36 CEJC Members & Allies Submit Comments to DTSC on Civil Rights & Language Access Policy

CLICK HERE FOR PDF: August 2, 2017 EJ Recommendations on DTSC Civil Rights & Language Access policies

Environmental Justice Comments to DTSC on development of DTSC Civil Rights and Language Access Policies  

The following provisions and language should be included in DTSC’s new Civil Rights and Language Access policies:

I.  Introduction and Relevant Authority Requiring Civil Rights Compliance

As a recipient of federal and state funds, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Toxic Substances Control are subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations, and California Government Code 11135.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d-7, and the

United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Title VI regulations, 40 C.F.R. Part 7, prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. DTSC and CalEPA are recipients of financial assistance from U.S. EPA and are subject to the provisions of Title VI and U.S. EPA’s implementing regulations.

As recipients of funding from the State of California, DTSC and CalEPA are subject to California Government Code, Section 11135 which prohibits discrimination under any program or activity that receives any financial assistance from the state.

Pursuant to Title VI and Government Code 11135, California EPA and DTSC will refrain from discrimination or taking actions that have discriminatory negative impact on the basis of race, color, or national origin in its permit and regulatory processes, decisions, actions, provision of services, administration of its programs, and contractual agreements.

DTSC is committed to the principle of environmental justice, equal opportunity and equitable service for all individuals in the State of California. DTSC will not tolerate discrimination, nor will it take any actions or make any decisions that have a discriminatory negative impact against protected classes of persons. Civil rights compliance will help bring about environmental justice and protect the health and well-being of California’s most vulnerable residents.

DTSC will meet the intent and provisions of both Title VI and Section 11135. Pursuant to Title VI and Section 11135, DTSC will require that no person shall be excluded from participation, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination on the basis of ethnic group identification, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, genetic information, race, national origin, marital status, military or veteran status, medical condition, or physical or mental disability, or any other basis by federal or state statutes in any program or activity undertaken by DTSC.

Applicable civil rights requirements include (but are not limited to) the following: a. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 including Title VI of that Act.

  1. Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act of 1973.
  2. California Government Code 11135.
  3. S. EPA Title VI Limited English Proficiency Guidance, 69 Federal Register 35602.
  4. S. Department of Justice Title VI Limited English Proficiency guidance, 67 Federal

Register 41455.

  1. DTSC Bilingual Services Policy.
  2. Title VI Civil Rights Act Settlement agreement signed August 10, 2016 that resolved the Title VI Complaint filed by Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpia/People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City against the DTSC and California EPA.

 

II.   Applicability

The policies, procedures, and responsibility of this Civil Rights Policy apply to all DTSC staff, including those working on their behalf, such as contractors and grantees. It applies to all aspects of the agency’s work, programs, activities, public participation processes, development of regulations and policies, and permit and regulatory decisions.

In addition, DTSC will ensure that those entities that receive funding from DTSC comply with applicable civil rights laws and regulations.

DTSC will not use documents or decisions from other agencies in making DTSC decisions if the other agency’s decisions or processes failed to comply with civil rights laws.

 

III.   Language Access

DTSC affirms that all people have a right to meaningful participation in decisions that affect them. Civil rights compliance includes ensuring “language access” in order to enable non-English speakers and Limited English Proficient individuals to participate in an equitable and meaningful way in DTSC’s public processes. DTSC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that vital documents related to DTSC services, programs, and activities are translated into the most frequently encountered languages of those LEP individuals affected by the services, programs, and activities or are interpreted for the LEP individual(s).

This civil rights policy incorporates the DTSC Bilingual Services Policy: “It is the policy of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to ensure that all customers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have equal access to all available services and information provided by DTSC. DTSC will provide effective communication by identifying bilingual staff, ensuring the availability of resources, and providing translated written materials in other languages.”

 

IV.  Civil Rights Compliance to Ensure Meaningful Civic Engagement

Meaningful public participation through processes that comply with civil rights laws, regulations, policies, and guidance will have the following elements:

  1. All relevant notices, documents, reports, meetings, and hearings (pursuant to Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act of 1973 and DTSC’s Bilingual Services Policy) will be language accessible to all residents of affected communities ensuring their ability to actively participate in relevant DTSC decisions. These meetings will accommodate LEP individuals to ensure effective communication. This necessitates translations of vital documents, accompanying visuals, handouts, and presentations in public meetings, public hearings held by DTSC and processes conducted by DTSC. If no bilingual DTSC staff member is present, a contract translator or interpreter must be onsite to ensure all verbal communication may be understood by relevant LEP individuals.

Non-English speakers will be allocated the same amount of time to speak as English Speakers, with full simultaneous translation provided. If subsequent translation is used, the non-English speaker will be given twice the amount of time to speak. AB 1787 specifically requires local governmental bodies to abide by these equal time rules, and DTSC will not utilize any decisions or documents from local governmental bodies that failed to comply with AB 1787.

  1. Clear prohibition on discriminatory practices, including practices of intimidation and hostile environments that prevent meaningful public participation. This includes a prohibition on having a large and/or intimidating police presence at DTSC meetings and hearings.
  2. Meetings and hearings will be held at appropriate times and locations, facilitating and maximizing the ability of members of the public to participate. Meetings and hearings affecting a community should be held in that community.
  3. Timely notices will be written in English and any other appropriate languages, with the English and translated versions on the same page when feasible, for workshops, meetings, available drafts, comment periods, and related documents and publications. Notices and documents should use plain language rather than all technical wording.

 

V. Review of Hazardous Waste Permit Applications, Permit and Regulatory Processes, and Decisions: 

Applicable state and federal civil rights requirements will be complied with during DTSC’s permitting processes and regulatory oversight of facilities under its jurisdiction.

  1. DTSC will take into account civil rights during its permitting process for hazardous waste facilities and during all of its permitting and regulatory processes and activities. DTSC will conduct an analysis of civil rights and environmental justice considerations for each permit process and permit and regulatory decision and will include that written analysis in the decision documents;
  2. DTSC will deny permits to facilities whose emissions and operations would have a disparate negative impact on overburdened communities of protected classes of persons;
  3. DTSC will require and conduct a comprehensive cumulative impact analysis as part of every permit application process. DTSC will apply CalEnviroScreen and similar cumulative impact tools to analyze and address the vulnerability of nearby communities in permitting decisions. Each decision will include a written analysis of the vulnerability of an affected community;
  4. DTSC must reject a permit if the most updated version of CalEnviroScreen’s results show its issuance would have a harmful and disproportionate impact on people of color, non-English speakers and/or vulnerable groups of people protected by state and federal civil rights laws;
  5. DTSC will utilize Statements of Overriding Consideration under the California Environmental Quality Act when necessary to protect and overburdened, vulnerable community of color from more pollution and prevent disparate negative impacts which are prohibited pursuant to civil rights laws;
  6. DTSC will not utilize Statements of Overriding Consideration under the California Environmental Quality Act to approve permits for pollution if such a permit would have a disparate negative impact on protected classes of persons and would thus violate civil rights laws;
  7. DTSC will ensure language access in all aspects of its activities and processes;
  8. DTSC will cease use of or reliance on documents including Environmental Impact Reports prepared by other agencies that were approved during processes that violated the civil rights of residents, were conducted in a hostile environment, were not language accessible, and/or otherwise denied the affected public meaningful opportunities for public participation;
  9. DTSC affirms that public comment periods, permit and regulatory processes including appeals, are appropriate forums in which to raise objections to DTSC’s permitting decisions that include civil rights claims, when those objections are raised consistent with DTSC’s regulations.

 

VI. Consultation with Native Nations and Protection of Sacred Sites and Cultural Resources

DTSC will conduct meaningful consultation with Native Nations, recognized and unrecognized, at the beginning of any process and prior to any decision that would impact Native Nations, their members, environment, cultural resources and sacred sites whether on tribal lands and/or aboriginal territory.

DTSC will refrain from taking any action or approving any action that harms, desecrates or destroys Indigenous peoples’ sacred sites or cultural resources.

Native Nations will be provided a full and meaningful opportunity for public participation in decisions that could impact their people, environment, sovereignty, sacred site and/or cultural resources.

 

VII. Roles and Responsibilities for DTSC staff

DTSC staff will be trained on civil rights compliance including language access policies and procedures, including how to access policies and procedures, how to access language assistance services and how to identify and work with LEP individuals, interpreters, and translators.

 

VII. Public Complaints/Complaint Procedures:

  1. DTSC recognizes that if individuals or organizations feel their civil rights are being threatened or have been infringed upon by DTSC, then these individuals and organizations have the ability to take legal action and/or file administrative complaints in response to civil rights violations made by DTSC.
  2. Filing an administrative civil rights complaint at the federal level is pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Public Complaints may therefore be sent to the U.S. EPA., Office of Civil Rights.

Address:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Civil Rights

Mail Code 1201A

1200 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20460

Email: Title_VI_Complaints@epa.gov

3. Filing a complaint at the state level is pursuant to Section 11135 and should be                    submitted to the Department Fair Employment and Housing. Visit                                            https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/complaintprocess/complaintforms/ for more                                    information.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Maricela Mares Alatorre, Spokesperson

El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpia/People for Clean Air and Water

Kettleman City, CA

Bradley Angel, Executive Director

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

San Francisco and Kettleman City, CA

 

Asamblea de Gonzales

Roberta Camacho-Treasurer

Gonzales, CA

 

Bayview Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Committee for Health and Environmental Justice

Leaotis Martin and Mavis Williams, Co-Directors

San Francisco, CA

 

California Prison Moratorium Project

Debbie Reyes, Director

Fresno, CA

 

California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)

Thomas Helme, Coordinator

Statewide, CA

 

California Safe Schools

Robina Suwol, Executive Director

Los Angeles, CA

 

Code Pink – San Francisco

Jackie Barshak, Representative

San Francisco, CA

 

Comite Civico del Valle

Luis Olmedo and Humberto Lugo

Brawley, CA

 

Communities for a Better Environment – Richmond

Andrés Soto, Richmond Community Organizer

Richmond, CA

 

Community Food and Justice Coalition

Armando Nieto, Executive Director

Oakland, CA

 

Community Science Institute

Denny Larson, Executive Director

Richmond, CA

 

Del Amo Action Committee

Cynthia Babich, Director

Torrance, CA

 

Desert Protection Society

Donna Charpied, Executive Director

Desert Center CA

 

Equal Justice Society

Allison Elgart, Legal Director

Oakland, CA

 

Food Empowerment Project

lauren Ornelas, Founder/Executive Director

Cotati, CA

 

Fresnans Against Fracking

Ron Martin, President

Fresno, CA

 

Friends of the Earth – US

Gary Graham Hughes, M.Sc., Senior California Advocacy Campaigner

 

Grayson Neighborhood Council

John Mataka, President

Grayson, CA

 

Healthy 880 Communities

Wafaa Aborashed, Executive Director

San Leandro, CA

 

Idle No More San Francisco Bay Area

Pennie Opal Plant, Coordinator

 

La Union Hace La Fuerza

Guadalupe Rosales, Director

Eastern Coachella Valley, CA

 

Literacy for Environmental Justice

Anthony Khalil, Community Programs Director

San Francisco, CA

 

No Coal In Oakland

Margaret Rossoff, Secretary-Treasurer

Oakland, CA

 

Our Roots Multi-Cultural Center

John Hernandez, President

El Centro, CA

 

Resilient Communities Initiative

Phoenix Armenta, Coordinator

Oakland, CA

 

Rootskeeper

David Braun, Director

Oakland, CA

 

Shore Up Marin

Hannah Dorress, Co-Director

Marin City, CA

 

Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club

Ron Martin, Vice Chair

Fresno, CA

 

The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

Colin Bailey, Executive Director and Managing Attorney

Sacramento, CA

 

Tri-County Watchdogs

Katherine King

Frazier Park, CA

 

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director

Livermore, CA

 

West County Toxics Coalition

Dr. Henry Clark, Executive Director

Richmond, CA

 

Valley Improvement Projects (VIP)

Bianca Lopez, Chairperson

Modesto, CA

 

West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs

Janice Schroeder, Core Member

Berkeley, CA

 

West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

Margaret Gordon and Brian Beveridge, Co-Directors

Oakland, CA

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CEJC Will Host 3rd Statewide Gathering Since its Founding! REGISTER NOW!

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Please join the California Environmental Justice Coalition for our 3rd Statewide Gathering from Saturday, August 12th – Monday, August 14th 2017.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

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Saturday, August 12th 2:30pm-7pm

St. John’s Lutheran Church – 1701 L Street, Sacramento

Introductions, networking, and dinner!

 

Sunday, August 13th 9:30am-5pm

Capitol Event Center – 1020 11th Street, Sacramento

CEJC Conference to discuss the future of the coalition, youth outreach, climate justice, and more!

 

Monday, August 14th 9:30am-12pm

Sierra Hearing Room, CalEPA Building – 1001 I Street, Sacramento

Presenting Environmental Justice testimony to DTSC/CalEPA on Civil Rights and Language Access

 

Hotel rooms for Saturday and Sunday night will be reserved for participating CEJC members. Reasonable travel expenses can also be reimbursed for CEJC members!

 

Support for this project has been provided by: California Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

REGISTER for the CEJC Imperial Valley Regional Conference on Saturday, June 24th!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the CEJC Imperial Valley-Colorado River Regional Conference: Saturday, June 24th!

CEJC will be continuing its series of Regional Conferences throughout the state bringing together CEJC organizations, allies, supporters, and community members to discuss Environmental Justice issues in the local region, network, organize, and plan solutions to our common problems. Please join us!

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Save the Dates and Register for CEJC Regional and Statewide Conferences!

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CEJC will hold its third Regional Conference in the Imperial Valley on Saturday, June 24th. Click here to REGISTER and get more info!

 

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We will also hold our third Statewide All-CEJC Conference in Sacramento from Saturday, August 12th to Monday, August 14th. Click here to REGISTER and get more info!

As a state-wide coalition, CEJC understands the importance of solidarity in the Environmental Justice movement. In order to strengthen our solidarity, CEJC will be hosting a series of regional conferences to explore the common issues and solutions that may exist in their particular area. Members are also welcome to present these issues and potential solutions at an all-CEJC conference in the state’s capital this summer!

Como parte de una colaicion estatal, CEJC entiende la importancia de la solidaridad en la lucha de la Justicia del Medio Ambiente. Para fortalecer nuestra solidaridad, CEJC tendra una serie de conferencias regionales para explorar nuestras preucupaciones comunes, y soluciones que pueden existir en areas particulares. En adicion, miembros estan invitados a presentar sus preocupaciones y soluciones en la Conferencia de  todo CEJC en la Capital este verano.

Discussion and workshop topics will include: Air Quality, Civil Rights, Climate Change, Cumulative Impacts of Pollution, Fracking and Fossil Fuels, Implications of the Trump Administration, Legislative Advocacy, Social Media, Water Quality and Access, Youth Outreach, and more!

Temas y discusion incluyeran: Calidad del Aire, Derechos Civiles, Cambio de Clima, Impactos cumulativos de Contaminacion, Fractura Hidraulca y fosil combustible, Implicaciones de la adminitracion de Trump, Abogacia Legeslativa, Medio Social, Calidad y accesso del agua, Divulgacion de la Joventud, y mas!

Support for this project has been provided by: California Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

Oil Money Out, People Power In!

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In the past year, the oil industry spent 36 million in lobbying alone in California.  This oil money in our political system has allowed the big time polluters to continue legally poisoning our communities and the worsening of the climate crisis. That’s why we are calling on Governor Jerry Brown and our California Legislators to stop taking dirty money from the oil industry. And on May 20th, we will be coming together in Sacramento for the “Oil Money Out, People Power In” March & Rally to demand that our elected leaders stand with the people and prioritize public health over industry profits. To get oil money out, we need to everyone to be involved.  

Here are the event details:
WHAT:  Oil Money Out Rally and March

DATE: Saturday May 20

TIME: 12 Noon to 3pm

WHERE: Governor’s Mansion at 16th St & H St

We need your help reaching out to your network, sharing on social media, mobilizing folks to attend the Oil Money Out Rally and March in Sacramento, and getting your organization signed on as a co-sponsor of the Oil Money Out Campaign. Please use the links below to help us spread the word and build our movement!

 

 

Once you’ve been able to spread to word about the March & Rally, please add your name to the petition to tell Governor Jerry Brown & California Legislators to stop taking dirty money from the oil industry: http://bit.ly/OilMoneyOutPetition

For more information about the Oil Money Out campaign, please visit: www.OilMoneyOut.com Thank you for all that you do!

Greenaction & CEJC unite dozens of groups in successful Earth Day Action for Environmental & Climate Justice

From Press Release: Diverse California & Arizona Communities Most Affected by Trump’s Pro-Polluter Policies Unite to Hold Earth Day Action at EPA Region 9 Headquarters

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San Francisco, CA – Already suffering from pollution and injustice, and alarmed by the Trump Administration’s attacks on environmental protection, health and justice, residents and grassroots groups from urban, rural and Indigenous communities most harmed and at risk from pollution united in a march and rally Friday, April 21st in front of USEPA Region IX in San Francisco. Bay Area residents from Bayview Hunters Point, Richmond, Oakland, San Leandro and Livermore were joined by Mohave Elders of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Gila River Indian Community members, youth from East Los Angeles, people from farmworker communities in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys for today’s protest, communities impacted by fracking and refineries, and many others.

The rally was followed by a march to the Federal Building where the community members most at risk from Trump’s extremist pro-polluter policies. We are demanding:

  • Expand, don’t cut, the USEPA and federal and state environmental laws and regulations
  • Fire EPA Administrator Pruitt –Remove polluters and billionaires from Trump’s Cabinet
  • Stop Trump’s attacks on immigrant communities, Indigenous sacred sites, civil rights and justice
  • Support people, health, science and justice, not financial gain for corporate polluters 

Trump’s appointing of anti-environmental officials to his Cabinet and environmental agency posts, his dismantling of important regulations that protect public health and the environment, and also his proposed budget cuts would devastate environmental protections for all Americans but especially for the low-income people of color who bear the disproportionate burdens of polluting industries, toxic contamination sites, fossil fuel, climate change, and environmental racism.

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On the morning of April 21st , 100 community and environmental justice advocates addressed dozens of USEPA and CalEPA officials and staff about their concerns and demands for health and justice.

The California Environmental Justice Coalition issued the Call to Action, and sixty-five diverse organizations including community, Indigenous, environmental justice, climate, health and environmental groups joined together in today’s Earth Day Action for Environmental and Climate Justice. Founded in 2015 in the farmworker town of Kettleman City in the San Joaquin Valley, the California Environmental Justice Coalition is community-led is the largest environmental justice coalition in the state.

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KQED Report:

CBS/KPIX Report: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/category/spoken-word-kpixtv/3654474-protesters-to-gather-at-san-francisco-epa-branch-over-trump-policies/

KPFA Radio Report: https://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/smith-on-climate-justice-march

Photos from Environmental Justice/Community Briefing for USEPA Region IX: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipP3Qf63x7QaA5tFJAxFopYoRoU5QbPaMTXAevNMCc1aHL015bdSgdyeX_0yvHNjJQ?key=Ry11dFVtUHFkQTFaUDJaRmpJcWoxUG1MY0ZKR3p3

Photos from Rally: http://greenaction.org/?page_id=3291

https://www.facebook.com/CEJCoalition/

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REGISTER for a CEJC Regional Conference Near You! / Registrese a una Conferencia Regional de CEJC cercana a usted!

As a state-wide coalition, CEJC understands the importance of solidarity in the Environmental Justice movement. In order to strengthen our solidarity, CEJC will be hosting a series of regional conferences to explore the common issues and solutions that may exist in their particular area. Members are also welcome to present these issues and potential solutions at an all-CEJC conference in the state’s capital this summer!

Como parte de una colaicion estatal, CEJC entiende la importancia de la solidaridad en la lucha de la Justicia del Medio Ambiente. Para fortalecer nuestra solidaridad, CEJC tendra una serie de conferencias regionales para explorar nuestras preucupaciones comunes, y soluciones que pueden existir en areas particulares. En adicion, miembros estan invitados a presentar sus preocupaciones y soluciones en la Conferencia de  todo CEJC en la Capital este verano.

Please click the links below to REGISTER for any of the conferences you would like to attend! More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Por favor de seleccionar un enlace de abajo para REGISTRARSE a cualquier de las conferencias que le gustaria asistir. Mas informacion se le proveera cuando sea disponible.

REGISTER: CEJC Bay Area/NorCal Regional Conference in San Francisco – March 25th 2017

REGISTER: CEJC Central Valley Regional Conference in Fresno – April 1st 2017

REGISTER: CEJC Imperial Valley/Colorado River Regional Conference in Imperial – June 24th 2017

REGISTER: CEJC Statewide Conference in Sacramento – August 12th, 13th, and 14th 2017

Discussion and workshop topics will include: Air Quality, Civil Rights, Climate Change, Cumulative Impacts of Pollution, Fracking and Fossil Fuels, Implications of the Trump Administration, Legislative Advocacy, Social Media, Water Quality and Access, Youth Outreach, and more!

 Temas y discusion incluyeran: Calidad del Aire, Derechos Civiles, Cambio de Clima, Impactos cumulativos de Contaminacion, Fractura Hidraulca y fosil combustible, Implicaciones de la adminitracion de Trump, Abogacia Legeslativa, Medio Social, Calidad y accesso del agua, Divulgacion de la Joventud, y mas!

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CEJC statewide gathering in Sacramento (8-21-16)

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CEJC statewide gathering in Kettleman City (10-8-14)

Support for this project has been provided by:

California Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

CEJC Stands with Standing Rock! #NoDAPL

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To: President Barack Obama
Governor Jack Dalrymple
US Army Corps of Engineers

We the undersigned environmental justice, social justice and indigenous organizations stand in solidarity with the Indigenous People and Native Nations peacefully defending sacred cultural resources, land and water from the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline that would carry fracked oil from the Bakken oil fields.

We fully support the thousands of Indigenous Peoples who are taking action to peacefully block construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline in North Dakota that would run under the Missouri River and destroy sacred cultural resources.  Families with children, women and elders of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, other Native Nations and allies are armed with banners, song and prayers and are camped along the Missouri and Cannonball rivers. They remain undaunted in their vigilance to protect and defend the sacredness of water, burial and significant cultural sites, and sensitive wildlife habitat in immediate danger from the pipeline being built by Dakota Access LLC/Energy Transfer Partners.

The Army Corp of Engineers, as the federal regulator, gave US government approval of the proposed 1,172 mile long pipeline to cross the Missouri River and other waterways that threatens the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes’ drinking water and cultural resources. The pipeline will violate treaty law, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

We therefore call on the State of North Dakota and the United States government to cease all harassment and interference with the protest and ceremonies taking place. We call on you to cancel this dangerous and reckless project immediately.

 In solidarity for justice,

Asamblea de Gonzales, Roberta Camacho, Treasurer Gonzales, CA

Bay Area Codepink, Jackie Barshak, Representative San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities, Wafaa Aborashed, Executive Director San Leandro, CA

California Communities Against Toxics, Jane Williams, Executive Director Rosamond, CA

California Environmental Justice Coalition, Tom Helme, Coordinator Modesto, CA

Canyon Country Rising Tide, Sarah Stock Moab, UT

California Nurses Association, Deborah Burger, RN., President Oakland CA

California Safe Schools, Robina Suwol, Executive Director Los Angeles, CA

Children for a Safe Environment, Teresa Johnson, Director Phoenix, AZ

Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, Paul Ferrazzi, Executive Director Culver City, CA

Community Science Institute – CSI, Denny Larson, Executive Director Richmond, CA

Comite Civico del Valle, Luis Olmedo, Executive Director Brawley, CA

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Steve Willett, Treasurer Oakland, CA

Community Food & Justice Coalition, Y. Armando Nieto, Executive Director Oakland, CA

Crockett Rodeo United to Defend the Environment/C.R.U.D.E. Crockett, CA

Del Amo Action Committee, Cynthia Babich, Director Torrance, CA

Desert Protection Society, Donna Charpied, Executive Director Desert Center, CA

East Side Coalition Against Exide Toxic Technologies, Doelorez Mejia, Coordinator Boyle Heights, CA

Food Empowerment Project, lauren Ornelas, Founder/Executive Director Cotati, CA

Freedom Socialist Party, Luma Nichol, Bay Area Organizer San Francisco, CA

Grayson Neighborhood Council, John Mataka, President Westley, CA

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Bradley Angel, Executive Director San Francisco, CA

Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment, Lori Riddle, Director Bapchule, Arizona/Gila River Indian Community

Huntersview Mothers and Fathers Committee for Health and Environmental Justice, Leaotis Martin, Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA

Idle No More SF Bay, Pennie Opal Plant, Co-founder San Pablo, CA

IVAN Environmental Justice Task Force, Humberto Lugo, Co-Chair CA

La Union Hace La Fuerza, Guadalupe Rosales, Director Eastern Coachella Valley, CA

Maravilla Historical Society, Amanda Perez, Chair East Los Angeles, CA

Mohave Elders Committee, Colorado River Indian Tribes, David Harper, Chairperson Colorado River Indian Tribes, Parker, AZ

National Nurses United, Deborah Burger, RN., President, Silver Springs, MD

OccupySF Environmental Justice Working Group, Ruthie Sakheim, Coordinator San Francisco, CA

Our Roots Multicultural Center, John Hernandez, Director Brawley, CA

Peninsula Democratic Coalition Climate Team, Judy Plaska, Chairperson Mountain View, CA

Rooted in Resilience, Colin Miller, Co-Director Oakland, CA

RootsAction.org, Norman Solomon, Coordinator

Sunflower Alliance, Janet Scoll Johnson & Steve Nadel, Richmond, CA

The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Rev. Amanda Ford, Coalition Coordinator, Sacramento, CA

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Livermore, CA

Valley Improvement Projects, Bianca G. Lopez, Chairperson, Modesto, CA

West Berkeley Alliance for Clean Air and Safe Jobs, Janice Schroeder, Core member, Berkeley, CA

West County Toxics Coalition, Dr. Henry Clark, Executive Director, Richmond, CA

350 Bay Area, Richard Gray, San Francisco Bay Area, CA

350 San Francisco Coordinating Committee, San Francisco, CA

CEJC and Greenaction Help Win Legislative Victory for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights!

California Assembly Bill 1787 Signed into Law, Guaranteeing Equal Time to Testify at Local Legislative Body Meetings for Non-English Speakers

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Bradley Angel of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

CEJC and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice are proud of our work mobilizing support for California Assembly Bill 1787 that was just signed into law by Governor Brown. We appreciate Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez for sponsoring the legislation, and thank all the community and environmental justice organizations that joined in support of the campaign to get the bill passed and signed into law.

AB 1787 requires a local legislative body such as a county or city to provide additional time to members of the public who need a translator to address the legislative body. This is the exact requirement that already exists at the state level. AB 1787 addresses this issue by requiring the legislative body that limits time for public comment to provide at least twice the allotted time to members of the public who need a translator to address legislative bodies.

This bill was inspired by the outrage and challenges to the racially discriminatory permit process used by Kings County in the Kettleman City toxic dump permit process where Spanish speakers were given only half the time to testify as English speakers. At the infamous Kings County hearing, US citizen Ramon Mares who is a monolingual Spanish speaker (and co-founder of both El Pueblo of Kettleman City and Greenaction) was dragged out of the hearing by 8 police officers for the “crime” of demanding equal time to testify as English speakers.

We will continue fighting to end all racial discrimination in federal, state and local environmental decision making (and everywhere). We will now escalate our efforts to stop government agencies from using English-only environmental review documents in communities where there is a large percentage of Spanish speakers.

Kettleman City’s struggle continues to spark real changes for justice! Adelante!