THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION(!) – JUNE 25, 2021

Mika Hyer, mhyer@lcv.org, 940-783-2230

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“We stood up for our health because it is more important than wealth. If we hadn’t spoken up, the plant would have gone ahead. It felt like a victory — I didn’t realize I’d become an activist. I was just a concerned citizen trying to save lives.” 

— Sharon Lavigne, a retired special education teacher and founder of Rise St James, who organized her community against the construction of a plastics plant that would further pollute the area in Louisiana known as “Cancer Alley” in Grist article, “Cancer Alley campaigner wins Goldman Prize for environmental defenders”.

“People are faced with the decision to use these products to assimilate or be met with resistance at work if you want to wear your hair in a more natural form that might prevent exposure to these toxins. We are dying at the cause of beauty, and that is something that needs to be addressed.”

— Astrid Williams, an environmental justice manager at Black Women for Wellness, speaking on the toxic impacts of chemical hair products on Black women who face hair discrimination in E&E News article, “Toxic beauty products contribute to health inequity”.

“If the first responders know that it’s so bad over there that they’ve got to have nine different municipalities on call for when things happen, then why is our City comfortable with that high a concentration of dangerous materials 15 yards away from a residential area?”

— Lorraine Williams, a resident in Evanston’s 9th Ward, speaking on concerns in the community regarding heavy air pollution, truck traffic, litter, and toxic fumes, in addition to disastrous explosions from buildup of combustible materials in the area

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LCV IN THE NEWS:

Huffington Post: Biden’s Green Allies Launch Major Campaign As Bipartisan Deal Shrinks From Climate
E&E News: Manchin floats big energy proposals as talks ramp up
Grist: What will the GOP’s new ‘climate caucus’ accomplish?
Politico: The Biden-blessed bipartisan bargain
Green Business Journal: Biden’s Climate Promises Face US Political Deadlock
Stateline: Flush With Federal Cash, States Invest in Their Crowded Parks
People: Why Kathryn Garcia Believes Her ‘Behind the Scenes’ Approach Is the Best Fit for New York City
Supply Chain Brain: A Win for Roads, and No Tax Hikes: Infrastructure Deal Takeaways

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:

The Bellingham Herald (WA): These leaders weave social responsibility and Native values in education, environment
Electrek (FL): Florida’s governor just locked ‘Florida into a dirty fossil fuel future’
Bloomberg (CO): Environmental Justice ‘Finding Voice,’ if Not Votes, in States
Florida Phoenix (FL): Environmentalists blast Gov. DeSantis for blocking local phase-outs of oil and gas as fuel sources
The East Hampton Star (NY): With Sale, Feds Push Wind Energy
The Colorado Star (CO): Colorado refuses to ease rules for how much pollution gets discharged into rivers and streams
The Nevada Current (NV): Nevadans want national monument over wind farm
WSHU (NY): Long Awaited Lead Legislation May Soon Affect New York Schools, On Long Island More Than Most
WDMV (MD): Sen. Chris Van Hollen discusses future of the American Jobs Plan in Senate
Colorado Newsline: Biden’s American Jobs Plan invests in infrastructure and workers while putting us on a path to meet our climate goals

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TWO-TRACK DEAL: In case you skipped a news cycle, President Biden struck a deal with a bipartisan group of senators on a $579 billion infrastructure package. And while this is big news, it doesn’t cover the full scope of the plan Biden proposed in April to build back better — in other words, it alone will not achieve the transformational investments and changes our country needs. However, Democratic leaders and climate champions have committed to only move it alongside a bold reconciliation package that invests at the scale and breadth needed to tackle climate change. This package must include investments to cut emissions by at least half by 2030 and put our nation on the path to 100% carbon-free energy powering our electricity grid and new cars, buses, and buildings by 2035. In promising  to pursue the full scope of what is needed, as envisioned byhis American Jobs Plan, President Biden said, “If this [more limited, bipartisan deal] is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it.” 

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Congress must move forward with the two-track approach Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have committed to, including a rock-solid agreement among all Democrats to pass a bold climate, jobs, and justice package through reconciliation. While there are some necessary provisions in the bipartisan proposal, it does not act on climate at the scale that science and justice require or meet the commitments that the Biden-Harris administration made to act on climate and environmental justice. Moving forward on this bipartisan framework alone would send a message to communities across the country that their future is not important.”

FIELD PROGRAM ALERT!: LCV announced an $8 million field campaign to build visibility and support for climate action in 15 congressional districts across 8 states. Organizers in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will go door to door canvassing and engaging with LCV members, local activists, and local businesses in order to pledge support for climate, justice, and jobs. Polling shows overwhelming support for congressional climate legislation and this campaign aims to rally support into meaningful government action. Read more details here!

REPORTER TAKE: Huffington Post Senior Reporter Alexander Kaufman tweeted, “As Biden embraces a pared-down bipartisan infrastructure deal, @LCVoters — one of the president’s closest environment allies — is launching its biggest non-election-year campaign to date, aiming to drum up support for more climate spending.”

OUR TAKE: LCV National Field Director Jennessa Agnew stated, “We’re thinking about how to have the most visible presence. That includes thinking about where the places are where people are congregating in these districts, and how we can ensure congressional staff are seeing this support for bold climate action.”

OUR DOUBLE TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, ““Inaction on climate this year is not an option. Congress has a once in a generation opportunity to put millions of people back to work in new good-paying union jobs in the clean energy economy while tackling climate change and environmental justice. It’s what voters want and it’s what our nation needs to meet the scale of the crises we face. LCV is proud to be in this fight to help ensure these big investments happen quickly because we know that when it comes to the climate crisis time is not on our side.”

NO CLIMATE, NO DEAL: Last week, members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis came together to demand that Congress boldly act on climate and support the American Jobs Plan. We know that we need large-scale investments in our infrastructure to move our nation toward a clean energy future and create clean energy jobs — and these members of Congress do too, which is why we need the two-track approach that President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi are committed to and pursuing. To read more about what members of Congress have to say about prioritizing climate in an infrastructure package, read our blog HERE, and watch our video HERE.

OUR TAKE: LCV Congressional Champions Project Director Davis Bates wrote, “This year we have a historic opportunity to take bold, transformational climate action that invests in and expands clean energy, creates good-paying union jobs, and advances climate and environmental justice. These climate champions made it clear: not only is climate action critically and urgently important, without it there will be no infrastructure package. President Biden’s AJP is a historic and transformational plan to invest in our people and our economy. And, most importantly, it delivers on Biden’s promise to center his build back better plan on justice and equity — fully targeting 40% of the investments in climate and clean infrastructure to disadvantaged communities.”

CLEAN COMMUTES FOR KIDS: On Thursday, LCV and Chispa hosted a virtual event with Representative Jahana Hayes, Climate Advocate Alex Rodriguez, Chispa National Senior Director Johana Vicente, and LCV VP of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo to discuss the health, environmental, and community benefits of transitioning from dirty diesel to pollution-free, electric school buses and build momentum for the Clean Commute for Kids Act. Currently, over 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers breathe polluted air from dirty diesel school buses — we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to act on climate and environmental justice while investing in our nation’s infrastructure.

HAYES TAKE: Representative Jahana Hayes stated, “The transition to electric buses will ensure the health of our children, create jobs, support and promote the CT economy, and allow us to be good stewards of our environment.  Thank you @LCVoters and @ChispaLcv, for hosting this important conversation.” 

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Senior Director Johana Vicente stated, “For me, this work is definitely personal — I used to be an organizer in Maryland, and when I was there, I worked with Latinx families, specifically Latinx moms. The true impact of climate change, of air pollution, was notable there. We saw a lot of kids with respiratory issues, with asthma and these concerned mothers were trying to fight for the health of their children. For us, clean school buses was a tangible solution to address the very real issues that communities are facing on the ground, which is why, in 2016, we launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo stated, “We have no better champion and leader for these issues than the triple threat mom, teacher, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes…we are better off for your leadership, and look forward to getting this across the goalline…This really is the time to seize this historic opportunity to deliver a clean ride for all of our kids.”

VOTING FOR THE PEOPLE: This week, Senate Republicans obstructed moving S.1, the For the People Act, for debate — blocking any discussion of overhauling our nation’s electoral process as states continue to sabotage voting rights. In state legislative sessions this year, 48 states have already introduced, prefiled, or carried more than 389 bills to restrict or limit voting access. These bills were intentionally written to suppress the record numbers of Black and Brown voters who turned out in 2020. Enacting the For the People Act would supersede these suppressive state laws and modernize our voting system to ensure a consistent, accessible, and secure process for voters across the country. However, the fight to pass S.1. is not over, and LCV, along with partners across the country, will continue to tell the Senate that inaction on this issue is not an option. See LCV’s letter to the Senate from earlier this month noting that Senators’ votes on S. 1 will definitely be scored in the 2021 National Environmental Scorecard — a departure from standard procedure because of the importance of S.1 and the unprecedented attacks on voting rights in states across the U.S.

OUR TAKE: LCV Voting Rights Program Director Justin Kwasa stated, “Republican obstruction is nothing new and the people won’t stand for it. Our right to vote is under unprecedented attack and S. 1, the For the People Act, must be enacted into law this year. Passing S. 1 would strengthen voting rights, prevent polluter CEOs from flooding money into our elections, and ensure we can elect leaders who govern in our interests by having congressional districts drawn by independent commissions. In short, it would unrig our political system and return power to people. Thank you Majority Leader Schumer for making democracy reform a top priority in this Congress and putting this bill to a vote. Inaction is not an option and we look forward to working together to get the For the People Act over the finish line.”

HEARING FOR STATEHOOD: This week, the Senate held a historic hearing on S.51, Washington, D.C. Admission Act, to consider DC for admittance to statehood. In a Congress more divided than ever, the unrepresented residents of DC — more than half of whom are people of color — deserve to have their voices heard at the national level, particularly on environmental justice issues including air pollution, contamination of waterways, and even contamination of soil from leaking underground storage tanks. DC residents of color are disproportionately impacted by toxic pollution and the climate crisis, and it’s past time for equal representation in our federal government and the fundamental right to self-govern for the more than 700,000 residents of our nation’s capital. See photos and video from LCV’s latest art activation from last week in honor of Josephine Butler, an advocate for social justice, community engagement, and parks, and co-founder of the DC Statehood party.

OUR TAKE: LCV Voting Rights Program Director Justin Kwasa stated, “We commend Chairman Peters for holding today’s historic public hearing on DC Statehood. It is up to the Senate to right a historic wrong, fully enfranchise the more than 700,000 residents of Washington, DC, and deliver long delayed fair and equal representation in the federal government for taxpayers living in our nation’s capital. Hundreds of thousands of people of color living in DC are disproportionately impacted by toxic pollution and our federal government’s failure to act on climate — yet they don’t have the constitutional right to make their voices heard. One of the very best things we can do to protect people and the planet is ensure everyone can participate equitably in our political system. The Senate must follow the lead of the House, pass S. 51, and give power to the people now.”

FILIBUSTER DAY OF ACTION: On Thursday, environmental advocates, including Chispa NV’s Program Director Rudy Zamora and LCV Voting Rights Director Justin Kwasa, gathered for a virtual event to call on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster, which would pave the way towards removing barriers to passing bold, meaningful legislation in a Congress more deeply divided than ever. Earlier this month, LCV sent a letter calling on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster, marking the first time LCV has taken a public position on this archaic Senate rule. We cannot have a healthy environment without a healthy democracy, especially when communities most impacted by the climate crisis are silenced and unable to fully participate in our electoral process.

CHISPA NV TAKE: Chispa Nevada Program Director Rudy Zamora stated, “We need to not only address [the filibuster] but we need to make sure there is equity at the front line and that the communities that are disproportionately disadvantaged are the ones that are taking the lead because we are the ones know what we need.”

MONUMENTAL MONDAY: LCV participated in a “Monumental Monday” day of action with a new blog post highlighting the actions our state partners have taken to address the crucial need for the Biden-Harris administration to fulfill their commitment to restoring protections for “America’s natural treasures” and take the next step towards achieving 30×30. Last week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recommended that the federal government fully restore protections for national landmarks from which the Trump administration removed protections — including the sacred lands of Bears Ears, which the Trump administration reduced by 85%, Grand Staircase-Escalante, which was cut by nearly half, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments, where protections were entirely removed. Biden should act now to carry out his promise to protect these national monuments.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel wrote, “Our parks and public lands and waters are more important than ever, proving to be a vital resource throughout the pandemic and the related economic fallout. But if we are going to reach the 30×30 conservation goal and truly expand access to nature, then we need President Biden to take immediate action to restore protections for three national monuments: Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. The Conservation Voter Movement has been proud to be a part of the coalition efforts to protect our public lands and waters and restore protections dismantled by the Trump administration. The Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monuments right now face a range of threats, including vandalism as well as drilling and mining claims and other extractive uses. We need urgent action.”

OPPOSE BLOCKING NEW MONUMENTS: This week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing that included S.31, Senator Mike Lee’s bill, which would undermine the Antiquities Act by requiring state legislative in addition to congressional approval for new monuments or expand on existing monuments in Utah, creating more barriers to protecting Utah’s lands and waters. While the Utah delegation has claimed to be interested in a cooperative legislative solution when calling on President Biden to refrain from fulfilling his promise to restore national monument protections for places like Bears Ears, the only legislative proposals they have offered would undermine the Antiquities Act and prevent President Biden from being able to honor his commitment. It is one reason why we are urging President Biden to act swiftly to restore protections to Grand Staircase-Escalante and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments and restore and expand Bears Ears National Monument in line with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition original proposal of a 1.9- million-acre national monument with robust tribal collaborative management.

ARCTIC REFUGE VIRTUAL RALLY: On Thursday, LCV President Gene Karpinski joined environmental justice advocates and Indigenous partners for a virtual rally to call on Congress to take legislative action to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While the Biden-Harris administration suspended new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge, the administration must work with Congress to act towards fulfilling Biden’s promise to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge. Speakers discussed how even though these sacred lands are protected for now, the Arctic Refuge needs strong legislative action to keep oil and gas drilling from violating Indigenous rights, exacerbating the climate crisis, and polluting our nation’s lands and waters. 

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski stated, “Many of us have worked to protect the Arctic Refuge for decades, and we’ve succeeded every time except that one time, four years ago, when that ugly bill passed Congress. Now it’s our time to reverse that and protect the Arctic again. It’s a conservation issue, it’s a human rights issue, it’s an environmental justice issue, and yes, it’s a climate change issue.”  

FIGHTING FOR THE ECONOMY + PLANET: This week, LCV Board Chair and former EPA administrator Carol Browner wrote an opinion piece in The Hill, highlighting the EPA’s newly released report analyzing some of the devastating impacts of the climate crisis on health and the economy, and the critical need for Congress to work with the Biden-Harris administration to rebuild our economy to be more equitable and just, powered by 100 percent clean energy, create millions of good-paying union jobs, and commit at least 40 percent of benefits to to the low-income and communities of color who carry the most burden and are harmed the most by toxic pollution.

BROWNER TAKE: LCV Board Chair and former EPA administrator Carol Browner wrote, “The COVID-19 crisis has exposed a number of vital truths about the preparedness of our country to deal with such disasters and the absolute imperative that we elect leaders who will listen to experts and scientists and fight to protect people over profits — especially the Black, Indigenous, and communities of color that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and subjected to environmental racism for decades. The EPA report makes it clear that the impacts of the climate crisis are already being experienced across the country. Extreme weather events are far more common; in 2020, the U.S. endured 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, breaking the previous record of 16 from 2017 and 2011. The increase in these events is not random; as temperatures increase, so will extreme weather disasters.”

HEARING OCEAN-BASED CLIMATE SOLUTIONS: This week, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on H.R 3764, the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, which would protect the frontline communities that are the most at risk to the impacts of climate change and utilize our oceans in creating a clean energy future. The bill includes provisions for increasing offshore renewable energy, expanding protections for habitat and fisheries, and prohibiting offshore drilling in many areas. Our oceans will play a critical role in addressing the climate crisis and this legislation puts the U.S. in a position to lead the way.

GRIJALVA TAKE: During the hearing, Representative Grijalva said, “With ocean climate action we will protect coastal communities and ecosystems from dangerous symptoms of climate change, capture and reduce greenhouse gases, and achieve justice for underserved communities and while we’re at it, we can build back better, bolstering the economy and putting people to work in green or blue careers.”

INVESTING IN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up a series of drinking water bills, including House Energy and Commerce Chair Paul Tonko’s AQUA Act, which would invest $105 billion in drinking water infrastructure. Too many communities, particularly low income communities and communities of color, have suffered from undrinkable water in their own homes, schools, and communities — it’s past time for Congress to take bold, urgent action to invest in our nation’s failing water systems. 

TONKO TAKE: After the AQUA Act’s introduction, Representative Paul Tonko stated, “As Americans, we should be able to expect that the drinking water that comes out of our taps is clean and will not make us or our families sick. Sadly, millions of Americans are being exposed every day to dangerous chemicals and other contaminants in their drinking water as a result of unchecked pollution and crumbling, outdated water systems. Most local communities don’t have the resources to fix this infrastructure and many are forced to take desperate measures when these systems inevitably collapse. That all ends the day my AQUA Act is signed into law. This bill delivers real, meaningful federal dollars to eliminate lead pipes and other components once and for all. It tackles devastating PFAS contamination in our drinking water and helps local communities get their water systems onto more sustainable footing. As we continue working to rebuild America, fixing and improving our water infrastructure will be one of the keys to creating a strong, resilient, and just economy for all.”

PARKS, JOBS, + EQUITY: On Thursday, Senators Alex Padilla and John Hickenlooper introduced the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act, which aims to increase outdoor access by opening new parks across the U.S. and funding for park services to maintain these spaces and create jobs. There is a significant gap in outdoor access, which contributes to disparities in health and prosperity. The pandemic made these problems worse, increasing the importance of this legislation.

PADILLA TAKE: Senator Padilla stated, “Parks have served as a lifeline since before, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but too many of our nation’s parks are neglected and inaccessible to low-income communities and communities of color. We must reinvest in parks to ensure access to parks and green spaces is equitable for all. The Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act will fund new parks and park upgrades, create much-needed jobs, and stimulate local economies.”

HICKENLOOPER TAKE: Senator Hickenlooper stated, “Our public parks belong to everyone, but they aren’t always accessible. Our bill will create more equitable parks to give Colorado kids better access to nature.” 

CLEAN UP ORPHANED WELLS: This week, Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Oil and Gas Bonding Reform and Orphaned Well Remediation Act, a bill that would establish a new orphaned well clean-up fund and strengthen federal oil and gas bonding requirements. Oil and gas companies have recklessly abandoned uncapped wells, leaving tens of thousands of wells scattered across the country with the potential to leak toxic methane and pollutants into our air, water, and lands. Congress must take action to help communities burdened with the mess polluters left in their backyard. 

BENNET TAKE: Senator Michael Bennet stated, “Colorado’s economy depends on our public lands, but the last Administration too often cut Colorado communities out of management decisions, and left local governments on the hook to clean up the mess,” Bennet said in a news release. “Our bills not only invest in orphaned well clean up, but also restore the role of local leaders in lease sales, and hold companies operating on public lands to the same high standards that responsible operators already follow.”

COCO TAKE: Conservation Colorado tweeted, “Public Lands and Solutions & National Wildlife federation found at-risk oil & gas wells on #PublicLands are polluting CO’s air, land, & water & threatening the rec. economy. That’s why @SenatorBennet’s bill to #ReformLeasing & hold o&g companies accountable to #CleanUpOilWells is so important.

OUR TAKE: LCV tweeted, “If you make a mess, it’s your responsibility to clean it up. @SenatorBennet’s new bills:
🏞️Prioritize taxpayers, clean air & water, & public input to #ReformLeasing
🛢️Ensure companies #CleanUpOilWells
🏜️Give the public a voice in #PublicLands decisions”

CURBING METHANE: This week, the House voted to approve a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval of the EPA’s roll back of methane standards for new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry — agreeing for the EPA to quickly move forward aggressive safeguards against this highly potent greenhouse gas that is responsible for 25 percent of the climate change we are experiencing today. We need the EPA to require a 65% reduction in methane emissions by 2025 and 90% by 2030 from the oil and gas industry in order to combat climate change and protect frontline communities.

SCHATZ TAKE: Senator Brian Schatz stated, “We just have perfect clarity on this issue. The planet is on fire, and we are not going to miss this opportunity.”

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski stated, “Today’s bipartisan vote to reduce dangerous methane pollution is a huge win for our climate, clean air, and communities living on the frontlines of oil and gas drilling. We greatly appreciate the leadership of Representative DeGette, who led the resolution in the House and has worked tirelessly to get rid of this harmful, unpopular rule, as well as Democratic Congressional leadership who have continuously prioritized the health of our communities over the profits of oil and gas CEOs. We look forward to President Biden signing this important piece of climate legislation, allowing the EPA to quickly advance widely supported, sensible safeguards for methane pollution that will help dismantle environmental racism and improve public health.” 

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

MN CLEAN CAR STANDARD: This week, Republicans in Minnesota’s state legislature dropped their demand to remove new clean cars emissions standards from a key budget bill. The GOP had threatened to cut significant environmentally-related funding, including the state’s pollution control agency and parks, if Governor Walz’s proposed clean cars provisions were included in the budget. The contentious clean cars rule would require auto dealers to have an increasing number of low or zero-emission vehicles for sale each year, following similar directives in over a dozen other states. This budget bill is one of many that must be passed before July 1 to avoid a partial shutdown of Minnesota’s government. 

CM TAKE: Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota, Paul Austin, said, “The clean energy victories included in this year’s bill are a win for all Minnesotans. They take important steps to improve air quality, reduce emissions, and protect hard working Minnesotans. With the only divided legislature in the nation, Minnesota has demonstrated to other states and the federal government how to create public policy to make progress on clean energy.”

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS RACIAL JUSTICE: In honor of Juneteenth, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director, Ed Potosnak, wrote an opinion piece for NJ.com. Potosnack discussed the impacts of environmental racism in New Jersey, and highlighted the history of white supremacy in the environmental movement and the ongoing work that environmental organizations must do to confront it. 

NJLCV TAKE: New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak wrote, “We know that the old paradigm of us telling communities of color what’s best for them simply does not work. In order to ensure that New Jersey’s clean energy transition prevents the worst impacts of climate change and improves health and economic outcomes in communities of color, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters recognizes that it is essential to listen and follow the lead of families who live in those communities, and the organizations and businesses that serve those communities.” 

NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR THE PEOPLE: This week, LCV New Hampshire hosted an event with Congressman John Sarbanes, LCV Voting Rights Program Director, Justin Kwasa, Open Democracy Executive Director, Olivia Zink, and Kent Street Coalition Voting Rights Resident Expert, Kyri Claflin, to discuss the urgency of passing the For the People Act and preventing attempts to create barriers to voting. Speakers explained  components of the legislation and how it would impact people in New Hampshire, discussed voter suppression strategies, and addressed misinformation around the bill.

OUR TAKE: LCV Voting Rights Program Director Justin Kwasa stated, “[The] environment is one of the clearest examples of how broken our democracy is. When decisions are made about where pollution happens, we know that Black and brown communities are communities who are often targeted for pollution and for these negative effects of environmental degradation. These are communities that from the very beginning of our democracy were not let in and did not have a seat at the table. In order for us to have a government that is responsive to our people and a government that is responsive to the real threats to the environment that are before us, we need to structurally change how we do things in democracy, and that’s what the For the People Act is.

VIRTUAL SUSTAINABLE GARDENING: LCV New Hampshire hosted their second virtual sustainable gardening workshop led by Amy Antonucci, founder and director of   the nonprofit Seacoast NH Permaculture. Attendees learned methods to nurture and build healthy soil and grow more resilient plants through intentional, sustainable agricultural practices.

CELEBRATING POLLINATORS: Virginia LCV and Climate Action Virginia hosted a virtual event to celebrate National Pollinator’s Week. Master gardener and ecologist Dr. Barbara Abraham joined to teach attendees about pollinators native to Virginia and their importance to local ecosystems and conservation. 

COMING UP:

ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month
ALL OF JUNE: National Immigrant Heritage Month

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