Justice Democrats, New Consensus and Sunrise Movement
Green New Deal
Advancing the Green New Deal
In 2019, Fenton teamed up with Justice Democrats, New Consensus and Sunrise Movement to change U.S. discourse on the climate crisis.
In early January 2019, the Green New Deal, spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, was firmly on its way from what some saw as a fringe concept to mainstream policy. But polling from Yale University also showed that over 80 percent of Americans had never heard of the Green New Deal at all. In the face of an otherwise crowded and horse-race oriented broadcast media landscape, Fenton took on the challenge of expanding the chorus of voices promoting the Green New Deal in the national conversation.
With a focus on broadcast media (TV, radio, podcasts, digital video), Fenton developed and executed a three-pronged strategy:
Building up the profile of a hand-picked, small set of surrogates with clearly defined lanes and perspectives and pitching them for media opportunities at the right moment. This included framing New Consensus experts as the policy architects of AOC’s Green New Deal; Sunrise Movement’s activists as the grassroots, youth-led force holding politicians’ feet to the fire; and Justice Democrats’ strategists as the new generation of Democratic operatives and progressive movement leaders.
Elevating the actions led by Sunrise Movement on the ground in a big way, from protests at Sens. Mitch McConnell and Dianne Feinstein’s offices to press conferences on the Hill.
Responding to political news moments as a way to plug the Green New Deal in broader political conversations, including presidential campaign announcements, news developments around AOC and statements from candidates.
In less than three months, Fenton generated nearly 40 broadcast opportunities (segments and interviews), helping build incredible momentum for the Green New Deal both in terms of expanded coverage of the Deal and increased media visibility for our surrogates. Coverage ran the full gamut of broadcast outlets from MSNBC, CNN, CBSN, Democracy Now! and Hill TV, to WNYC, Bloomberg Radio and various podcasts, along with NowThis and NBC News Signal. Throughout our work with this coalition of organizations, we were able to secure interviews and segments to cover aspects of the Green New Deal that had received limited to no coverage before. This included explainer-type segments diving into the policy details and feasibility of the Deal, pieces on the political implications of the leftward trajectory of the Democratic Party, commentary mentioning the Green New Deal as a litmus test for 2020 and other segments showing the immense grassroots support for the legislation. Our efforts culminated with surrogates appearing on multiple panels of the MSNBC Green New Deal Town Hall with AOC herself, marking a milestone for the legislation’s visibility ahead of 2020.