Tag Archives: environmental justice

RESIST: People’s Climate March set for April 29

Climate activists have announced a major People’s Climate March on April 29 in Washington, D.C., and solidarity marches the country.

The effort is being organized by the coalition formed out of 2014’s People’s Climate March, which brought more than 400,000 people to the streets of New York City and many more around the world.

The April 29 march comes in response to outrage against President Donald Trump’s anti-climate agenda, including his executive orders advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.

“The climate crisis is an outcome of the long term disinvestment of low-income communities, and low-income communities of color,” said Rae Breaux, lead climate justice organizer for People’s Action Institute.

“President Trump’s First 100 Days plan is a clear sign that he will fast-track profits for corporations before he invests in the needs of the American people. Now is the time to come together and build an economy where investments are made to benefit workers, communities of color and low-income folks – an economy that is structured to reflect the fact that black, brown and indigenous lives matter,” she continued.

The People’s Climate Movement grew out of the largest climate march in U.S. history in New York in September 2014, creating a coalition of green and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups working to advance a climate agenda rooted in economic and racial justice.

Here’s what others are saying about climate action and standing up to Trump:

Jeremiah Lowery, environmental justice organizer, Washington, D.C.: “As a community member of the frontline, we must not be forgotten. The next 100 days are critical. Trump’s policies will have devastating impact on communities directly impacted by climate change. Supporting local organizing efforts will be important in any effort to stop Trump’s attack on our environment, health, and ultimately collective well-being”

Denise Abdul-Rahman, NAACP Indiana executive board member: “The NAACP mantra is about advocating for civil rights. Our grassroots based organization has injected civil disobedience to oppose the current attorney general appointee, we are asserting our voices and calling for a more just and inclusive policies and appointees. We are strategizing at local, state and federal level to curtail the oppressive policies espoused by the Koch Brothers and Alec. These are policies that disproportionately impact our communities, such as criminal justice, voting rights, jobs, women’s rights, health care, climate and education. We are with the People, and the People’s Climate Movement.”

The Rev. Leo Woodbury, Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina: “President Trump’s issuing of executive orders rolling back President Obama’s climate agenda in his first days of office and his efforts at dismantling the EPA is a serious threat to our communities. In South Carolina and across the country, communities of color and low-income people are on the front-lines of the climate crisis and we need to fight back. This year we are rebuilding our church for the second time in two years due to flooding from storms that were stronger due to climate change. In our communities, and others across the country, people are dealing with wells and drinking water contaminated with human waste, pesticides and toxic chemicals due to overflow from storms that are stronger than ever before as a result of global warming.  We need to come together under the People’s Climate Movement banner in Washington, D.C. on April 29 to say we are fighting for our planet and our communities.”

Angela Adrar, executive director, Climate Justice Alliance: “For the next 100 days and as long as it will take, the Climate Justice Alliance is standing side by side across the U.S. in unity with the people — in defiance of those who want to divide us. Women of color will not be sacrificed, our communities will not be sacrificed — now is the time to fight for climate justice as it is key to our liberation and justice for all. Defenders of water, land, air, food, our bodies, and homes will unite across struggles to grow the resistance. Inauguration was just the beginning of a social movement uprising that is making Her-story.”

Aura Vasquez, director of climate justice, Center for Popular Democracy: “Around the country and the world, we agreed that climate change is real and affects those most vulnerable. We cannot afford to continue polluting our air and water. Our families deserve a healthy environment to live in. CPD is committed to continue pushing for climate justice with some of the strongest grassroots organizations in the country. We can’t back down now. We need climate solutions that protect the most vulnerable from climate change-related damage while finding viable solutions to our current climate crisis.”

Michelle Suarez, Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment (FIRE):  “As the climate crisis worsens, it’s clear that women, children, indigenous nations, low-income and communities of color must lead the way. Marginalized communities can no longer be ignored, instead, real solutions must come from more intentional relationships with one another, an intersectional approach as we empower, educate, and mobilize towards ensuring more resilient communities, justice and equity for all.”

Chloe Jackson,Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment: “Communities across the country have been working for environmental and social justice for centuries. Now it’s time for our struggles to unite and work together across borders to fight racism, sexism, xenophobia, and environmental destruction. We have a lot of work to do, and we are stronger together. Our vision for a better future can be achieved if we join hands in this struggle and support each other.”

Mark Magaña, president and CEO, GreenLatinos: “Latino communities and GreenLatinos members across this country will stand together with the People’s Climate Movement and lift our voices for justice; the right to clean air and clean water; the right to a healthy, clean, and protected environment; the right to live. Latinos have a culture that is grounded in environmentalism and conservationism. It is a way of being for our community, and it is in our DNA. GreenLatinos members from across the country will join the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC on April 29th to bring that collective culture and wisdom to bare on the most anti-environment administration and Congress in generations.”

Jamie Henn, 350.org strategic communications director: “As Trump’s corrupt cabinet presents a dark and divisive vision for our world, we envision a world powered by renewable energy with an economy that works for all of us. For too long, a small few have exploited people and planet all in the name of profit. Now, we all must come together to fight for the world we know is possible.”

Dr. Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists: “Climate change is contributing to an increase in extreme weather disasters. We’re seeing more rains that come as deluges, stronger North Atlantic hurricanes, worsening droughts and heat waves, and a longer, more severe Western wildfire season. When disaster strikes, we see the same old pattern: low-income and minority communities are hit harder than others and have a much harder time recovering.”

Patrick Carolan, executive director, Franciscan Action Network: “Pope Francis, in his encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, calls on “every person living on this planet” (LS#3) to “move forward in a bold cultural revolution.” (LS#114) It is our moral responsibility to enter in to dialogue with political and faith leaders and ardently work to care for our common home.”

Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force: “We represent a million moms—and dads—from across the country. Republican and Democrat, we want to see action to cut the carbon and methane emissions that are changing our climate to so dangerously, and so rapidly. Climate change threatens the health of our children. We are ready to march, to show elected officials that we expect them to respect science, respect medicine, and do the right thing.”

Karina Castillo, Miami-based meteorologist and Moms Clean Air Force Organizer: “In Florida, Latinas understand that climate change is a major threat to our health, our livelihood, and our future. Our families and communities are on the line. We are going to make that loud and clear.”

Kieran Suckling, executive director, Center for Biological Diversity: “From coast-to-coast, we’ve seen a massive movement building to resist Trump and any policies that would hurt wildlife, marginalize entire classes of people and drive the climate deeper into crisis,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, which just completed its 16-city Earth2Trump tour across the country. “People from all walks of life, are speaking with a single voice of resistance against Trump and his corrupt agenda to gut climate progress and dig fossil fuels from the ground. It’s a powerful movement that will show its mighty political force at the People’s Climate March in 2017 and over the next four years.”

Margrete Strand Rangnes, Public Citizen: “Despite the Trump Administration’s insistence to bury its head in the sand and deny the overwhelming scientific evidence, climate change is real and is impacting people’s lives. Moving away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and renewable energy will not only lower energy prices for consumers, but also save lives and improve the health of people and communities”

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune: “On April 29th, it’s going to be much clearer to Donald Trump that he won’t drag America or the world backwards on climate without the fight of his life. Our planet is in crisis, and voices from around the nation must and will be heard.”

Eva Lin (18 years old), Alliance for Climate Education fellow: “As a young person, a woman, and an immigrant, Trump’s presidency threatens my future career as an environmental activist, my bodily autonomy, and my right to simply exist in this country.”

Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters: “The Trump administration’s agenda for the environment is a polluter’s dream. It’s one of the most dangerous we’ve seen yet. We must fight back — but it’s going to take all of us.”

Ernesto Vargas, League of Conservation Voters: “We must grow the resistance to this administration’s disregard for our climate and our communities. We must organize to guarantee that the political power of communities of color is seen, heard and felt at the White House.”

Alexa Aispuro,  League of Conservation Voters: “As a young woman, I believe now more than ever our communities are ready to stand up for Mother Earth. I want to ensure that future generations have access to clean air and water, hope for curbing climate change. That’s why I look forward to joining the April 29th march and encouraging others in my state and around the country to do the same.”

Mike Tidwell, Chesapeake Climate Action Network: “This morning, Trump made clear that he is putting pipelines over people. We want to make clear: We will never stop fighting. In Trump’s first 100 days of office, we will continue mobilizing a historic movement to protect our water, our climate, and our communities.”

EPA releases web-based environmental justice mapping tool

The EPA this month released EJSCREEN, a web-based environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides information communities need to assess environmental and health problems and disparities.

EJSCREEN provides high resolution maps showing nationally-based demographic and environmental information that helps the user understand potential environmental justice issues in a particular area.

EJSCREEN only includes data available on a national scale but, according to the group Earthjustice, is an important first step in identifying and assisting communities overburdened with pollution.

People can access the tool through EPA’s website, www2.epa.gov/EJSCREEN.

Earthjustice, in a statement, said urged the EPA to strengthen the tools available to provide information and assess the health impacts and disparities of pollution and environmental problems at the community level.

EPA first committed to create a national environmental justice screening tool as part of its Plan EJ 2014, the environmental justice strategic plan created by former administrator Lisa Jackson. 

Earlier this year, together with over 40 community groups from around the United States, Earthjustice submitted a letter to the administrator emphasizing the importance of releasing EJSCREEN for public input and use as soon as possible.

Earthjustice legislative counsel Stephanie Maddin said, “We are delighted to see that EPA has released the first-ever national screening tool for environmental justice. We know that too many communities in the United States, particularly communities of color and low-income communities, face extra, harmful pollution from sources like oil refineries, and EJSCREEN will help shine important light on this unfairness.”