Bill to Bring More Climate Investments to Disadvantaged Communities Passes 1st Senate Hurdle

Bill to Bring More Climate Investments to Disadvantaged Communities Passes 1st Senate Hurdle

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegría, Public Advocates, 510-541-5428 (cell), ialegria@publicadvocates.org
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

SACRAMENTO – Today the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households needing them most. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities, while an additional 20 percent would go to projects that benefit low income households regardless of their location within California.

Advocates for clean air and underserved communities hailed the bill’s steady progress, noting that under AB 1550, climate investments in disadvantaged communities will match the percentage of the state’s population living in those communities, while making sure benefits also reach low-income Californians throughout the state.

Public Advocates Staff Attorney Chelsea Tu said, “With the passage of AB 1550 out of this committee, California has taken another step toward delivering on its promise to bring health and economic benefits to low-income and disadvantaged families and communities from the state’s cap-and-trade revenues.”

SCOPE Research Director Laura Muraida commented, “Today marks a significant step forward as we continue working to shape equitable climate policy that benefits the communities hardest hit by pollution, poverty and disinvestment.”

“Assemblymember Gomez’s bill will help California communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution, poverty and climate change,” said Fabiola Lao, Deputy Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air. “It will help bring clean energy and clean transportation services, such as electric buses, to these communities.”

“We applaud Assemblymember Gomez’s leadership and commitment to ameliorating the disproportionate amount of pollution and poverty that communities across the state have faced for decades,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “AB 1550 expands opportunities for sorely needed investment and reaffirms the strength and value of CalEnviroScreen, a tool created by environmental justice communities, as the state’s tool for addressing historic disparities.”

“California’s climate policies have already brought real benefits to neighborhoods hit by the worst effects of pollution and poverty, but we can and must do better,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “AB 1550 takes us a major step in the right direction.”

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Court Decision Ensures All Voices Equal Online

The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) and organizational members of the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) applaud the U.S. District Court of Appeals decision today to uphold the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Net Neutrality rules.

Last year the FCC adopted open Internet protections to prevent Internet Service Providers from slowing down or blocking lawful content online. They extended Net Neutrality protections to wireless users as more people, particularly those in communities of color, depend on their smartphone for Internet access.

Shortly after the FCC’s rules were passed last year, broadband providers sued the FCC in an attempt to strike down these rules. The court’s decision today affirms that the Net Neutrality rules are legal and that the FCC has the authority to implement and enforce these rules.

“The Center for Media Justice and our affiliate members of the Media Action Grassroots Network are thrilled that the FCC’s Net Neutrality order has been upheld in the courts.This decision affirms what we knew all along, the FCC had the authority to ensure that all voices are equal online. The courts sided with the will of millions of people and hundreds of social justice organizations that fought for an open Internet. It’s time for companies like Comcast and AT&T to stop trying to undermine the voices of marginalized communities through practices that subject people to a second-class Internet experience,” said Steven Renderos, Senior Campaign Manager at CMJ.

“For communities of color, LGBTQ communities, Muslims, America’s poor, and all those whose voices have been pushed to the margins – this court ruling is an absolute victory,” said Malkia Cyril, Executive Director at CMJ.

During the lead up to the FCC’s Net Neutrality order, members of MAG-Net played a pivotal role in ensuring the voices of the Internet’s most vulnerable users, people of color, were visible in demanding an open Internet. MAG-Net led a delegation of Black organizers that met with the FCC and members of Congress to share how an open Internet has been critical for the movement for Black lives.

“Today’s court decision to protect Net Neutrality protects the voices of organizers and all those who care about justice,” said Chinyere Tutashinda, National Organizer at CMJ.  “A free and open Internet is crucial in our fight against the steady rise of hate speech in this country.”

The following are quotes attributable to organizational members of the Media Action Grassroots Network:

“The digital divide, discrimination, and free speech violations are real harms that communities of color experience every day.  For communities of color, the Internet is a critical tool for creating and accessing content that is important to those communities, narrowing the digital divide, and organizing and advocating for issues important to communities of color.  The Greenlining Institute commends the D.C. District Court of Appeals for upholding the FCC’s robust net neutrality rules.”

Orson Aguilar, President, The Greenlining Institute

“Today, the court fully affirmed the Federal Communications Commission’s power to regulate the internet for consumers, not for Comcast.  For many years, millions of people have battled for our right to speak and be heard without interference from the huge corporations that profit from our need to communicate. Now, the court has proven that the FCC can and must protect our voices and to protect the internet as a human right. Here in Philadelphia, the poorest big city in America, with thousands of people offline because of poverty – we are celebrating this massive victory for net neutrality – a principle that plays a big part in the FCC expanding affordable Internet nationwide through the Lifeline program.  And we will continue to fight to protect and expand our ability to build movements for justice on the essential platform of the Internet – here in Philly, in this country, and around the world.”

Hannah Sassaman, Policy Director, Media Mobilizing Project

“Today’s verdict is not surprising as a matter of law. It is how the case should have been decided. But justice doesn’t always come in the face of powerful industries. It took a massive public uprising to arrive at this day. This victory belongs to the people of the United States who would not take no for an answer.”

Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance

“The Court of Appeals has protected a fundamental right: the right to communicate freely using a technology that was created by and has been improved by its users and not its sellers. But it also teaches us a lesson. Organized action by people who won’t give up can win major victories in the struggles for our rights. We can win and this is a model for how to do it.”

Alfredo Lopez, Leadership Committee, May First/People Link

“This is a key decision to ensuring an open, accessible public communications system with

adequate safeguards to provide equal and nondiscriminatory access to the Internet for all consumers. With more and more of our vital communications traveling through broadband networks we must protect consumers and without such safeguards, the digital divide will continue to grow.”

Ana Montes, Organizing Director, The Utility Reform Network

“Local community voices, especially remote rural and low-income folks, require an open Internet to protect from potential abuses of absentee owners and profiteers who seek to control the marketplace of ideas. Today’s ruling affirms the principle of open networks.  As we celebrate this solid victory, we also know that eternal vigilance will be required to maintain freedom of information and expression for all.”

Sean McLaughlin, Executive Director, Access Humboldt

Assembly Passes Bill to Bring More Cap-and-Trade Funds to Disadvantaged Communities

Assembly Passes Bill to Bring More Cap-and-Trade Funds to Disadvantaged Communities

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegría, Public Advocates, 510-541-5428 (cell), ialegria@publicadvocates.org
Shrayas Jatkar, Coalition for Clean Air Policy Associate, 916-527-8050; 916-248-9952 (cell)
Parin Shah, Asian Pacific Environmental Network 415-286-7850 (cell), parin@apen4ej.org

SACRAMENTO – This afternoon with bipartisan support the California Assembly passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households that need them most. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities, with an additional 20 percent designated for projects that benefit low income households regardless of where they are located within California.

Environmental justice advocates hailed the vote, noting that it will ensure that climate investments in disadvantaged communities match the percentage of the state’s population living in those communities, while assuring that benefits also reach low-income Californians throughout the state.

“We applaud Assemblymember Gomez’s leadership and commitment to ameliorating the disproportionate amount of pollution and poverty that communities across the state have faced for decades,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “The passage of AB 1550 expands opportunities for sorely needed investment and reaffirms the strength and value of CalEnviroScreen, a tool created by environmental justice communities, as the state’s tool for addressing historic disparities.”

“Despite the oil lobby’s propaganda campaign, California climate policies are bringing real benefits to communities hit hardest by pollution and poverty,” commented Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “AB 1550 makes a good program even better.”

“Assemblymember Gomez’ bill will fight pollution and deliver essential energy and transportation services to California communities that have suffered disproportionate impacts from pollution and poverty for too long,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

Public Advocates Staff Attorney Chelsea Tu commented, “Today’s victory brings California one step closer to providing much-deserved cost savings and health benefits to low income people across the state, while continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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W. Kamau Bell, Jose Antonio Vargas Headline Greenlining Institute Economic Summit in Oakland Thursday

W. Kamau Bell, Jose Antonio Vargas Headline Greenlining Institute Economic Summit in Oakland Thursday
“Reinventing California – Solutions from the New Majority” Features Ideas, Art, Activism

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – A stellar lineup of community activists, artists and leaders will headline The Greenlining Institute’s 23rd annualEconomic Summit, which returns to Oakland May 26 as Greenlining prepares to move into its new downtown Oakland office this fall. With the theme Reinventing California – Solutions from the New Majority, 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. With a capacity crowd expected, media wishing to attend are asked to RSVP right away to brucem@greenlining.org.

Highlights include:

Immigration activist and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and Emerging US, will moderate the opening plenary examining the role of diverse leadership in tackling society’s biggest problems.

The awards luncheon will highlight an array of innovative leaders, including Black Lives Matter; Youth Alive! Violence prevention educator Wazi Davis; Causa Justa :: Just Cause; Mari Rose Taruc, Former State Organizing Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network; and Pastor Michael McBride, Director of Urban Strategies and Live Free Campaign at the PICO National Network.

Other speakers throughout the day include Minority Business Development Agency National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, and many others.

The day will conclude with a dinner program highlighting arts and activism, featuring performances by local artists Rachel Lastimosa ofDirty Boots, RyanNicole, Xiomara and TD Camp, and a panel moderated by socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose new CNN show, United Shades of America, has sparked praise and controversy coast to coast. Joining Bell will be cartoonist and writer Lalo Alcaraz; Melanie Cervantes, co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde; Anyka Barber, founder of Betti Ono; and children’s book author and founding publisher of Blood Orange Press, Janine Macbeth,

For detailed program information, click here.

WHAT: The Greenlining Institute’s 23rd Annual Economic Summit, Reinventing California – Solutions from the New Majority

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

WHEN: Thursday, May 26, 2016, Registration opens 8 a.m., program starts at 8:30 and runs to 8 p.m.

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

greenlining.org

Economic Summit Early Bird Registration Closes TODAY!

Hello Friends and Allies

Early bird registration for our annual Economic Summit closes today. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet movers and shakers like Define American Founder Jose Antonio Vargas, #BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder Alicia Garza, and soon-to-be CNN Host W. Kamau Bell. Register here.

Fighting The Housing Crisis By Fighting Climate Change

Can affordable housing help fix the climate crisis? You bet.

Urging Oakland City Council To Promote Recial Equity in Housing Policy

We don’t think their plan to redefine affordable housing is a good idea.

Climate Justice Leaders Available to React to May Budget Revise

MEDIA ADVISORY
May 13, 2016

Climate Justice Leaders Available to React to May Budget Revise

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegría, Public Advocates, 510-541-5428 (cell), ialegria@publicadvocates.org
Shrayas Jatkar, Coalition for Clean Air Policy Associate, 916-527-8050; 916-248-9952 (cell)
Parin Shah, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 415-286-7850 (cell), parin@apen4ej.org

SACRAMENTO – Climate justice advocates from the SB 535 Coalition will be available by phone today to respond to Gov. Brown’s May budget revision, due to be released at 10 a.m. Advocates will be looking closely at any updates to investment levels for climate programs supported by funds raised from carbon auctions under California’s climate change laws, AB 32 (Nuñez/Pavley) and SB 535 (De León). These climate investments promote clean energy and energy-saving projects, including home weatherization, clean transportation, affordable housing near transit, urban forestry, solar power for low-income families and much more. Previous budget proposals have not fully appropriated carbon auction funds, limiting the flow of these investments to communities that have suffered disproportionately from pollution and redlining.

The coalition sponsored SB 535, which requires that at least one quarter of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund investments benefit disadvantaged communities, and currently backs AB 1550, which would expand GGRF investments in underserved communities and households.

Each of the organizations will have experts available at the contact information above to give informed perspectives on how the revised budget will impact the fight for climate justice.

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New Report Illuminates Health Struggles of Undocumented Boys & Men of Color

New Report Illuminates Health Struggles of Undocumented Boys & Men of Color

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

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – Undocumented boys and men of color live in fear every day, with discrimination and worries about deportation often dominating their interactions with the health care system, a new report from The Greenlining Institute finds. The report, Ensuring Health and Justice for Undocumented Boys and Men of Color, based on in-depth interviews with undocumented youth and young adults across California, goes beyond statistics to explore and illuminate the lives of young men who often serve as pillars of their families while enduring daily struggles.

Journalists can preview the report at the link above.

Greenlining’s report focuses on the real-world experiences of young men like “Michael” (for their protection, all interviewees are given pseudonyms), a 20-year-old struggling to balance the responsibilities of work, school and caring for his little brother — and who has literally had to choose between medicine for his sick brother and paying the rent. “I don’t expect you to know what it feels like to lie to your brother that he’s going to go to the doctor when I know that I can’t afford to take him,” Michael said. “I do expect you to help us because we’re still humans.”

“Hundreds of thousands of undocumented boys and men of color live in California, but policymakers know way too little about their lives and circumstances,” said lead author Erika Cabato, Greenlining Institute Health Equity Fellow. “These are our neighbors, classmates and coworkers, and we need to understand their struggles and make sure they have the opportunities and resources to succeed.”

In addition to documenting the human stories of these young immigrants, the report makes concrete recommendations to officials, including expansion of access to Medi-Cal and Covered California, shifting resources away from incarceration and deportation and towards education, and adoption of a racial equity framework that recognizes and helps combat the harmful effects of racism and discrimination on communities of color.

Interview availability: Two of the undocumented Californians quoted in the report are available for media interviews, so long as their anonymity is maintained: Michael, quoted above, from the Central Valley, and Grace, a University of California student in the Bay Area (originally from L.A. County) enduring a separation from her father, who had to return to Mexico to obtain treatment for a life-threatening heart condition. To arrange an interview, contact Bruce Mirken at 510-926-4022 (office), 415-846-7758 (cell) orbrucem@greenlining.org.

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

greenlining.org

Summit Registration Closes Tomorrow

Friends and Allies,

Registration for our Economic Summit closes tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18th. Don’t miss out on meeting some of our amazing speakers like Jose Antonio Vargas and W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN’s groundbreaking show United Shades of AmericaI hope you will be able to join us this year. To register, click here.

I also wrote an opinion column on the 2016 presidential campaign. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. Read it here.

New Report: Undocumented Boys & Men of Color

Illuminating the lives of young men who serve as pillars of their families while enduring hardships.

Not-for-Profit Hospitals Must Join the Fight Against Climate Change

What do hospitals have to do with climate change? Let us explain.

Assembly Natural Resources Committee Passes Bill to Expand Benefits of Clean Energy Economy

AB 1550 Would Send More Dollars Paid by Polluters to Disadvantaged Neighborhoods and Low-Income Households

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegria, Public Advocates, 415-431-7434
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air, 916-214-0065
Sydney Fang, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 510-703-1311

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Natural Resources Committee today passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households that need them most. The bipartisan vote was 7-0 with two members not voting. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities and would require that an additional percentage go to fund projects that benefit low income households, regardless of where they are located within California.

Advocates for disadvantaged communities and climate protection hailed the vote:

“Assemblymember Gomez’s bill would assure that the Californians most at risk from catastrophic climate change receive real help from programs that fight pollution and deliver needed services,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air, who spoke on behalf of the legislation at today’s hearing.

“Millions of Californians have benefitted from climate investments bringing clean energy and consumer savings to low-income and highly polluted neighborhoods,” said Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez, who also testified in favor of the bill.  “AB 1550 takes the next step and makes sure a fair share of those benefits go to low-income California families wherever they live.”

Chelsea Tu, Staff Attorney with Public Advocates, said, “By directing investments to lower-income families, whether or not they live in disadvantaged communities, this important bill goes a long way toward ensuring that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund brings economic and health benefits to communities throughout California. We applaud its advance through the legislature.”

“We have an opportunity here to improve the quality of life of all Californians by investing in the neighborhoods who are enduring the most severe poverty, in addition to the most polluted neighborhoods in the state,” said Parin Shah, Senior Strategist at Asian Pacific Environmental Network.”These are the communities, such as the families that we organize near the Richmond Chevron Refinery, that will most benefit from improvements in renewable energy, affordable housing and public transit,”

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Jose Antonio Vargas, W. Kamau Bell Headline Greenlining Institute Economic Summit in Oakland 5/26

Jose Antonio Vargas, W. Kamau Bell Headline Greenlining Institute Economic Summit in Oakland 5/26
Awardees Include Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Alicia Garza

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

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – A stellar lineup of community activists, artists and leaders will headline The Greenlining Institute’s 23rd annual Economic Summit, which returns to Oakland this year as Greenlining prepares to move into its new downtown Oakland office this fall. With the theme Reinventing California – Solutions from the New Majority, 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. Highlights include:

Immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and Emerging US, will moderate the opening plenary examining the role of diverse leadership in society’s biggest problems.

The awards luncheon will highlight an array of innovative leaders, including Black Lives Matter (with co-founder Alicia Garza accepting); Youth Alive! Violence prevention educator Wazi Davis; Causa Justa :: Just Cause; Mari Rose Taruc, former State Organizing Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network; and Pastor Michael McBride, Director of Urban Strategies and Live Free Campaign at the PICO National Network

The day will conclude with a dinner program highlighting arts and activism, moderated by socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose new CNN show, United Shades of America, launches in April. Joining bell will be cartoonist and writer Lalo Alcaraz and other exciting guests.

For detailed program and registration information, click here. Media wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to brucem@greenlining.org.

WHAT: The Greenlining Institute’s 23rd Annual Economic Summit, Reinventing California – Solutions from the New Majority

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

WHEN: Thursday, May 26, 2016, Registration opens 8 a.m., program starts at 8:30 and runs to 8 p.m.

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