’s current paid sick leave ordinance.2 Under the Ordinance, starting 1 January 2024, Chicago employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid time off in a 12-month period, with 40 hours allocated to paid sick leave and 40 hours allocated to general paid leave.

ENACTED: Seattle, WA Green New Deal Opportunity Fund (2022) Enacted investments that will accelerate the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build community resilience to climate change, and increase net zero affordable housing.


ENACTED: Denver, CO Building Electrification Ordinance (2021) Denver City Council approved an ordinance to require all commercial and multifamily buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building electrification.

ENACTED: Chicago, IL Environmental Justice Executive Order (2023) Ensures the completion of the ongoing, citywide Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) that will provide data on how environmental burdens and other stressors vary across Chicago; formally establishes the structure and role of a community advisory body and interagency working group, both charged with carrying forward environmental justice actions; requires the City to develop and implement robust community engagement standards, as well as to create a new coordinator role within the Office of Climate & Environmental Equity; and advances City reforms to zoning, transportation planning, permitting and enforcement policies to address cumulative impacts.


ENACTED: Boston, MA. The City of Boston has several initiatives and programs for Environmental Justice  

  • City of Boston Heat Resiliency Plan (2022), a city-wide plan for reducing heat vulnerability. 
  • Expanding Tree Canopy (2022), Open Space (2022), and reducing Heat Vulnerability in Boston.
  • Community Clean Air Grant (2021), city grants that fund community based air quality improvement projects in Boston. 
  • Greenovate (2019) is a city of Boston initiative to mobilize Boston residents directly in the implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan, build relationships with residents, and educate on climate change impacts. 
  • PowerCorpsBOS, (2022) a paid hands-on green jobs training program for individuals 18-30 years old. The program prioritizes residents experiencing homelessness, underemployment, and individuals not in college. 


Seattle, WA Equity & Environment Initiative  (2015) Seattle’s Equity & Environment Initiative (EEI) is a partnership of the City and the community to deepen Seattle’s commitment to race and social justice in environmental work. Key Elements of the Equity & Environment Initiative: 

  • ENACTED: Equity & Environment Agenda (2016)  Guides work in advancing racial equity in Seattle’s environmental programs and policies. 
  • ENACTED: Environmental Justice Committee (2017) The EJC centers community ownership in decision-making, environmental program/policy design, and Equity & Environment Agenda implementation. The EJC also plays a key role in strengthening community partnerships with City departments and better connecting community-based solutions into government.
  • ENACTED: Environmental Justice Fund (2017) This is a grant opportunity for community-led projects that improve environmental conditions, respond to impacts of climate change and get us closer to achieving environmental justice. The Fund is overseen by the Environmental Justice Committee, people with deep community roots working closely with communities on environmental justice issues.


New York, NY  New York City has enacted laws that require the function and coordination of Environmental Justice laws and policies.

  • ENACTED: Local Law 60 (2017) Requires that a citywide study of environmental justice be conducted, and the results of the study be made available to the public and placed on the City’s website. The law also requires the creation of an online environmental justice portal with access to a mapping tool for environmental justice data.
  • ENACTED: Local Law 64 (2017) Requires the establishment of an Advisory Board composed of environmental justice advocates, academics, and public health experts to work with the City on developing a comprehensive citywide environmental justice plan. In addition, City agencies must work with the Advisory Board to develop plans to address environmental injustices in communities of color and low-income communities in consultation with the impacted communities.

Boston, MA 

  • ENACTED: Food Forest (2014) Enacted a city-wide initiative that transforms city-owned land into farms for development of green space, food community based collaborations, and education.
  • ENACTED: Summer Eats Grant (2019) Enacted Grants to community organizations to increase access to food for youth over the summer months.

Washington, DC.

  • INTRODUCED: Green New Deal for Housing Amendment Act of 2022  “Establishes a new agency, the Office of Social Housing Developments, responsible for the construction, maintenance, and growth of District-owned, mixed-income affordable housing.” 
  • INTRODUCED: Green New Deal for Lead-Free DC (2023) Requires the replacement of lead service lines from District public property and government-owned and government-leased buildings by 2028 — and requires private property owners to replace all lead service lines by 2030. Strengthens the District’s job training programs by bringing unions to the table in meeting our workforce development goals. In addition, it closes loopholes in District minimum wage and sick leave laws to ensure all people working in DC are paid fairly and all our on-the-job learners are able to receive paid sick time to care for themselves and ensure healthy workplaces.


PASSED: Los Angeles, CA Adaptive Reuse Ordinance (2023) Incentivizes the conversion of existing buildings to housing units and streamlines City Planning approval for such projects, enabling more flexibility in converting commercial buildings into housing.


PASSED: Minneapolis & St. Paul. Housing preservation fund (2017) Preserves existing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing by connecting developers and owner-operators with social impact investors

ENACTED: Los Angeles, CA. Ordinance 17-044 (2022) Enacted to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling and to phase out existing drilling operations throughout the City of Los Angeles. The ordinance is to include:

  • A study to determine the phase out-period.
  • A plan to plug and remediate inactive wells. 
  • L.A. County’s Just Transition Taskforce to ensure an equitable transition plan for impacted oil workers.


Cincinnati, OH Green Cincinnati Plan (2018/2023) This plan, updated in 2023 after an original release in 2018, includes 30 goals, 40 strategies, and 130 actions to combat the climate crisis and was formulate with extensive public outreach, especially to frontline communities.

ENACTED: Boston, MA Community Choice Electricity (2021) Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE) gives Bostonians greater control over the electricity that powers their homes, places of worship and small businesses. The Program allows the City to secure electricity at a competitive rate. By using the City’s collective buying power, we aim to provide affordable and renewable electricity to the program’s customers. BCCE ensures that energy decisions are made locally and reflect the values of Boston’s communities. In 2021, Mayor Wu announced lower rates for CCE and encouraged more residents to participate.

Indianapolis, IN Red Line (2019) This a BRT route that stretches 13 miles long in the City of Indianapolis. The route option limits stops, with state of the art bus stations to improve wait times, bus onboarding/offboarding, and speed up route completion. The project has faced repeated and continued attempts from state legislators to hobble it, but IndyGO is already building a Purple Line set to open in 2024 and planning a Blue Line set to open in 2027. This project is similar to ones completed in Richmond, VA and Boston, MA, which have complimented this infrastructure with fare elimination for either their entire system (as in the case of Richmond) or on select routes, as in Boston.


ENACTED: Philadelphia, PA. Indego Equity Plan for bike sharing providing bike stations across the entire city for more distributive access in low income communities. 


Emeryville, CA. Bike Lane Efficiencies. Enacted Tearing up city streets to do repaving or underground utilities work is an expensive, time-consuming process. Therefore, whenever an Emeryville street  slated to get protected bike lanes is torn up for any reason, the city installs bike lanes at these times. This ensures that installing protected bike facilities doesn’t require tearing up the street again, saving the city money and speeding up the installation of protected bike lanes.


ENACTED: Denver, CO. E-Bike Rebate Program. (2022) Denver offers a limited number of rebates to those looking to purchase e-bikes. Any city and county resident 16 years or older can receive up to $300 off their new bike, but lower-income residents can receive up to $1200 and those with disabilities can receive $1400 for an adaptive e-bike. There is also a statewide rebate program with similar increases based on income. 


ENACTED: Tucson, AZ. Complete Streets Policy (2019) Developed through years of community organizing and outreach, this policy centers both equity and concerns that are specific to Tucson (such as street shade). Although there were a few policies around the nation that the National Complete Street Coalition scored better, Tucson has done crucial work on implementation. A new design guide was completed and the city is looking to rewrite additional documents that dictate how streets are designed as well.


ENACTED: Houston, TX. MPO Reorganization. (2023) Fair for Houston was a grassroots-organized ballot initiative that passed in November 2023. It sought to redistribute voting power on the Houston-Galveston Area Council so that the City of Houston and Harris County would have power more proportional to their population. The Council’s current composition gives suburban and exurban areas disproportionate power compared to their population, meaning they can approve inequitable transportation projects (such as the I-45 expansion) over the objections of the Houstonians who will suffer from these projects.


PASSED: Cambridge, MA. Cycling Safety Ordinance (2019) In 2019, the city passed an ordinance that required sidewalk and street reconstructions to comply with the Cambridge Bicycle Plan. This includes mandating the construction of 22.6 miles of “separated bike facilities” by May 1, 2026, with progress for specific segments trackable online. A report produced by the city in October 2023 indicated not only a significant increase in biking (nearly 1 in 10 Cambridge residents get to work by bike), but a 50% reduction in crashes between people on bikes and in cars. Similar to strong Complete Streets policies, this type of ordinance with strict requirements based in long-term plans and department-level documents (such as city street design guides and manuals) is preferable to unenforceable plans like MOVE Seattle or vague Vizion Zero “commitments”, which elected officials use to avoid accountability for their inaction.