FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2021
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Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán and community and nonprofit leaders were among those present at the rally
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, frontline community members came to Washington to call on Congress to support 100% clean, renewable energy and the rest of President Joe Biden’s historic American Jobs Plan as a justice issue.
Surrounded by colorful signs and banners and with the US Capitol as the backdrop, frontline community members spoke about the toll climate change will take — and has already taken — on their lives. Speakers included Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, CA-44; Samuel Jordan, Maryland State Conference (MSC) NAACP and the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition (BTEC); Reverend Lenox Yearwood, Hip Hop caucus; Kim Sudderth, Mothers Out Front; Susan Parker, Wicomico Environmental Trust; and Anthony Lorenzo Green, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Single Member District 7C04.
“By investing in clean energy infrastructure, we are also investing in a livable climate future for our children, justice for frontline communities like mine in Hampton Roads and good-paying jobs for all,” said Virginia Organizing Manager Kim Sudderth from Mothers Out Front. “Congress needs to meet us in this moment to heed the science and to make good on this administration’s promises. We must act now. Our children’s future is at stake.”
You can watch a livestream here. High-resolution photos available upon request.
Dirty power plants, oil refineries, terminals with idling busses, gas pipeline compressor stations, interstate highways and other polluting energy projects are disproportionately placed in communities of color. Communities that have been historically disinvested in are being hit first and worst, and low income communities near the shore face a chronic lack of funding.
Investing in 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035 would dramatically reduce air pollution, improve public health, advance environmental justice, and reduce extreme weather events. Researchers estimate that exposure to pollution, especially fine particulate matter, is responsible for more than 100,000 premature deaths each year. A clean energy standard would help avoid more than $1.7 trillion in health and environmental costs, including 93,000 avoided premature deaths, through 2050. In addition, there will be immediate reductions in the risk of cancers, respiratory disease, heart disease and stroke.
“When the transit equity movement joins the climate change response movement, we acknowledge that a healthy planet needs social justice for all,” said Samuel Jordan who spoke as a representative from Maryland State Conference, NAACP, and the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition.
“Our climate has changed,” said Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus. “It’s in the headlines from Washington DC to Los Angeles, and the frontlines of this crisis are primarily in Black and Brown communities. To continue to ignore it means certain death. Future generations will bear the burden of the decisions that we make today. They will look at you and ask, ‘What did you do?’. I want you to know that we are capable of solving the climate crisis if we turn our attention to the solutions. We must say that we made the necessary investments in 100% clean renewable energy with the American Jobs plan.”
The event is part of the “Leaders for 100% Clean Energy” summer series of events, organized to demonstrate the broad-based support that exists across the country for the American Jobs Plan and its 100% clean power provision. The event is co-hosted by Wicomico Environmental Trust, Hip Hop Caucus, Evergreen Action, and CCAN Action Fund. With Congressional leaders intending to vote on the legislation this summer, the time to act is now.
The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For almost 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.