Non-profit

Evergreen Action

Website:

www.evergreenaction.com

Type:

Climate Change Advocacy Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund [19]

Evergreen Action is a left-of-center climate change advocacy group founded by former staffers of the 2020 presidential campaign of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D). It is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-of-center pass-through funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by the consulting firm Arabella Advisors in Washington, D.C. [1]

Evergreen Collaborative is the “sister” group to Evergreen Action and a project of the 501(c)(3) New Venture Fund, also managed by the consulting firm Arabella Advisors in Washington, D.C.

Evergreen “Action Plan”

In April 2020, roughly one month prior to Evergreen Action’s public launch in May, the founders of Evergreen released an “Action Plan” on global warming (archived here) that was “paid for by Evergreen Collaborative,” a project of Sixteen Thirty Fund‘s 501(c)(3) “sister,” New Venture Fund. The “Blue New Deal,” a competing climate change plan to the so-called Green New Deal more focused on oceans and water bodies that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed, “has its own subsection” in Evergreen’s global warming plan. [2]

The plan calls for the federal government to use “every tool in foreign policy” to solicit international global warming agreements, including “diplomacy, finance, trade, aid, and assistance.” Much of Evergreen’s activism uses militaristic language and compares action on climate change to warfare, calling for “an all-out national mobilization,” a “march toward decarbonization,” and “full economic mobilization” of the U.S. economy. The group has proposed the creation of a “White House Office of Climate Mobilization” by executive order to “wield considerable influence in decision-making, sit close to the seat of power, possess authority that touches every agency, and actively drive[s] both budget-setting and program implementation.” The agency would be modeled on the now-defunct Office of War Mobilization, an independent federal agency formed during World War II to coordinate government agencies involved in the war effort whose administrator, James F. Byrnes, was popularly dubbed “assistant president for domestic affairs” due to his sweeping power and influence over American government affairs.[3][4]

Evergreen supports creation of a “Climate Conservation Corps” to “mobiliz[e] the American people to rise to the defining challenge of our time,” modeled on the Great Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps created as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. This “Climate Corps” would train young Americans in retrofitting buildings and installing solar panels, send members overseas to aid in “migration and resilience” projects as part of a “Global Climate Service Corps,” and create labor union apprenticeships in “clean energy economy” jobs.[5] [6]

The group supports a “G.I. Bill” for “impacted energy workers and communities” modeled on the G.I. Bill established for veterans after World War II, but this time targeting coal, natural gas, and oil industry workers whose jobs would be lost due to Evergreen’s “Action Plan.” This bill would mandate “federal backstops” to underwrite pensions for union workers in the United Mine Workers of America and “backstop the solvency” of the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, as well as provide “guaranteed access to healthcare” for energy industry workers who are laid off as a result of Evergreen’s climate policies. The plan also mandates the right to organize and collectively bargain as part of a labor union modeled on pro-union laws in New York, Washington, and Connecticut, nullifying state right-to-work laws through federal law, appointing pro-union members to the National Labor Relations Board, and amending the National Labor Relations Act to mandate establishment of a “collective bargaining unit when a majority of workers vote to form a union or sign authorization cards to join a union,” a controversial practice known as “card check.”[7]

The group supports a series of policies designed to block U.S. oil, natural gas, and coal production and reach global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, eventually transitioning the country to 100 percent renewable energy. It calls for use of the Clean Air Act to mandate 100 percent “clean power.” Evergreen Action supports a U.S. return to the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, an international global warming agreement negotiated by the Obama administration but designed in such a way as to avoid submission the U.S. Senate for ratification as a treaty; President Donald Trump formally withdrew the U.S. from the Accord in November 2020. Evergreen compares the Paris Climate Accord with the Marshall Plan established after World War II to rebuild devastated European and Asian countries.[8]

The plan calls for a “Green Bank” to “deploy capital from existing federal energy financing programs” to fund this transition from traditional energy sources and expansion of federal subsidies of solar and wind technologies. It calls for a national “Zero-Carbon Building Standard” to be enacted by 2023 mandating all new buildings constructed in the U.S. to be “zero-carbon” by 2030, including “federal incentives” for states to enact “stretch-codes” and assign funds to retrofit existing buildings to meet new “zero-carbon” standards.[9]

Evergreen’s plan includes a strong emphasis on “environmental justice” via executive order “on day 1” of a new Democratic president’s administration. The plan calls for the White House Council on Environmental Quality to be renamed the “Council on Environmental Justice” to formulate new climate policy “around equity, justice, and inclusion” and “drive justice into all climate, energy, and environmental policy and program decision-making across government agencies.” This includes forming a new “Office of Environmental Justice” with the U.S. Justice Department to “hold polluters fully accountable under maximum application of federal law” and “pursue maximum civil and criminal penalties–in particular against repeat offenders.” It calls for the creation of a “National Housing Stabilization Fund” to offer “rental support and financial assistance” to individuals dislocated by gentrification as well as new housing discrimination laws based on “income support” to cover the homeless and “gender identity and sexual orientation.” It would also bar utility providers from shutting off services to individuals unable to pay their utility bills. [10]

As part of its retooled U.S. foreign policy, the Evergreen “Action Plan” calls for “taking on petro-states and creating climate accountability” with Russia and Saudi Arabia, both oil exporting countries, and making “accountability and climate change . . . a hallmark of American diplomacy and foreign relations.” It demands the U.S. use anti-corruption laws to “impose consequences” on such countries for “undermining climate international cooperation.” The plan praises China, a totalitarian communist state and major carbon dioxide emitter, for “making strides in reducing its domestic carbon pollution under the Paris Agreement [and] simultaneously supporting the construction of fossil energy and infrastructure in other countries, as part of its ‘Belt and Road Initiative'” (which the group notes is “46 times as large as the U.S. Marshall Plan following World War II”), stating that the U.S. should “challenge China to dramatically shift the priority to clean energy” under the Belt and Road program. [11]

Political Activism

In July 2020, Evergreen Action petitioned supporters to boycott Facebook for “allow[ing] climate denial to thrive by creating a loophole through which climate content can be marked as ‘opinion,'” accusing two center-right outlets, the Daily Caller and Breitbart News, of “having deep ties to white supremacists.” Evergreen Action accused the social media company of “allow[ing] disinformation about elections to be targeted at Black people, helping to suppress their votes” and “undermin[ing] our efforts to build support for a just, inclusive clean energy economy.” [12] While Evergreen Action claims that it removed all advertisements from the website as part of its boycott, its parent organization, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, continued to vigorously advertise on Facebook. [13]

Funding

Evergreen Action is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund; as such, it does not file annual tax filings with the IRS. It further does not publicly reveal its donors, budget, and expenditures. Grants to Evergreen in fact benefit its fiscal sponsor, which does not reveal its projects’ internal budgets.

However, at least one grant has been traced to Evergreen Collaborative, the group’s “sister” and a project of the Arabella Advisors-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit New Venture Fund: a $250,000 grant awarded in September 2020 from the Hewlett Foundation, a major left-of-center donor tagged for altering “U.S. National Policy.” [14]

Leadership

As a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Evergreen Action does not file annual Form 990 filings with the IRS. As such, any internal board of directors the group may have is not publicly revealed.

Known Evergreen Action staff include:

  • Sam Ricketts, Inslee’s climate director, a former Working Families Party operative, a former Democratic Governors Association director on climate issues, and senior fellow for energy and environment at the left-wing Center for American Progress. [15]
  • Bracken Hendricks, CEO of the “clean energy” construction project developer Urban Ingenuity, Inslee’s senior fellow for climate policy, a former senior fellow on climate for the Center for American Progress, and a former senior advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative on climate issues. [16] [17] Evergreen Action has called for “Zero-Carbon Building Standard” to be enacted by 2023 mandating all new buildings constructed in the U.S. to be “zero-carbon” by 2030, which could likely benefit Hendricks’ firm.
  • Maggie Thomas, Evergreen’s political director and a former climate policy advisor to the 2020 presidential campaigns of Gov. Inslee and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).   [18]

References

  1. “Evergreen Action: Privacy Policy.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://www.evergreenaction.com/privacy. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/evergreen-action.-privacy-policy.-1630-fund.-12.15.20.pdf ^
  2. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  3. “James F. Byrnes.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/biography/James-F-Byrnes#ref245701 ^
  4. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  5. “James F. Byrnes.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/biography/James-F-Byrnes#ref245701 ^
  6. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  7. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  8. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  9. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  10. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  11. Sam Ricketts, Bracken Hendricks, and Maggie Thomas. “Evergreen Action Plan.” Medium. April 15, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://medium.com/@sam.t.ricketts/evergreen-action-plan-3f705ecb500a. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Evergreen-Action-Plan.-12.20.pdf ^
  12. “Let’s Hold Facebook Accountable.” Evergreen Action. Original URL indicates July 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://www.evergreenaction.com/actions/facebook-boycott?utm_source=tws_2020-07-13_fbboycott. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/screencapture-evergreenaction-actions-facebook-boycott-2020-12-15-11_15_33.pdf ^
  13. See 1630 Fund’s Facebook Ad Library content for 2020: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/sixteen-thirty-fund/#facebook-ads ^
  14. “Grant to New Venture Fund for the Evergreen Collaborative.” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. September 2, 2020. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-the-evergreen-collaborative/. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/Hewlett-Grant-to-Evergreen-Collaborative.-09.20.-12.20.pdf ^
  15. LinkedIn profile: Sam Ricketts. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/samricketts/ ^
  16. LinkedIn profile: Bracken Hendricks. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bracken-hendricks-9a176827/ ^
  17. “About Us.” Urban Ingenuity. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://urbaningenuity.com/about-us-2/ ^
  18. “Maggie Thomas.” Evergreen. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. https://www.evergreenaction.com/mission/maggie-thomas ^
  19. “Evergreen Action: Privacy Policy.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2020. Original URL: https://www.evergreenaction.com/privacy. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/12/evergreen-action.-privacy-policy.-1630-fund.-12.15.20.pdf ^
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