New Consensus (NC) is a pro-Democrat activist organization which was established in 2017 by Zack Exley and a number of people who had supported Senator Bernie Sanders’ failed presidential bid in 2016. Prior to his work with NC, Exley had co-founded the New Organizing Institute in 2005; served as a key leader with MoveOn.org around that same time period; and advised the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean (2004), John Kerry (2004), and Barack Obama (2008). He also co-founded Brand New Congress in 2016, and Justice Democrats in 2017.
Other key personnel associated with NC include:
- Demond Drummer: This NC co-founder and executive director served as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign (2008). A decade later, he made an unsuccessful bid for election to Illinois’s First Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Over the years, Drummer’s activism has drawn praise from such sources as the Obama White House, Code for America, and the Aspen Institute. Drummer is also known for having developed CoderSpace, a computer-science learning lab designed to help high-school students develop social and political leadership skills, and LargeLots.org, an initiative to reclaim and repurpose city-owned vacant lots in Chicago.
- Rhiana Gunn-Wright: After graduating from Yale University in 2011 with degrees in African American Studies and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Gunn-Wright served variously as a policy intern for former First Lady Michelle Obama, a policy analyst for the Detroit Health Department, and a Fellow at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. In 2018 she was the policy director for Abdul El-Sayed’s failed gubernatorial campaign in Michigan.
- Giulianna Di Lauro Velez: This Florida-based organizer worked in policy research for three years before joining the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in 2016; she subsequently served as electoral manager for Our Revolution.
- Randy Abreu: This attorney worked for both the House Judiciary Committee and the Federal Communications Commission before President Obama appointed him as an advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Technology Transitions and Clean Energy Investment Center. In 2018 Abreu served as the political and policy director to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old Democrat who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives that November. (NC as a whole was a strong supporter of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign.)
NC’s mission is to promote the development of “a truly beautiful world” where neither “poverty [n]or pollution” exist, and where “prosperity and dignity for everyone” is the norm. This goal can be achieved “in a single generation,” says NC, if only mankind will end its reliance on fossil fuels and commit, instead, to harnessing the “unlimited energy [of] the sun” as the basis for all its industrial and economic pursuits. Condemning the “entrenched, backward-looking political elites” who “fight to keep the world as it is” by defending “neoliberalism” (capitalism) and “the Washington Consensus,” NC stands in the vanguard of “New Consensus thinkers” who “are exploring how government and other public institutions can lead [America’s] transition to a green economy.” Such a transition, NC explains, would “kick-start new high-wage industries,” thereby “clos[ing] wealth and income gaps between groups.”
The centerpiece of NC’s political and economic agenda is its commitment to a “Green New Deal,” environmental legislation designed to: initiate a massive, “World War Two-scale mobilization” that would rapidly eliminate all fossil-fuel use from the U.S. economy; make “massive public investments into domestic wind turbine and solar cell industries”; create a basic income program and a federal jobs guarantee that provides a “living wage” to every person desirous of one; implement a government-run, single-payer health care system; and replace free-market capitalism with a socialist framework.
Additional objectives of the Green New Deal, as NC describes it, are to: “replace or upgrade every U.S. building to achieve maximal energy efficiency … and durability”; “build new energy-efficient … affordable housing … on a scale unprecedented in U.S. history”; “overhaul U.S. transportation systems … by investing in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing … and accessible public transit and high-speed rail”; spend trillions of dollars to “repair and upgrade U.S. infrastructure to address climate change and eliminate pollution”; and “make massive [public] investments into U.S. manufacturing industries to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions” – a task that can best be achieved by a government that is committed to promoting “public benefits,” rather than by private-sector leaders motivated by “private profits.”
NC claims to have advised both Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement “on the issues and mechanics that will be involved” in implementing the Green New Deal’s “sweeping economic mobilization to build a clean and just economy.” (Indeed, during a single weekend in December 2018, a number of NC members joined likeminded members of both those organizations — plus staffers of Ocasio-Cortez — in drafting the text of this Green New Deal.)
Further Reading: “New Consensus” (LinkedIn.com); “People [of New Consensus]” (New Consensus.com); “The World Needs a New Worldview” (NewConsensus.com); “Green New Deal” (NewConsensus.com); “New Consensus Policy Group Will Help Deliver A New Day” (Our Time Press, 11-30-2018); “Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ to Transform the U.S. Economy Was Drafted over a Single Weekend by a Bunch of Millennial Staffers, Activists” (Daily Caller, 1-18-2019).