Vote No on Prop 23! How Voting Yes on Prop 23 Will Affect Our Community’s Right to Environmental Justice

30 Sep

Communities for a Better Environment protests at a Tesoro refinery in Wilmington!

In our May 20 post we shared the concept of ‘environmental racism’ and its origin.

Here is how Prop 23, if passed, will ensure the social phenomena of environmental racism; a phenomena experienced by millions of Californians of poor and working-class communities like Inglewood.

Many young Californians seem to be unaware of this November’s Proposition 23: a measure appearing to be responsive towards our state unemployment rate.  And no matter the television ads that began airing yesterday, we deserve to know the facts.  We cannot solely rely on television ads, whether in support of Prop 23, or in opposition to, for sufficient information.

Because many studies report that climate change will affect low-income communities and people of color first, it is important for all Inglewood youth and for youth of communities like Inglewood to become informed now.

On November 2, 2010 our community is being asked to vote, with very little information on Prop 23, also known as the “California Jobs Initiative”.  It is being presented to our families as a promise to create more jobs.  However, many argue this is an empty promise and that it more importantly, is a distraction.

Among those who argue Prop 23’s deceptiveness, is the coalition Communities United Against the Dirty Energy Proposition.   A coalition of social justice and community-based organizations, Communities is working to expose their common belief that the real purpose of the “California Jobs Initiative” is to: suspend the Global Warming Solution Act AB 32 of 2006, killing clean energy and air pollution reduction efforts.

Another belief shared by the measure’s opposition is that, instead of creating more jobs, it will actually cause the state unemployment rate to suffer; by negatively impacting  existing green jobs and businesses.  It is estimated that over 500,000 people are employed by clean energy and other sectors of green industry.  A fact that clearly contradicts supporters’ claims that AB 32 negatively affects our job economy.

Who is behind Prop 23?

Two major Texas companies of the oil industry, Valero and Tesoro; companies responsible for polluting our communities and our environment. These companies are funneling millions of dollars into pushing this measure.

How would these companies benefit from the suspension of AB 32?

Because it is an environmental law focusing on climate change instigated by pollution and the burning of fossil fuels, it consequently places regulations on the state of California and industries that contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Why should it matter if Prop 23 passes and AB 32 repealed?

Well, if you felt the heat this past Monday, please attempt to reconsider the reality of climate change.  For it has begun affecting third-world communities around the planet.  And it is tremendously important that the Global Warming Solution Act AB 32 remain a law because it includes a provision addressing the killing and harming of poor and working-class communities of color here in California. And just as important, our state of California, and specifically our law AB 32, has become a model for the U.S. in making political and social changes toward environmental protection.

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