Tumultuous Budget Surplus Year Ends With Critical EJ Investments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Raquel Mason, raquel@caleja.org Advocates praise funding for resilience centers, TCC program in a year of legislative shortfalls  September 9, 2021 | Sacramento, CA – Today, after months of hard-fought advocacy by environmental justice organizations, the Legislature passed SB 170 and SB 155, concluding budget negotiations for 2021. As Californians face a looming eviction cliff and an escalating climate crisis, legislators in Sacramento voted to allocate $585 million to critical environmental justice programs with an additional $600 million in federal funding earmarked for a Just Transition through the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF).  These budget bills dedicate $420 million to the Transformative Climate Communities Program over the next three years and $100 million for Community Resilience Centers over two years, representing critical investments for working class communities and communities of color on the frontlines of poverty and pollution.  “As California responds to escalating wildfires, drought, and extreme heat, we must recognize and prioritize the leadership and needs of communities on the frontlines of climate change. By embracing our holistic vision for resilience centers, this year’s budget takes a huge step in that direction. We are excited to shape this community-led solution to ensure our neighborhoods are equipped

Read more

Assembly, Senate Budget Falls Short on Key Environmental Justice Priorities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June “Placeholder Budget” Requires Deeper Investments in Low-Income, Communities of Color Sacramento, CA — On June 14th, the California State Legislature narrowly passed a placeholder budget before the June 15 budget deadline with substantially different allocations than those proposed in Governor Newsom’s May Revision. Negotiations on the June budget are anticipated to continue into July. This week, the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) continues to urge lawmakers to pass an equitable 2021–2022 Budget through a letter to the Governor and Senate and Assembly Leadership. In the letter, CEJA requested that State leaders incorporate key environmental justice priorities into the final budget. In response to the passing of a June placeholder budget, CEJA Policy Manager Raquel Mason issued the following statement: As California residents brace for yet another year of severe drought and record-setting wildfires, CEJA calls upon Governor Newsom and the Legislature to eliminate funding for costly and dangerous false solutions that derail our state’s efforts for a just recovery; and, instead, invest deeply in programs that strengthen community well-being and address environmental and climate-related crises. With a record budget surplus, now is the time to prioritize life-sustaining programs and infrastructure such as community resilience centers, and make

Read more

Historic Surplus Should Invest in Low Income Environmental Justice Communities

Read and download CEJA’s budget priorities here. Last month, the Governor announced a historic budget surplus along with a proposal for the 2021 state budget. The Governor’s budget included some good starting points:  $2 billion for energy and water utility debt  $5.2 billion for housing debt relief $420 million for the Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC) But as drought conditions worsen, fires start to burn through Southern California and state regulators resolve to keep polluting gas power plants online, we know our communities will face blackouts and continued heatwaves this summer. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has spent $4.3 million in Sacramento to oppose life-saving bills – and it’s only June.   That’s why we’re fighting to add these environmental justice priorities to the budget: $3 billion for energy and water debt relief $1 billion for community resilience hubs  $2 billion for climate remediation high roads job program at DTSC and CalGEM to address orphaned wells, brown fields, refineries and climate resilience $420 million for Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC) $500 million for Transportation Equity projects  Eliminate funding for dairy digesters that contaminate groundwater and increase air pollution in EJ communities  We urge the Governor and legislature to support community resilience

Read more

CA Environmental Justice Alliance Action Announces 2021 Legislative Agenda

Oil and gas safety buffer zones and community resilience investments lead the 2021 EJ agenda  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Contact: Isa Flores-Jones | isa@caleja.org Sacramento, California  | April 20, 2021 – On Tuesday, the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) Action announced its priority bills for the 2021 Legislative session. As the state enters the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEJA Action is prioritizing a health and safety buffer zone between homes and to neighborhood oil drilling in California with SB 467 (Wiener and Limon), and critical investments in clean energy infrastructure with AB 1087 (Chiu).  CEJA Action is adopting supporting positions on SB 222 and 223 (Dodd),to ensure access to clean and affordable drinking water to low-income Californians; SB 342 (González), to add two environmental justice board members to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD); and AB 339 (Lee), to ensure that all local agency meetings are accessible to frontline residents. Read more about our priority bills here at ceja-action.org.  “California cannot claim to be a climate leader while it continues the dangerous practice of oil drilling next to where people live, work, learn, and play,” said Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director with Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles

Read more

Coalition Supporting SB 467 Vows to Continue Fight for Setbacks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKobi Naseck, VISION, kobi@vision-ca.org, (214) 609-2439Riddhi Patel, CRPE, rpatel@crpe-ej.org, (661) 865-4881Catie Stewart, Senator Wiener’s Office, catie.stewart@sen.ca.gov, (610) 675-6342 Coalition Supporting SB 467 Vows to Continue Fight for SetbacksOpposition from 3 Democratic Senators kept the bill from moving forward Sacramento, CA (April 13, 2021) – Yesterday, Senate Bill 467 (Wiener, Limon) – the bill tocreate health and safety buffer zones; phase out the most dangerous fracking methods inCalifornia; and provide steps to protect workers from volatile oil markets – was blocked in aninitial vote by members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment. One Democrat, Senator Eggman (D-5) joined Republicans to oppose the broadly popularfracking and setbacks bill, while two Democrats, Senators Hueso (D-40) and Senator Hertzberg(D-18) abstained from casting their votes. Following their no vote on Assembly Bill 345 last year,this is the second time these moderate Democrats, Sen. Hueso and Sen. Hertzberg haverefused to support a major oil and gas regulation bill that would protect frontline communities.The bill will be reconsidered in two weeks time before the Sen Natural Resources Committee. At the April 12th hearing, residents and advocates called on Senators to consider the healthimpacts of oil and gas drilling, including, “birth defects,

Read more

California’s Leading Environmental and Environmental Justice Groups Reject Recall

March 29, 2021 For Immediate Release Contact: Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California (mobile: 916-893-8494) Denis Dison, Communications Director, NRDC Action Fund (mobile: 202-280-0018) Mabel Tsang, Civic Engagement Manager, California Environmental Justice Alliance Action (mobile: 650-387-8638) Stefanie Lao, Press Associate, California League of Conservation Voters (mobile: 424-282-0922) Sacramento– Today three major statewide environmental groups and an environmental justice alliance representing more than 10 local and regional organizations, announced their opposition to the gubernatorial recall measure expected to be on a fall ballot. The groups are Sierra Club California, NRDC Action Fund, California Environmental Justice Alliance Action, and California League of Conservation Voters. The ballot measure is the sixth effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom since he took office in 2019. Through a decision by a Sacramento Superior Court judge, the latest petition was given an additional 120 days to circulate due to COVID restrictions on gatherings. As spelled out in the petition circulated for signatures, the proponents are trying to recall Newsom because they disagree with common-sense policies that most Californians embrace. These include policies as varied as those that protect Californians who are immigrants from harassment, eliminate the use of the death penalty, and require water conservation. California is

Read more