Recall Victory Shows Power of EJ, Progressive Organizing Force in CA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mabel Tsang, mabel@caleja.org 

September 14, 2021 – Today, voters defeated the costly, Qanon-backed campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom. As 48 Republican-led states including Florida, Georgia and Iowa have introduced laws to roll back voter protection laws and environmental protections, the California electorate delivered a victory for Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday. 

Mabel Tsang, Civic Engagement Manager with CEJA Action, provided the following statement on behalf of the Alliance: 

“Communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution turned out to reject this recall. Side by side with labor, gender justice, voting rights and immigrant organizers, frontline communities rejected a power-grab led by big oil, luxury real estate interests and police. It’s clear – when the people know that safe housing, energy access, clean air and water are on the line we vote together and win together. The defeat of the recall shows the potential for transformative action when Democratic leaders unite with the powerful organizing force of California’s electorate. With this recall victory, the voters delivered a new mandate for progressive leadership. Now it’s time for Governor Newsom to carry this momentum into bold action for environmental justice.” 

Grassroots members of the Alliance engaged voters through the following initiatives: 

  • In Oakland, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Action Fund organized phone banks to reach primarily Chinese speaking voters. 
  • In Ventura County near Santa Barbara, the housing, immigrant rights and environmental justice organization CAUSE Action Fund knocked doors to turn out Spanish-speaking and immigrant voters.
  • In Southeast Los Angeles, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Education (SCOPE) Action knocked doors.
  • In San Diego County, Environmental Health and Justice Coalition (EHJC) canvassed and called voters to oppose the recall.

These voter contact programs campaigned on successful examples of environmental justice work, including projects implemented through the Transformative Climate Communities program and Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program, moratoriums on evictions and utility relief, an oil and gas phaseout and hoped-for protections from oil and gas operations through 2,500 ft setbacks.

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California Environmental Justice Alliance Action (CEJA Action) engages and mobilizes bilingual and monolingual non-English speaking Asian, Black and Latinx voters to take action for climate and environmental justice with the following communities

  • APEN Action – Oakland and Richmond
  • CAUSE Action Fund – Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
  • CBE Action – Oakland, Richmond, Southeast Los Angeles, and Wilmington
  • CCAEJ Action – Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
  • CRPE Action – Kern County 
  • Environmental Health & Justice Campaign – San Diego County
  • Latinxs for Environmental Justice – San Francisco’s Mission District
  • SCOPE Action Fund – South and Southeast Los Angeles

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