CEJA Action is proud to release our 2020 Primary Election Environmental Justice Voter Guide!
With the most important election of our lifetimes fast approaching, now is the time to rally behind Environmental Justice Champions across the state. Beginning with the March 3rd primary, we’re endorsing eight candidates for State Assembly, Senate and United States Congress – and a big YES vote on Proposition 13, which will deliver critical funding for modernization and safe school buildings in low-income communities.
As environmental and climate crises intensify – impacting low-income communities, and people of color, first and worst – the need for EJ champions is stronger than ever. To make progress, we need decision-makers who will stand with communities and demand environmental solutions that achieve equity for all Californians.
CEJA Action is the only statewide, people of color-led alliance with deep expertise on environmental and climate issues as well as strong infrastructure focused on mobilizing voters on candidate races. Our Voter Guide reflects that knowledge from the field – and we’ve only endorsed candidates who will advance critical policies to improve the health and quality of life in communities of color.
This guide is for YOU: a committed California voter who wants to ensure your vote reflects your values. Look for yourself to see how you can join us in the fight for environmental justice for all.
Download our 2020 Environmental Justice Voter Guide in English, Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, or Vietnamese!
Who Did We Endorse?
It is with special pride that we announce our slate of endorsements for the 2020 election – eight incredible women of color with deep, demonstrated commitments to environmental justice. This group features incumbents who have advanced the principles of our cause alongside candidates who stand poised to bring their passion for environmental justice to a new office.
CEJA Action is proud to offer a passionate endorsement of these eight candidates and critical ballot proposition:
Georgette Gómez (CD-53) – A longtime community organizer, Gomez is currently San Diego City Council President, where she led the implementation of the city’s landmark Climate Action Plan.
Asm. Monique Limón (SD-19) – A consistent EJ champion for 3 years running since elected into the legislature due to her tireless work in the Assembly and who will continue her advocacy in the Senate.
Abigail Medina (SD-23) – San Bernardino City Unified School District Board Member, Executive Director of Inland Region Equality Network (IREN), and long-time advocate for social, economic, educational, environmental and LGBTQ+ justice.
Cathy Murillo (AD-37) – Santa Barbara City Mayor, political champion for housing rights, and long-time social justice champion of CEJA Action and CAUSE Action Fund.
DeniAntoinette Mazingo (AD-42) – A proven advocate for community health and a proud voice for the rights for the homeless and women who emphasizes a clean, healthy environment for everyone.
Eloise Gómez Reyes (AD-47) – EJ Champion who has led the way in Assembly on pushing EJ issues to the forefront with hands-on public support of community initiatives and authorship of legislation like AB 1411, aimed at improving public health near heavy transportation corridors.
Shirley Weber (AD-79) – A tireless social justice champion for communities of color, immigrants, students and youth who has always supported Environmental Justice for our communities.
Lorena Gonzalez (AD-80) – Successful Assemblymember and a long-time advocate for social, economic and environmental justice in EJ communities — authored AB 805, which created more equitable representation for communities of color in San Diego’s public transit system.
YES on Proposition 13: California School and College Facilities Bond – A distinctly different ballot measure than the notorious 1978 tax loophole, this Prop 13 authorizes $15 billion in bonds — spread across K-12, community college and the CSU and UC systems — for earthquake retrofits and the removal of mold, asbestos and lead to ensure the health and safety of California’s students.
The initiative has provisions to increase grant amounts in low-income districts, and emphasizes accountability and transparency. Funding would put forward-thinking safety protocols alongside funding for unexpected disaster relief, with priority granted to projects that address fire and life safety issues, seismic deficiencies and critical deferred maintenance issues.
In the wake of California’s deadly wildfires, and in preparation for other natural disasters, it is a vitally important funding measure for all California schools.
Advancing Environmental Justice Principles
Each of our endorsements is driven by the candidate’s commitment to our guiding principles. As we deepen our work and attempt to set clearer expectations from California elected officials, we will use 2020 to increase transparency about these principles. By advocating for these values, and endorsing candidates with a commitment to putting them in practice, we can build a more environmentally just California. They are:
Prioritize and value prevention, human health, and improved quality of life: Human health and well-being must be given full weight, not overlooked for business interests or “cost effectiveness”
Do no harm: Decisions must do no further harm to environmental justice communities.
Prioritize environmental justice communities: Confront the tragic, historic legacy and ongoing disproportionate placing of polluting sources in environmental communities, as well as the trend of disinvestment in those neighborhoods.
Meaningfully engage with communities: Decisions informed by residents of environmental justice communities, which means decision-makers have to be proactive and culturally relevant in soliciting input on actions to improve health, responsive to the community concerns and transparent in their work, to ensure continued engagement and accountability for decisions.
Be proactive: Decisions should not wait for communities to bring forth solutions, instead proactively reaching out to impacted community groups for ideas and feedback.
Take intersectional approaches: Environmental justice communities are systematically disenfranchised and experience the impacts of patriarchy, racism and state violence. To ameliorate systemic exclusion, we must partner to advance intersectional solutions that creatively address the multiple crises faced by Californians.
Be responsive: Decision makers need to be responsive and accountable to community concerns when addressed. Offices should make continued discussion a priority, working on an issue until it is resolved.
Respect community expertise: Environmental justice communities are experts in their communities, and know the solutions they want to see. But too often, community voices are ignored for lack of “verification” which delays action that could prevent further harm. Decision-makers should turn to community leaders for input and trust what they are told.
California Needs to Lead
With tumultuous times at the federal level, we need to keep pushing California to lead on justice and equity – now, more than ever. Mobilizing voters to support EJ Champions not only ensures we have strong allies at the Capitol, it also ensures voters of color turn out to make their voices heard in critical races with both local and federal impacts. CEJA Action is committed to keeping up our fight for environmental justice and increase voter turnout in EJ communities statewide. This is how, together, we will achieve environmental justice – not just for Californians, but for everyone.