The following are solely the views of the author and do not reflect those of the Green Party of Rhode Island.
As the state of Rhode Island begins to court the public again to construct a baseball stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the opposition is again beginning to form. Already longtime Green Greg Gerritt has offered his analysis and testimony on this matter. However, it is quite obvious that this effort will require an approach which has within its coordinates a 'give-and-take' approach, meaning the people will need to offer as a substitute a jobs program of substantial size.
We encourage progressives across the state to come forward and run as Greens that will help bring a Green New Deal to Rhode Island.
The idea of building a baseball stadium for the PawSox is bad business and fiscally irresponsible. It courts gentrification and other negative impacts for the population of Pawtucket while failing to engage in direly needed renovations of public schools, estimated to cost upwards of $2.2 billion according to news reports.
But it also continues to put off until another time a just transition away from fossil fuel energy infrastructure. Treasurer Seth Magaziner's new Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is a resource that can and should be used to put cranes in the air across the state. "The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is a great example of how the Treasurer's Office can promote economic growth by finding creative ways to finance infrastructure projects," said Magaziner. "The Infrastructure Bank will provide needed employment opportunities for Rhode Island's building and construction trades, which is very important for our still-recovering industry. We are excited about the Infrastructure Bank's potential to spur construction growth, and applaud the Treasurer for his efforts," said George Nee, President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.
Rather than cater to the whims of the 1%-ers who own a AAA minor league baseball team they intend to sell as soon as possible, instead energy can and should be exerted to install solar-wind-hydroelectric combination renewable energy infrastructure implements in every public building in the state while upgrading infrastructure. The example of Nathan Bishop Middle School several years ago, which was renovated with sustainable technologies to create a highly-functional campus, provides guidance for what can and should be done around the state.
City councils and mayors can furthermore promote tax credits and other arrangements that encourage homeowners to put such implements into their private residences. Here are some infographics, provided by The Solutions Project, that demonstrate the work that can be created for construction industry unions and trades throughout the state.
But in order for this to happen, we need you to run for office as a Green!