Obama administration wish list open thread

A Siegel wants aggressive action to green our country’s school buildings, which is a “win-win-win-win strategy” because it would:

# Save money for communities and taxpayers

# Create employment

# Foster capacity for ‘greening’ the nation

# Reduce pollution loads

# Improve health

# Improve student performance / achievement

The whole piece by A Siegel is worth reading.

Picking up on Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s speech to the National Governors Association, in which he advocated greater investment in rail transit, BruceMcF wants a comprehensive rail electrification program. Click the link to read more, because BruceMcF is one of the most knowledgeable transportation bloggers around.

Neil Hamilton, director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University, wants Barack Obama to establish

a New Farmer Corps and set a 10-year goal of establishing one-half million new farms in the United States.

The New Farmer Corps would link his advocacy for public service with an initiative to plant the next generation of America’s farm families. The program would assist current owners to transfer land and offer new farmers training, capital and markets to make their farms thrive. It would encourage states and counties to plan for supporting new farmers. […]

The New Farmer Corps would build on existing efforts, such as Iowa’s voluntary land-link program, which matches aging farmers with young families seeking a start. It would harness loans offered by USDA and Farm Credit banks, but supplement them with benefits new farmers could earn by caring for the land, conserving energy and producing healthy food. Congress could authorize education, training and health benefits to families investing their sweat, labor and dreams on rural and urban farms.

America has no shortage of people eager to put their hands in the soil to feed us. Thousands of potential new farmers exist – college students laboring on urban farms, farm kids hoping to continue the family tradition, and immigrants and refugees who brought their agrarian legacy to America. What we lack is a coordinated, creative national effort.

The New Farmer Corps could succeed by supplementing current efforts with new funds and tax incentives, such as Iowa’s tax break for owners who make land available to new farmers rather than holding it until death. The New Farmer Corps could offer special training and credit incentives for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, so they can join the ranks of America’s farmers and continue serving, but in more pastoral and nurturing ways.

Speaking of agriculture, jgoodman wants better organic standards for livestock production.

TomP wants Obama to keep his promise to make the Employee Free Choice Act the law of the land.

What’s on your wish list for the new administration?

Continue Reading...
View More...