Root for the climate insurgency

To the editor,

There have now been four Democratic candidates vying for the 2020 nomination to unseat Republican incumbent Scott Tipton, who denies climate change is human caused, ignoring our “climate emergency.” Three Democratic candidates, judging from published announcements and websites, have no strategic focus on climate. I am leading on climate.

If money is the final arbiter in Colorado’s Third Congressional District Democratic primary, data shows funding heavily skewed toward one establishment candidate, while my grassroots climate efforts are just getting going. The link to a campaign finances breakdown is on my website, Total receipts and cash-on-hand for each campaign at the end of 2019- Q3, are:

• “Establishment Rerun Campaign” of Diane Mitsch Bush: $294,942 (in 2018 she brought in $1.9 million, and lost to Tipton by a wide margin); cash on hand, $184,059

• “Traditional Cowboy Campaign” of Donald Valdez: $24,945; cash on hand, $10,456 (Valdez dropped out Nov. 1).

• “Climate Insurgency Campaign” of Root Routledge: $2,001 ($1,516 as credit-card loans from candidate); cash on hand, $653. “Grass roots” by definition. I ran a brief two-month trial campaign at the end of the 2018 election cycle, bringing in receipts of $3,238 ($2,024 as candidate loans and contributions). With minimal visibility, I still earned 2 percent of the 29-county District 3 Assembly votes.

• “Corporate CEO Campaign” of James Iacino: No data; entered race after third quarter 2019 with ability to self-fund.

Although climate holds primal significance, my campaign’s strategic focus covers four policy areas regarding a viable future for America and our planet. My congressional focus is clear, because multiple 2019 House bills have already been written that address some of these priorities (see my website for details) which include:

1. Healthy democracy: HR1 – For the People Act. Address free, fair and secure elections, campaign finance reform, dark money in politics, gerrymandering, restoration of the Voting Rights Act, and more.

2. Healthy Population: HR1384 – Medicare for All Act. Improved coverage; single-payer financing; provider choice. Health care is a moral human right, not a commodity that returns huge profits extracted from peoples’ suffering. “Medicare for All” works for everyone. Most ordinary people will not only get an increase in take-home pay but unencumbered access to better health care. Premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are eliminated and replaced with a modest increase in Medicare withholding. Yet everyone is protected from financial ruin due to catastrophic illness, accident and outrageous drug prices.

3. Healthy Economy: Democrats need to take back political control of our country. We need an economy that works for everyone, not just the richest 1 percent. That includes investments in education and infrastructure, a living wage and strong local economies.

4. Healthy Environment: HR763 – Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act; and HRes109 – Green New Deal.

HR763, supported by Citizens Climate Lobby, puts an increasing fee-price on carbon as it enters the economy from the well, mine or import (with border adjustments). Fees get deposited in a “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” from which the fees are equitably returned monthly to legal residents of the country. It’s an effective revenue-neutral policy that is conservative and helps people with increasing costs. Most people will come out ahead.

The HRes109 Green New Deal calls for a systemwide perspective and response, at the urgency and scale of our climate emergency, with a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy, zero carbon emissions and climate justice for affected communities and families. Having a systems problem-solving background, my goal is to help produce legislation in support of the GND vision and goals, including huge investments in climate mitigation research.

I will fight to protect the Colorado we love, including our environment, public lands, water, rural needs, local economies and forests.

To go to Washington and fight this battle for our future and lead on climate, I need two things: donations now; and delegates voting for me at the District Assembly on April 17, 2020. The delegate process starts with engaging democracy at your Precinct Caucuses on March 7, 2020 and getting elected as a County Delegate and then as a District 3 Delegate for Root.

As your Representative, I promise you honesty, integrity, openness and the technical and political ability to fight for our future. I will help local communities be successful with their climate plans and actions. In particular, I will engage town hall meetings throughout Colorado’s Third District, listen and get to know you and your concerns.

– Root Routledge, Durango