What is a Green Amendment?
Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people. regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or income, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
Delaware's Green Amendment
April 28, 2022 State Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton and DE State Senator Stephanie Hansen proposed adding the Delaware Green Amendment -- to the state constitution. The proposal will amend the Delaware State Constitution’s Bill of Rights in order to recognize the rights of present and future generations “to a clean and healthy environment, including water, air, soil, flora, fauna, ecosystems and climate, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, scenic and healthful qualities of the environment”.
On June 15 and 16, 2022 the Amendment was given its first hearing before the House Administration Committee. Residents from around Delaware, as well as leaders from Sussex Health and Environmental Network (SHEN), the MidAtlantic Justice Coalition, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), Opportunity Knocks Delaware, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Green Amendments For The Generations all showed up to provide compelling testimony and expert analysis. You can view the hearings here: June 15 & June 16. A number of false arguments were raised against the proposed amendment which will be addressed by experts and supporters in the coming weeks and months. Ultimately the topic was tabled by the committee for future consideration, date to be determined.
The Amendment proposal has been given bill number HB220. The Amendment currently has 17 legislative cosponsors.
If passed through the state legislature by a 2/3 majority vote of each legislative house in two consecutive General Assemblies, the constitution would be amended to add enforceable environmental rightS protections for all Delawareans.
How It All Began
The Delaware Green Amendment was first put forth for consideration on Earth Day 2021, by Delaware State Representatives Madinah A. Wilson-Anton. The official announcement of the Green Amendment proposal was made at a Youth Earth Day Rally held at the Charter School of Wilmington alongside students who are enthusiastically supporting the proposal. A recording of the event is available here. Since that time, grassroots support for the DE Green Amendment has been growing. In 2022, Senator Stephanie Hansen joined as lead Green Amendment sponsor in the State Senate.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Sussex Health and Environmental Network (SHEN), the MidAtlantic Justice Coalition, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), Opportunity Knocks Delaware and Green Amendments For The Generations are working in close partnership to advance a Delaware Green Amendment Movement.
Organizations Signed On Supporting Delaware Having a Green Amendment
- Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
- Sussex Health and Environmental Network
- Green Amendments For the Generations
- Delaware Riverkeeper Network
- MidAtlantic Justice Coalition
- Plastic Free Delaware, Inc.
- Zero Waste First State
- Extinction Rebellion Delaware
- Delaware Working Families Party
- Green New Deal Network
New Webinar Available: Socially Responsible Agriculture Project’s virtual summit on Agriculture, Engagement & Solutions featured Maya van Rossum for a session on the Green Amendment where she discussed why the rights to clean air and water matter.