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!

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Environmental Justice Leaders Across California Head to Sacramento To Tell Policy Makers ‘Stop Protecting Polluters’

For more information:

California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) email <cejcoalition@gmail.com>

Tom Helme, CEJC Coordinator, Valley Improvement Projects, (209) 589-9277

 For immediate release, August 19, 2016

 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LEADERS ACROSS CALIFORNIA HEAD TO SACRAMENTO; TELL POLICY MAKERS ‘STOP PROTECTING POLLUTERS’

 Statewide Coalition of More Than 50 Organizations Representing Urban, Rural and Indigenous Communities Demand Accountability and Justice for Vulnerable Populations

 SACRAMENTO, CA – Scores of environmental justice and community leaders from 56 organizations will be in Sacramento, California from August 20 through August 22 to educate the California Legislature and State Environmental Agencies about the need to massively reform state laws and practices that favor corporate and government polluters over the health and safety of communities.

While in the capital, members of the California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) will hold a weekend conference to share information, strategies and best practices for winning toxic cleanup, environmental and cultural preservation, community resilience and other shared CEJC goals.

“Environmental justice policy in California is in crisis,” explained CEJC Coordinator Thomas Helme. “We are converging in Sacramento united in our urgent demand for a comprehensive plan to repair the vast disparities in environmental health and justice felt by the most exposed and vulnerable people in our state’s urban, rural, and indigenous communities.”

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CEJC member groups will also take special note of recent environmental justice victories, such as the federal civil rights settlement reached with state regulators, and setbacks, including deficient hazardous waste permits issued for facilities up and down the state.

Marylia Kelley, of Tri-Valley CAREs in Livermore, will highlight her group’s challenge of a “shockingly lax permit” issued by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for a nuclear weapons lab on EPA’s Superfund list. And, Maricela Mares-Alatorre, with El Pueblo/People for Clean Air & Water of Kettleman City will lead a workshop for CEJC on the historic civil rights settlement reached this month by her group and Greenaction. Mares-Alatorre said, “My goal is to help every community use this victory so that their members can participate in DTSC public processes at a more meaningful and equitable level.”

Culminating the activists’ “2016 Days of Action” will be meetings with many of California’s top lawmakers and key agencies, including CalEPA, DTSC, and the Air Resources Board, on Monday, August 22. “Policy makers and regulators listen to the grassroots leaders on the frontlines of pollution and injustice because no one knows better what is really going on in our communities. CEJC member groups are amazing ‘watchdogs’ with unmatched on-the-ground expertise,” noted Bradley Angel of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice.

“CEJC brings about systemic change by uncompromisingly following the Principles of environmental Justice; promoting unity and solidarity; using community-based knowledge; and strengthening community leadership,” added Luis Olmedo, of Comite Civico del Valle.

The California Environmental Justice Coalition was founded in November of 2014 in Kettleman City. The “2016 Days of Action” will mark the coalition’s second statewide gathering. Led by people of color and low-income communities, CEJC is a broad, inclusive, grassroots statewide coalition of small and large groups uniting urban, rural and indigenous communities in resistance against environmental racism and injustice, and committed to environmental, social, and economic justice. CEJC welcomes longstanding environmental justice organizations and newcomers alike.

For a list of member groups, see https://cejcoalition.org/cejcmembers/Additional information, including campaigns, is at cejcoalition.org.

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MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:  The media are welcome to observe proceedings and interview CEJC community leaders during the CEJCSunday morning conference session, August 21, 2016, at the Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th Street, in Sacramento from 9:45 AM to 11 AM. Media are also invited to attend the CEJC briefing with top environmental agency officials on Monday, August 22, 2016, at the Coastal Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the Cal/EPA building at 1001 I Street in Sacramento from 11 AM-12:30 PM. Interviews with individual CEJC organizations in advance is encouraged.

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Join CEJC for Our Statewide Conference for Environmental & Climate Justice!

The California Environmental Justice Coalition is pleased to announce our statewide environmental justice strategy conference, trainings, and day of action taking place on August 21-22, 2016, in Sacramento, CA. Join grassroots groups from Environmental Justice communities from around California for this statewide strategy conference, trainings, and a day of action for environmental and climate justice.

  • Sunday, August 21, 2016: The statewide conference/strategy meeting will be at the Capital Event Center in downtown Sacramento. This day will include strategy sessions as well as trainings to build the knowledge and capacity of grassroots groups.
  • Monday, August 22, 2016: On Monday morning we will visit legislators and other officials at the Capitol to speak to them about our issues and legislation that the coalition supports or opposes before we take further action for environmental and climate justice. IF YOU PLAN ON ATTENDING THIS MEETING, PLEASE PREPARE A TYPED STATEMENT OF YOUR ISSUES YOU WISH TO BE ADDRESSED ON YOUR ORGANIZATION’S LETTERHEAD TO PRESENT AND GIVE TO OFFICIALS (WITH UP TO 25 COPIES TO DISTRIBUTE).             

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-Read the invitation HERE!

For more info: Email us: cejcoalition@gmail.com
                              Call us: (209) 589-9277

-To Register, please either download the form and then submit the completed form by email to CEJCoalition@gmail.com or complete the Survey and press ‘Submit.’ Thank You. (Some limited travel scholarships are available to help with the expenses of grassroots community and environmental justice groups who are CEJC members, or other groups who may qualify, on a first come first serve basis.)

 

About CEJC

The California Environmental Justice Coalition was founded in November of 2014 in Kettleman City, CA.

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CEJC MISSION STATEMENT:

The California Environmental Justice Coalition takes action to bring about systemic change in industry and government policies and practices to protect health and promote justice and resilient communities by uncompromisingly following the Principles of Environmental Justice; promoting unity and solidarity; using community-based knowledge; and strengthening community leadership. Led by people of color and low-income communities, CEJC is a broad, inclusive, grassroots statewide
coalition of small and large groups uniting urban, rural and indigenous communities in resistance against environmental racism and injustice, and committed to environmental, social, and economic justice.

DECLARACION DE MISION DE CEJC:

La Coalicion de Justicia Ambiental de California adopta medidas para lograr un cambio sistemico en las politicas del gobierno y la industria para proteger la salud y promover justica y comunidades fuertes siguendo los principios de justicia ambiental, promover la unidad y la solidaridad, usando el conocimiento basado en la comunidad y fortalecer el liderazgo comunitario. Dirigido por gente de color y comunidades de bajos ingresos CEJC es una coalicion amplia incluyent de grupos pequenos uniendo comunidades urbanas, rurales e indigenas en resistencia en contra el racismo ambiental y la injustica y comprometidos con la justicia ambiental social y economica.

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CEJC Members at Founding Conference

 CEJC CONTACTS:

(209) 589-9277
CEJCOALITION@GMAIL.COM
FACEBOOK.COM/CEJCOALITION
CEJCOALITION.ORG