People's Orientation to a Regenerative Economy

The People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy is our toolkit for a Green New Deal centered in racial and economic justice, with over 80 policy ideas and solutions presented as fourteen planks for a Regenerative Economy. These planks are grouped into four overarching stances: Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform. A Green New Deal requires all four, together. We must protect and repair communities and workers from the historic and present violence and tolls of an extractive economy. We must invest in resilient and sustainable infrastructure and systems that center the rights and expertise of Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor, and marginalized people. And we must transform the interdependent relationships that connect our governance system, people, communities, workers, and the Earth.

The intersecting crises of income and wealth inequality and climate change, driven by systemic white supremacy and gender inequality, has exposed the frailty of the U.S. economy and democracy. This document was prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic which exacerbated these existing crises and underlying conditions. Democratic processes have been undermined at the expense of people’s jobs, health, safety, and dignity. Moreover, government support has disproportionately expanded and boosted the private sector through policies, including bailouts, that serve an extractive economy and not the public’s interest. Our elected leaders have chosen not to invest in deep, anti-racist democratic processes. They have chosen not to uphold public values, such as fairness and equity, not to protect human rights and the vital life cycles of nature and ecosystems. Rather, our elected leaders have chosen extraction and corporate control at the expense of the majority of the people and the well-being and rights of Mother Earth. Transforming our economy is not just about swapping out elected leaders. We also need a shift in popular consciousness.

First, it includes a series of questions that must be well thought out before policy development begins; second, a framework to protect, repair, invest and transform economies so no one is left behind; and finally, eighty policy ideas broken into fourteen planks that lead to a truly transformative, regenerative economy that has been proven to work for frontline communities and workers.

Communities around the country will use this tool to better inform lawmakers, at all levels of government, and ensure the people are leading the development and implementation  of policy in a way that centers frontline needs from the onset.

Policymakers can also utilize it now, and as they are elected in the coming year, to ensure that as we recover and rebuild, we also reimagine and reshape our economy, and do so in sustainable ways that will not reproduce historical harm or enable future social, climate, environmental, or health crises.

A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy offers community groups, policy advocates, and policymakers a pathway to solutions that work for frontline communities and workers. These ideas have been collectively strategized by community organizations and leaders from across multiple frontline and grassroots networks and alliances to ensure that regenerative economic solutions and ecological justice—under a framework that challenges capitalism and both white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy—are core to any and all policies. These policies must be enacted, not only at the federal level, but also at the local, state, tribal, and regional levels, in US Territories, and internationally.





About – People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy

The Frontlines Are Taking the Lead

Frontline organizations and networks have been working to advance a Just Transition and equitable solutions to the interlinked crises of economy, climate, and democracy for years, calling for the end of an extractive economy that lays waste to people and the planet. Over the years, we have built relationships and solutions across local communities from California to Mississippi, New York to Puerto Rico, Illinois to Massachusetts, Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and with a myriad of Indigenous communities from Alaska to the Lower 48. Long advocating for climate justice through a Just Transition, the emerging Green New Deal (GND) has created an opportunity to deepen this work. And while a GND has been characterized as the required scale to address the climate crisis, the need to define what it means to people presents a set of challenges.

From national efforts like the New Economy Coalition’s Pathways to a People’s Economy, to regional efforts like Gulf South for a Green New Deal, to the local frontline-led efforts of PUSH Buffalo and Our Power Richmond, community leaders have been organizing, educating, and working collaboratively to take concrete actions to make the concept of a GND real on the ground. This work has expanded over the last year, across frontline networks, geographies, and silos. In the Summer of 2019, Climate Justice Alliance, It Takes Roots, People’s Action, and East Michigan Environmental Action Council gathered 64 frontline and allied organizations consisting of 80 leaders to participate in the Frontline Green New Deal + Climate and Regenerative Economy Summit in Detroit. At this summit, we identified green lines (what we want), yellow lines (what we’re still questioning), and red lines (what we say no to) for GND policies, from development through implementation. This was a tool that was originally shared by People’s Action to workshop in Detroit that we re-adapted during the COVID Pandemic into the Peoples Orientation for a Regenerative Economy designed to develop policy and organize to Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform our communities and the economy.


The United Frontline Table (UFT) is comprised of the following networks, alliances, coalitions, and their members, with the cooperation of movement support organizations: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Center for Economic Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Dēmos​, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, Indigenous Environmental Network, It Takes Roots, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Labor Network for Sustainability, New Economy Coalition, People’s Action, Right to the City Alliance, The Rising Majority, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, and UPROSE. This is a subsector of groups that were present at the Detroit Frontline GND Meeting. The Frontline Table has plans and criteria for expansion in Fall of 2020.

A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy is created in partnership with the Just Community Energy Transition Project.