By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Shortly after the networks called the 2020 presidential race for Joe Biden, a list of four priorities appeared on the president-elect’s transition website.
Until that point, the Biden campaign’s Build Back Better platform was anchored by a placeholder message, one that urged patience from the American people and noted that votes were still being counted.
On November 8, a day after the victory announcement, the four priorities appeared, simple and direct, a distillation of the Biden team’s main concerns as it prepares to take the reins of American government.
- Economic Recovery
- Racial Equity
- Climate Change
Certain observers noticed a common thread — an undercurrent, if you will — that knitted these priorities together: water. Water, which washes hands during the pandemic. Water, which is needed for factories to produce goods, farms to grow crops, and cities to reboot. Water, which has sometimes been denied to communities of color or delivered in polluted form. And water, which is how a warming planet will wreak much of its havoc.
“Water is integral to all of those things,” said Heather Cooley, director of research for the Pacific Institute, a California-based environmental and public policy organization.