In Focus

Election 2020:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

Georgia

SENATE (Special Election)

Dr. Michael Todd Greene

Independent

U.S. Senate, Georgia 

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Reintroduce the Homestead Land Act and the Southern Homestead Land Act to move people out of crowded, urban settings reducing the amount of mass consumption of energy & water within small unsustainable geographical locations- spread the people out

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

Improving all Native American Reservations infrastructure first, then expanding to revamp/improve all government funded orphanages, nursing homes, and homes for the indigent.

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

Increase the poverty level substantially and reintroduce the Homestead Land Act and Southern Homestead Land Act - give land away for free.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

Increasing the poverty line and PELL Grant rewards will inspire hope in all. America is the most innovative country in the world - all she needs is a vision of hope and she will rise to the changes needed to sustain a clean environment. My job is to keep the vision of hope alive in people so as they prosper in their lives', we benefit as a people, including the future discovery of enlightened, hope-filled people pursuing their unalienable rights.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Native American Reservations, orphanages, homes for the elderly, and homes for the indigent will be my first concern.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

As a former rental house landlord, energy efficient improvements were incorporated with every available remodel or restoration (low-flow water spouts, energy efficient water heaters, refrigerators, furnaces, windows, etc.)

Deborah Jackson

Democratic

U.S. Senate, Georgia

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

The best ways Congress can help to reduce the energy and water consumption of buildings to make them more sustainable are to: 1) support the funding of research in new technologies that improve energy and water consumption; 2) provide incentives to builders that are incorporating energy and water consumption best practices in their projects; 3) support consumer education on the importance of reducing energy and water consumption; and 4) provide incentives to homeowners and apartment building owners who utilize energy and water efficient products.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings, b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements, d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings, f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters, g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities, h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

In order to ensure that all Americans, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status, are able to benefit from healthy and sustainable buildings, I would propose legislation that requires the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure that the public housing authorities bring their properties up to higher energy and water standards; that private landlords who receive housing vouchers be incentivized to upgrade their properties using energy efficient appliances; and that buildings constructed with public funds incorporate features that promote health and sustainability.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

One starting point to train and prepare people for clean energy jobs is to have HUD utilize the provisions of Section 3 to provide public housing residents with training opportunities.  Section 3 is grossly underutilized by many public housing authorities and could serve as a stepping stone to help residents become self sufficient.  Other options are to work with the trade unions to establish apprenticeship programs that focus on clean energy jobs; and reintroduce trade skills in high schools as part of the curriculum.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

I am willing to work with the building sector to make sure that transforming buildings to be more sustainable is part of the policy debate in Congress.  While caucuses on the Senate side are considered more informal than in the House of Representatives, I would work with my colleagues to promote legislation to support and incentivize the development of sustainable buildings.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

As the mayor of Lithonia, GA, I partnered with a developer to demolish a dilapidated city property on a brownfield and build a $12 million affordable housing project based on LEED silver standards and including energy efficient appliances; and use of pervious materials in the parking lot to reduce stormwater runoff.  Additionally, I participated in community housing forums that included advocacy for sustainability and affordability of housing.

Kandiss Taylor

Republican

U.S. Senate, Georgia

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Tax breaks for those who implement energy/water efficiency improvements for the year

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements, d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings, h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

Offer incentives for the construction and renovation in these areas

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

Whatever steps are needed to meet regulation and requirements

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, I am willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure we minimize governmental control and ensure capitalism in our country.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

This is the first time I've ever ran for office. I have built a home and used the recommended energy efficient heating and air system and hot water system.

Richard Dien Winfield

Democratic

U.S. Senate, Georgia

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Congress must mandate strict energy and water conservation building codes and supply the public investment to 1) ensure that old building can be properly refitted to meet sustainable standards and that 2) new buildings are constructed in sufficient supply to provide a new green energy compliant infrastructure that is sustainable.  To keep water supplies adequate and reduce the huge infrastructure damage that climate change is producing, Congress must also commit to a Green New Deal achieving 100% green house gas free energy production and use by 2030.  A Federal Job Guarantee will ensure that anyone losing employment in the fossil fuel industries will have well paid jobs awaiting them, starting at $20/hr.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED? (YOU CAN CHECK MORE THAN ONE.)

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy,

i. Supplement a Federal Job Guarantee with a Housing Guarantee to insure that all US residents have a decent, sustainable dwelling. 

j. Government must ensure that all homes are equipped with broadband.

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

We need to eliminate homelessness by eliminating unemployment and poverty income with a Federal Job Guarantee offering jobs at $20/hr and equivalent replacement income for those unable to work; to provide access to physical, mental, dental, and long term care to all with Medicare For All; use the Federal Job Guarantee to provide an adequate supply of healthy and sustainable buildings, as well as the human services that enable people to live independently; mitigate the looming climate emergency so that our buildings are not flooded, destroyed by storms, or burned by forest fires.  This requires achieving 100% green energy production and use by 2030.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I will introduce into the Senate legislation to enact a Federal Job Guarantee to employ people to build a new green infrastructure, with on-the-job training.  I will also introduce legislation to offer free tuition and living stipends at all post-secondary technical and college education.  In addition, I will introduce laws to require all employers with multiple employees to hold elections for union representation and to encourage unions to manage apprenticeship programs to supply an adequate number of trained workers.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

I will work with the building sector and building trade unions to ensure that construction work is done safely, that buildings are themselves safe and sustainable, and that we have an adequate supply of the green sustainable homes and public buildings we need.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

I have written about the policies that make possible a transition to sustainable building in my latest book, Democracy Unchained, and discussed what must be done on my podcast, America Unchained.  Read and listen.  As a philosopher with 40 years of teaching and writing experience, I have worked hard in the world of theory, without which practice is blind.

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