Jovanka Beckles, Richmond City Council member and candidate for Assembly District 15, today urged East Bay residents to attend a hearing this week to demand that Assembly Bill 617 be more fully implemented than currently proposed.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) hearing will be at the Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, in Sacramento at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.
Critics argue that the proposed “blueprint” to implement AB617 includes too few communities and plans too little action. It omits, among others, the highly impacted local communities of Richmond, East Oakland, and Vallejo.
“We need to mobilize because seriously polluted communities aren’t included in the list of cities that will receive emission reduction plans and funds,” said Beckles. “Only ten communities in the state are proposed to get any plans in the first year, and only seven of these could get an emission reduction plan. The rest get only air monitoring plans. This is not enough—dozens of communities need such cleanup.”
Beckles and environmental action organization Sunflower Alliance contend that as passed, AB617 is inadequate. Proponents have claimed it would address the concerns of communities experiencing damaging health effects of fossil fuel extraction, transportation, and refining. But critics see it as mostly an attempt to buy their silence following passage last year of AB398, the Cap and Trade Extension that caters to fossil fuel interests. The bill was opposed by more than 40 local, state, and national environmental justice organizations.
Sunflower Alliance urges that Californians need to use even the flawed AB617 to motivate as much pollution cleanup as possible.
Jovanka Beckles is endorsed in the AD15 race by Sierra Club of California, California Environmental Justice Alliance Action, California League of Conservation Voters, and five other environmental action organizations.
To find out more, and learn about other actions to take, please go to: http://www.sunflower-alliance.org/make-ab-617-really-work-for-impacted-communities-sept-27/