CEJA’s 2nd Legislative Scorecard analyzes the voting record of state legislators on key measures that impact the environment and quality of life in low-income communities and communities of color throughout California.
CEJA’s 2nd Scorecard showed overall improvement in the legislature, with average grades rising from a “C” to a “B” and many “A’s,” as compared to our first scorecard, analyzing the 2013 legislative session.
Several legislators received perfect scores: Senators Beall, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Jackson, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Pavley, Steinberg, Wolk, and Assemblymembers Ammiano, Nazarian, Skinner, and Ting, and many more received “A’s.” Congratulations to these decision-makers for standing with environmental justice in 2014!
What was the biggest take-away from the 2014 scorecard?
Environmental policy can no longer ignore the voices and vision of communities of color. As Strela Cervas, CEJA’s Coordinator, says: “People of color are California’s majority, a growing electorate, and the political future of our state, and they care about the environment. If legislators want to pass big environmental policies, they need to ensure the issues that communities of color care about are addressed.”
There is new leadership in the California legislature, including more decision-makers from the very communities that are most impacted by pollution. Environmental policy needs to prioritize the health and quality-of-life issues that challenge Latino, Asian Pacific American, Black, and other communities of color.
Despite the promising outlook, there are several key issues that did not see progress in 2014 that we will be working hard on in 2015:
- Reforming the broken Department of Toxic Substance Control (check out the People’ Senate for more info)
- Increasing investments in environmental justice communities
- Banning fracking (CRPE leads the way for CEJA!)
- Ensuring environmental justice is embedded in new climate policies being developed this year
- Setting an aggressive target for renewable energy goals that do not give loop holes to the gas and oil industry.