CEJA Action is proud to endorse eight environmental justice leaders for the 2024 March Primary election
The California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) is proud to announce our endorsements for the 2024 March primary election. On March 5, 2024 we have an opportunity to vote for proven and experienced environmental justice leaders who will prioritize clean transportation, advance community health, and end the use of fossil fuels. This is the time to stand up to Big Oil and corporations to elect candidates who will champion a safe and healthy climate future for all Californians.
At this critical time in the climate crisis, we need leaders who will stand up against the fossil fuel industry and advocate for true environmental justice. Leaders who will truly represent their constituents, work with and advance the priorities of frontline communities of color. Environmental justice communities are some of the most active, politically powerful people in California. Primary elections are one of the best ways to exercise that power, ensuring that the candidates who move forward to the general election will lead by listening and meaningfully partner with us to represent our interests and priorities. We need leaders that will take on corporations who are increasing their profits by sacrificing our families and neighborhoods. That’s why CEJA Action is so excited to endorse the following eight environmental justice candidates.
You can find out which district you live in and which of our endorsed candidates you can support at this link.
Jovanka Beckles – SD 7 (Richmond, Oakland):
A former Richmond City Councilmember and current Alameda-Contra Costa Transit Board Director, Beckles is a stalwart advocate across Senate District 7. Beckles passed a ban on coal transport through Richmond and led the city of Richmond to file a lawsuit against Chevron to hold them accountable for endangering communities of color and causing climate catastrophes.
Kipp Mueller – SD 23 (Santa Clarita, Palmdale):
Dedicated civil rights and labor attorney Kipp Mueller fights for employees, union members, and asylum seekers. With progressive values, Mueller aims to bring positive changes, with an emphasis on equitable policies and environmental justice reforms in the district.
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes – SD 29 (Fontana, San Bernardino):
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, a tireless environmental champion, advocates for vital legislation for environmental justice communities. A former Assembly Majority Leader, she actively protects neighborhoods who suffer the worst air and health concerns from the proliferation of warehouses and pollution in the Inland Valley.
Michelle Chambers – SD 35 (Inglewood, Carson):
Former Compton City Councilmember Michelle Chambers is proven a leader in bridging policy-makers and governmental agencies to advocate for community engagement and public health protections by upholding the California Environmental Quality Act to take action when neighborhoods are contaminated. Chambers passionately advocates for environmental justice, focusing on building a clean and safe future for workers and communities of color.
Christy Holstege – AD 47 (Palm Springs):
Christy Holstege, a civil rights attorney and former mayor, prioritizes green energy and affordable housing, and access to green spaces for constituents most economically and environmentally vulnerable in Palm Springs. Her dedication to healthcare access and homelessness reduction underscores her commitment to community health and environmental justice.
Robert Garcia – AD 50 (Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana):
Esteemed school teacher and Etiwanda School Board Member, Robert Garcia has spent his career serving students and families of color. As an advocate for healthy homes and neighborhoods, and quality education for all, Garcia emphasizes the importance of environmental justice in San Bernardino.
Javier Hernandez – AD 53 (Pomona, Montclair, Ontario):
Javier Hernandez, Executive Director of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, believes in a just transition from industries that pollute our communities and advocates for a strong safety-net for all, affordable housing and accessible healthcare. His firsthand experiences fuel his passion for immigrant, worker, and environmental justice in the district.
Sade Elhawary– AD 57 (Jefferson, South Los Angeles):
Dedicated educator, community organizer and public leader, Sade Elhawary has seen the ways that corporate polluters’ have poisoned communities and escaped accountability. She is committed to championing healthy, safe, well-resourced, and environmentally just South Los Angeles.
Advancing Environmental Justice Principles
Each of our endorsements is driven by the candidate’s commitment to our guiding principles of environmental justice. By advocating for these values, and endorsing candidates with a commitment to putting them into practice, we can build a more environmentally just California.
They are to:
- Do no harm: decisions must do no further harm to environmental justice communities.
- Prioritize and value human health and improved quality of life: human health and well-being should not be overlooked for business interests or “cost effectiveness.”
- Prioritize environmental justice communities: confront the tragic, historic legacy and ongoing disproportionate polluting sources in communities, as well as the trend of disinvestment in those neighborhoods.
- Meaningfully engage with impacted communities: decisions are informed by residents of environmental justice communities. Decision-makers must be proactive and culturally relevant in soliciting input on actions to improve health, be responsive to community concerns and be transparent in their work to ensure continued engagement and accountability for decisions.
- Be proactive: decision-makers should not wait for communities to approach them with solutions, but proactively reach 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 be more inclusive, we must partner to advance intersectional solutions that creatively address the multiple crises Californians are facing.
- 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: frontline residents are experts in their communities, and know the solutions they want to see. However, too often community voices are ignored for lack of “verification” which prevents or delays effective harm reduction. Decision-makers should turn to community leaders for input and trust what they learn to inform more equitable policy.
CEJA Action is the only statewide, people of color-led alliance with deep expertise on environmental and climate justice issues faced by communities on the frontline of long-term pollution, systemic racism and regulatory negligence. We are the only alliance that builds the political power of environmental justice communities with strong infrastructure focused on mobilizing voters on candidate races. Our Primary Voter Guide reflects our Alliance’s deep-rooted community organizing – and we’ve endorsed candidates who will advance critical policies to improve the health and quality of life for communities of color.
Ad paid for by CEJA Action PAC, sponsored by CEJA Action, a project of Tides Advocacy.
Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.