Maine White Pine Cone


February 2021 Newsletter

The race to become the first state with a modern Green Amendment is on!

“After 5 years of spreading the Green Amendment message and the power of constitutional environmental rights for advancing environmental protection, climate justice, generational justice and environmental justice, it is so exciting to have inspired 11 states with Green Amendment proposals and 5 states that are poised to be the first in the modern era to give their residents the opportunity to vote for constitutional protection of environmental rights.” – Maya K. van Rossum, Founder of Green Amendments For The Generations.

The race is on: check out our website to find out where your state stands! 

Spotlight Story

The first episode of a documentary series focused on the effort in New Mexico to pass a Green Amendment has been released.  The new release of Part One of the series explores the implications a Green Amendment could have for environmental protection in the state, including helping to address the immense and disproportionate health and environmental burdens that communities of color, indigenous, immigrant and low-income communities face across New Mexico from the oil & gas extraction, industrial operations, water scarcity, climate change, uranium mining, PFAS and more. Directed by Emmy-nominated journalist Steve Rogers, episode one features interviews with Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, sponsor of the NM Green Amendment; Emma Rose Cohen, CEO/Founder of Final; Beata Tsosie-Peña, Environmental Health and Justice Program Coordinator for Tewa Women United; Artemisio Romero y Carver, founding member of Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA); and Dee George and Penny Aucoin, impacted residents of Otis, NM.

The series follows Green Amendments For The Generations founder Maya van Rossum, as she travels across New Mexico meeting with legislators, indigenous activists, business owners, youth leaders and policy advocates to discuss environmental issues facing the state and how a Green Amendment could provide a pathway for solutions. Watch now!

News from Across the Green Amendment Movement

  • In early January, Senator Jeff Golden submitted a pre-session proposal for an Oregon Green Amendment (SJR5).  First stop for the bill will be the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment.
  • On January 12, the New York State Senate voted 48-14 for second passage of the proposed NY Green Amendment.The bill received first passage by both the Senate and Assembly in 2019. Having secured second passage in the Senate, the bill now must pass a second time in the Assembly to allow the proposed amendment to be placed on the New York state ballot for the people to vote upon in November. The Assembly is expected to vote on the NY Green Amendment any day now!
  • On January 19, the first day of NM’s 2021 Legislative Session, Joint Senate Resolution 3, a resolution to amend the New Mexico Constitution in order to add enforceable environmental rights, was introduced by Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Senator Bill Soules, Senator Harold Pope, Jr. and Representative Joanne Ferrary and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee, to be followed by Senate Judiciary Committee consideration. Green Amendment Founder Maya van Rossum was asked to testify as an expert on the subject. The Committee held SJR3 over for a second day of questions and answers for Committee members. And on February 8, the Senate Rules Committee voted 7-4 in favor of an updated version of SJR3, developed by the resolution sponsors, and it will now move to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • On January 22, Representative Josie Raymond (31st LD) proposed a Green Amendment (House Bill 107) in Kentucky. This amendment would establish “a right of the people to have a clean and healthy environment with the preservation of the natural, scenic and cultural values of the environment, and for the Commonwealth to serve as the trustee for the conservation and maintenance of the environment and its natural resources for the benefit of all people.”
  • On January 25, Senator Mike Gabbard (20th LD) proposed a Green Amendment (Senate Bill 502) in Hawaii. Joining Senator Gabbard in introducing the bill are Senator Acasio, Senator Chang, Senator Misalucha, Senator Rhoads, Senator Shimabukuro, Senator Fevella and Senator Moriwaki. On February 3, 2021 the proposed Hawaii Green Amendment was unanimously voted out of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee. The next Senate committee to hear the bill will be the Judiciary Committee. On February 11, the House Bill companion (HB 551 sponsored by Representatives Lowen, Decoite, Ganaden, Ichiyama, Kapela, Lopresti, Marten, McKelvey, Mizuno, Ohno, Perruso, Quinlan, Takayama, Tarnas And Wildberger) will be heard by the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee & Water and Land Committee. You can read the testimony provided by Maya van Rossum and Green Amendments For The Generations here or watch the hearing here.
  • On February 9, we are anticipating a Washington State proposal to be offered by Representative Lekanoff with additional sponsors eager to come on board. Stay tuned!

Upcoming Events

Hawaii Committee Hearing on a Green Amendment Proposal
February 11, 10:45am HT / 3:45pm ET

Youth Voices on a NJ Green Amendment
February 12, 4:00pm ET

Environmental Law Society of Vermont Law School Hosts Maya van Rossum 
February 17, 7:00pm ET

NJ Student Sustainability Coalition Career Panel
February 20, 2:00pm ET

Delaware YES! Youth Environmental Summit 2021
February 25, 5:00pm ET