As Trump Leaves Paris Deal, California Proves Climate Change Policies Help Communities, Economy

“We Are The Resistance,” Greenlining Institute Says; Climate Change Disproportionately Hurts Communities of Color

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)
Alvaro Sanchez, Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director, 510-926-4018

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris agreement on climate change will damage the U.S. economy and global reputation for leadership, but puts a new spotlight on California’s role leading the fight against climate change, policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said today.

“Because California has led with strong policies to fight climate change and bring the benefits of the clean energy economy to disadvantaged communities, we won’t feel this drastically,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “Still, California can’t solve climate change alone, and this fool-hearted action will embolden polluters and put the world on a dangerous path.”

Sanchez noted that low-income communities of color feel the impacts of pollution and climate change most severely, and most urgently need action to protect the planet and their communities, as well as the prosperity the growing clean-energy sector has begun to generate. Greenlining has worked for years to ensure these benefits reach disadvantaged neighborhoods and has highlighted real-world stories of these benefits on its UpLift California website.

“While we have a healthy debate about the details, California continues to show leadership on fair, far-sighted climate policies through new legislation now moving forward,” Sanchez said.” Bills like SB 100, SB 49, SB 50 and SB 51 can build on our past success and help insulate California from misguided federal actions. Trump wants to lead us down the dead-end of the dirty energy economy, but we are The Resistance and ultimately, we will win.”

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

FCC Push to Kill Net Neutrality Continues Administration Assault on Communities of Color

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow the Federal Communications Commission will open a proceeding designed to kill net neutrality protections previously adopted by the Commission. Policy experts at The Greenlining Institute warned that the FCC under Trump-appointed Chairman Ajit Pai is handling the matter in a fundamentally dishonest way, and the result could be disastrous for Americans of color.

“Destroying net neutrality means the less wealthy and less powerful will be consigned to internet slow lanes, and while that’s bad for the vast majority of Americans, it really paints a target on the back of people of color,” said Greenlining Institute Telecommunications Senior Legal Counsel Paul Goodman. “It’s clear from how Chairman Pai has framed these proceedings that he’s not looking for honest, fair input – he’s cherry-picking data to validate a decision he’s already made.”

The Greenlining Institute has long advocated for net neutrality protections, first laying out the case in detail in its 2012 report, “Saving the Open Internet: The Importance of Net Neutrality.” Earlier this month, Greenlining President Orson Aguilar argued in a HuffPost columnthat dismantling net neutrality would cripple the ability of activists in communities of color to organize and noted, “By and large, people of color have considerably less wealth than white Americans, and the businesses they own are smaller. If net neutrality goes away, they’ll be hit first and hardest. So will activists in our communities, who depend on online organizing.”

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

California Climate Equity Coalition Statement on SB 775

Bill Would Create Bold, Stable Carbon Pricing Mechanism

Contact:
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air, 916-214-0065
Parin Shah, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 415-286-7850 (cell), parin@apen4ej.org

Laura Muraida, SCOPE, 323-789-7920, lmuraida@scopela.org

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

Chelsea Tu, Public Advocates, 510-717-9092 (cell) ctu@publicadvocates.org

 

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – The California Climate Equity Coalition today released the following statement regarding SB 775, the measure introduced by Sen. Bob Wieckowsk (D-Fremont) to overhaul and extend the state’s cap-and-trade program. The California Climate Equity Coalition is an alliance of over 150 organizations across the state that works to ensure successful implementation of climate investments to disadvantaged and low-income communities, as originally established under SB 535 (De León) and AB 1550 (Gomez):

 

SB 775 Would Create Bold, Stable Carbon Pricing Mechanism

The steering committee of the California Climate Equity Coalition (CCEC) is encouraged by the ambitious direction of SB 775 (Wieckowski) that will put a higher price on carbon, more effectively reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and create more market certainty. CCEC believes policies addressing climate change must prioritize the communities hit first and worst by pollution, poverty and climate change. We hope that SB 775 will create stability in revenues for investments that benefit underserved communities and households. We also look forward to working with the legislature to ensure that the framework for equitable climate investment contained within SB 535 (De León) and AB 1550 (Gomez) is clearly affirmed and prioritized in implementation of SB 775.

SB 775 sends a much-needed, strong carbon pricing signal that will drive down greenhouse gas emissions. The current price of carbon is too low to generate meaningful pollution reduction or significant revenues. As a result, we have seen decreased auction revenues severely limit the ability of existing climate investment programs to significantly address the needs of California’s most polluted and impoverished communities. By setting a higher price on carbon, we are confident that SB 775 will significantly increase the cost of greenhouse gas pollution and put California on the path to better achieve our ambitious carbon targets. Moreover, this carbon pricing signal will generate much needed revenue for critical investments that provide health, economic, and environmental benefits for underserved communities and households.

The elimination of free allowances, allowance banking, and offsets will prevent polluters from continuing to pollute as usual. We feel confident that these reforms will rapidly reduce carbon consumption and allow California to not only meet but exceed its emissions reduction target under SB 32. Now more than ever, California needs to continue leading the nation and the world in creating serious climate policies, and it has done so by closing long-standing loopholes in the current cap-and-trade system.

Thanks to SB 535 and AB 1550, California has also led the way in the fight against climate change by ensuring that putting a price on carbon brings targeted investments that further reduce greenhouse emissions while also benefitting neighborhoods most harmed by pollution and poverty. CCEC looks forward to working with the legislature to ensure that a post-2020 carbon pricing system also will result in equitable climate investments. Building on SB 535 and AB 1550, at least 35 percent of the funds generated through cap-and-trade should continue to be directed to those communities that breathe the dirtiest air and have the greatest economic needs.
Similarly, we support a means-tested dividend that focuses on low-income households most burdened by energy costs as the primary beneficiaries. Dividends to individuals should be balanced by continuing robust public investments that will help Californians transition to a clean energy economy, including clean transportation, affordable housing near transit, transit operations and passes, urban forestry, energy efficiency and solar.

We thank Senator Wieckowski and Senate President pro Tem de León for their leadership in bringing a bold and stable carbon pricing system to California. We believe SB 775 can enable California to continue on the strong path that our state has set to fight against climate change. Looking forward, CCEC is committed to working with the legislature to ensure that California continues to invest significant resources for communities that have been harmed first and worst by poverty and pollution.

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FRIDAY: Greenlining Economic Summit, “Racial Justice on the Frontlines,” in Oakland 4/14

FRIDAY: Greenlining Economic Summit, “Racial Justice on the Frontlines,” in Oakland 4/14
Black Lives Matter Founder Alicia Garza to Moderate Opening Plenary; Panels to Examine Future of Obamacare, Uber in Oakland

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – On April 14, The Greenlining Institute’s 24th annual Economic Summit will dive headlong into local and national controversies with the theme, “Racial Justice on the Frontlines.” With Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza moderating the opening session, community activists, political and business leaders will take on such challenging issues as climate justice, the future of health care after the implosion of “Trumpcare,” and what the impending arrival of Uber means for Oakland as it battles displacement and gentrification.

Each year this unique event brings together top business, government, and grassroots community leaders to connect, brainstorm, and strategize on important economic issues affecting communities of color. Last year’s Summit was sold out, and a large crowd is expected again this year.

Press wishing to attend should RSVP to brucem@greenlining.org

WHAT: The Greenlining Institute’s 24th Annual Economic Summit, Racial Justice on the Frontlines.

WHO: Confirmed speakers and awardees include: Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter; Jane Kim, member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Zachary Norris, executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Matt Haney, commissioner, San Francisco Board of Education; Cristina Jiménez, executive director & co-founder, United We Dream; Lateefah Simon, member, BART Board of Directors; Tara Houska, national campaigns director, Honor the Earth; Kim Carter, founder & executive director, Time for Change;Zahra Billoo, executive director, SF Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations; Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink; Shahid Buttar, Director of Grassroots Advocacy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and more.

WHERE: Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California.

WHEN: Friday, April 14, 2017. Registration opens 8 a.m., program starts at 8:30 and runs to 5:45 p.m.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

Greenlining Institute Asks Uber to Immediately Clarify Oakland Plans

Reports of Scaled-Down Development Raise Crucial Questions

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In response to new reports that Uber is dramatically scaling back previously-announced plans for a new headquarters in downtown Oakland, The Greenlining Institute is asking the company to quickly clarify its plans and its commitments to Oakland.

“For months, Oakland community leaders have been concerned about Uber’s impact in terms of gentrification and displacement, and have worried that this company does not respect Oakland’s values,” said Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar. “With today’s report, we’re even less clear about what Uber’s plans mean for our city. Adony Beniares, Uber’s head of global workplace operations, should meet with community leaders right away and bring the community into the company’s planning process.”

Aguilar noted that if Uber only plans to use a small portion of the space in the former Sears building, the space the company doesn’t use could provide great benefit if made available at low cost to community nonprofits and arts organizations.

“Whatever Uber does with this building will have a huge impact on Oakland. We call upon the company to meet with community representatives right away, and work with us to make the impact positive.”

 

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

New Report: Major CA Insurers Do Almost No Business with Minority-Owned Firms

People of Color Own Nearly Half of CA Businesses but Get Only 3% of Contracts

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In the most diverse state in America, the 10 largest insurers do shockingly little business with suppliers owned by people of color according to a new report to be released March 13 by The Greenlining Institute. Insurers buy huge amounts of goods and services in California – over $23 billion in 2014 alone – but the largest firms did barely over three percent of their contracting with businesses owned by people of color.

“Insurance is a huge economic force in California, one that all of us have to deal with,” said Greenlining Institute Diversity and Inclusion Director Danielle Beavers. “That these companies do just three percent of their contracting with minority-owned businesses – in a state where people of color own nearly half of all businesses – is just pathetic.”

For Supplier Diversity Report: California’s Insurance Companies Shirk Contracting with Minorities, Greenlining reviewed reports filed with the state Department of Insurance for 2014 by the 10 largest insurers, including household names such as State Farm and GEICO. Key findings include:

  • Under a law known as AB 53, insurers that collect over $100 million in premiums in California must report their spending with businesses owned by minorities, women, disabled veterans, and LGBTQ individuals. In 2014, 226 companies filed such reports.
  • These 226 companies spent a total of $23.44 billion in California, of which minority businesses received $729 million in contracts, just 3.11 percent.
  • The 10 largest insurers showed huge variations in their contracting with minority business enterprises, ranging from just $302,326 at Prudential to MetLife’s $38.58 million. State Farm, which bought over $618 million in goods and services in California, purchased less than two percent of that total from minority business enterprises.
  • Spending with different racial/ethnic groups also showed massive variations. Of the $105 million the top 10 insurers spent with minority business enterprises, just half of one percent ($604,020) went to African American businesses, while nearly 60 percent ($62.55 million) was spent with Asian American firms.
  • Current data collection has large gaps. For example, half of the top 10 insurers do not track their total procurement within California, leaving it impossible to know what share of contracts went to minority business enterprises.
  • Because AB 53 sunsets in 2019, the legislature must act to make this data collection permanent, and to close gaps in the data being collected.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

 

Greenlining Joins 16 Groups to Tell Data Firms, “Don’t Help Persecute Muslims, Immigrants”

Joint Letter Urges Companies Not to Provide Data that Could Be Used to Violate Rights

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Paul Goodman, Greenlining Institute Senior Legal Counsel, 831-325-8600 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Today The Greenlining Institute joined with a total of 16 public interest groups to send a letter (available in both English and Spanish) to nearly 50 “Big Data” companies asking those companies to pledge to “not allow our data, or services, to be purchased or otherwise used in ways that could lead to violations of the human rights of Muslims or immigrants in the United States.” The public interest groups acted in response to the current administration’s refusal to rule out the possibility of a “Muslim registry” and its moves to accelerate deportations of potentially millions of undocumented immigrants.

“Many tech companies collect vast amounts of personal data on all of us and make a profit by reselling that information,” said Greenlining Institute Telecommunications Legal Fellow Vinhcent Le. “Today we’re asking these companies and their data brokers to make absolutely clear that they will not let anyone not use this mass of data to persecute people because of their religion, nationality or immigration status.”

Greenlining noted that a registry profiling people based on religion would violate the right to nondiscrimination and could lead to further human rights abuses. In addition, since about three-quarters of U.S. Muslims identify as people of color, any “Muslim ban” would disproportionately affect communities of color. Registries of Muslims or unauthorized immigrants would likely be used to facilitate arbitrary detention and deportation, splitting up families and again violating fundamental human rights.

“Silicon Valley companies often talk about human rights and how technology can empower people and promote freedom,” said Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar. “Today we’re asking the tech and Big Data worlds to make sure their actions match their words.”

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

Save the Date: Greenlining Economic Summit Tackles “Racial Justice on the Frontlines” in Oakland Apr. 14

Black Lives Matter Founder Alicia Garza to Moderate Opening Plenary

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – On April 14, The Greenlining Institute’s 24th annual Economic Summit will boldly tackle local and national controversies as it focuses on the theme, “Racial Justice on the Frontlines.” With Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza moderating the opening discussion, community activists, political and business leaders will take on such challenging issues as gentrification, tech diversity (or the lack thereof), possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the impending arrival of Uber in downtown Oakland.

Each year this unique event brings together top business, government, and grassroots community leaders to connect, brainstorm, and strategize on important economic issues affecting communities of color. Last year’s Summit was sold out, and a large crowd is expected again this year.

WHAT: The Greenlining Institute’s 24rd Annual Economic Summit, Racial Justice on the Frontlines

WHO: Confirmed speakers and awardees include: Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter; Zachary Norris, executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Matt Haney, president, San Francisco Board of Education; Cristina Jiménez, executive director & co-founder, United We Dream; Tara Houska, national campaigns director, Honor the Earth; Kim Carter, founder & executive director, Time for Change; Zahra Billoo, executive director of the SF Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations; Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink

WHERE: Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California

WHEN: Friday, April 14, 2017, Registration opens 8 a.m., program starts at 8:30 and runs to 5:45 p.m.

Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to brucem@greenlining.org.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

greenlining.org
@Greenlining

Greenlining Institute Calls for End to ICE Raids

Recent Campaign Spreads Fear for No Purpose, Advocates Say

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – After rumors – apparently false – circulated yesterday about a new wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Greenlining Institute called for an immediate end to the current crackdown on immigrants. Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar made the following statement:

“Because of these pointless and cruel raids, whole communities are on edge for no good reason. Officials say they’re cracking down on supposed criminals, but we know that many have been swept up who have no criminal records, along with at least one Dreamer who should have been immune from detention and removal under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“What America needs is sensible, comprehensive immigration reform that enables full participation in American society by 12 million immigrants who are Americans in every way except for what papers they possess. These immigrants are part of our neighborhoods and workplaces. They pay taxes. They help build our communities. Instead of wasting tax dollars to hunt down people whose only crime is seeking a better life or to build our own version of the Berlin Wall, we should use our nation’s resources to strengthen our communities, improve our schools and make sure that all within our borders have access to health care.”

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute
greenlining.org
@Greenlining

Greenlining Institute Hosts Grand Opening of New Nonprofit Center in Downtown Oakland Friday, Feb. 10

Mayor Schaaf will Help Launch Greenlining 360 Center, a Center for Collaboration and Revitalization

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – On February 10 The Greenlining Institute will host a grand opening event at its newly renovated building in downtown Oakland.  Formerly a dilapidated bank office, Greenlining set out to reclaim and revitalize the structure as a flourishing, energy-efficient nonprofit center built with local, minority-owned businesses. In addition to providing space to several other nonprofits at affordable, below-market rents, Greenlining designed the building to include community spaces for meetings and to showcase the work of diverse local artists.

At a lunch program, Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar will lay out the organization’s vision for the center, joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and numerous others who made the project possible. After that, a gallery walk will allow guests to see key portions of the building and view works by local artists. The day will conclude with a Happy Hour featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

As space is limited, media wishing to attend are asked to please RSVP as soon as possible to brucem@greenlining.org.

WHAT: Greenlining 360 Center grand opening

WHO: Confirmed speakers include:

  • Orson Aguilar, President, The Greenlining Institute
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland
  • Lynette McElhaney, Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 3
  • Nancy Skinner, California State Senate, District 9
  • Joshua Simon, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
  • Kat Taylor, Co-Founder & Co-CEO Beneficial State Bank
  • Tim Silva, Vice President, Community Development Manager, Wells Fargo

WHERE: The Greenlining 360 Center, 360 14th St., Oakland

WHEN: Friday, February 10, 2017. Lunch program and speakers, noon–1:30 p.m.; gallery walk, 1:30-5:00 p.m.; happy hour 5:30-7:30 p.m.

NOTE: Local artists whose work will be showcased include Alan JohnsonAlfred TwuAmana JohnsonCece Carpio, Favianna RodriguezJoyce Gordon GalleryMelanie Cervantes, Pablo Soto CampoamorPancho Peskador, and Robert Liu Trujillo. Media wishing to attend are asked to please RSVP as soon as possible to brucem@greenlining.org.