Sustainability practices work to meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of tomorrow.
Read that again.
If the United States were to apply sustainability practices to U.S. politics, it would allow for alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and in doing so, steer the country’s political landscape toward its original aspirations of “liberty and justice for all.”
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (and relative sustainability principles) have a foundation of data that can guide legislative priorities and navigate complex challenges such as climate change, inequities, partnerships and so on. Each of the 17 goals care for a world-wide necessity that can be found on local, state, national, and global levels (i.e. universal needs).
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been adopted by 193 countries across the globe and are an effective framework to utilize not only because of the mindful practices encompassed within sustainability principles, but for the forward-thinking use of balance and respect to guide measurable successes in environmental, social, and economic priorities.
So why take the leap toward practicing sustainable politics? Here it is: We cannot be complacent knowing the economic and social outcomes of current U.S. systems (and resource allocations). Americans can be empowered to bridge this divided nation so that we can create healthy dynamics that allow individuality while growing together, and in turn moving forward as whole communities. No more keeping people down. No more putting people in a box. In sustainable practices, we restore voting power.
Sustainability principles in today’s U.S. politics transform barriers or issues like suppression, exclusion, complexity and division into attributes like:
- Voter participation
- Informed and engaged citizens
- Restoration of systems that perpetuate inequities
- Inclusivity through simplicity
- Respected individuality
Restorative actions in U.S. politics work to strengthen constitutional values by increasing inclusion and accessibility for every voter, aspiring voter, candidate and politicians alike. Political restorations on a national level include declaring Election Day a national holiday, retiring major political parties, reducing political finance corruption and retiring the Electoral College. These restorative actions can definitively reshape national voting and elections processes to emulate the intentions of this great country, and are crucial to fostering collaborative progress in priorities such as diversity equity inclusion initiatives, human rights, ecosystems, and systemic change for all things socially just.
Sustainable political practices can steer this young nation in a direction that instinctually protects living beings and reinstates honor in the American Dream. To build momentum in sustainable U.S. politics, consider the following citizen engagement opportunities: explore sustainability terms and principles, review the published 2021 U.S. SDG Report (SDSN), reach out to legislators about the SDGs and show up on Election Day.
Nicole Coler is a community manager from Duluth serving youth-based nonprofits.