Green Zones are not just an opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color to live in healthy, thriving neighborhoods. It is an opportunity for all of California and the country to begin implementing the just, sustainable policies that are needed to face the changing climate and changing world. In order to transform toxic hotspots into healthy hoods, we need to start in the communities that are most overburdened by pollution and the highest cumulative impacts.
That’s why we’re excited to announce the 3 innovate bills we’re working on this year that will help advance Green Zones across the state. These bills will help increase public investments in vulnerable communities, address unhealthy and often discriminatory land use patterns, and support innovative community and climate transformation in disadvantaged communities.
We know our communities have the solutions, and these new Green Zones policies will help our communities gain the resources to bring our visions for health, justice, and sustainability to life. Grounded in local organizing, we seek to advance statewide policies that address the common roots and lift up the core principles of all Green Zones.
SB 1000: Planning for Healthy Communities Act
SB 1000 or the “Planning for Healthy Communities Act” authored by Senator Connie Leyva will require cities to include an Environmental Justice element in citywide General Plans. This will help improve local planning efforts to reduce disproportionate environmental and health impacts in our state’s toxic hotspots and moving us closer to healthy hoods.
An EJ element provides an institutional mechanism to assist cities and counties in identifying and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in their boundaries. SB 1000 will help local governments create better policies that prevent the unhealthy mix of industry, homes and residents.
The cities of Jurupa Valley and National City have recently incorporated EJ elements into their General Plans to ensure that local land use policies do not pose environmental and safety risks to disadvantaged populations. They also have served to help promote policies that improve the health and well-being of our most vulnerable populations. If it can work in these EJ communities, we believe it can work across the state.
CEJA is proud to co-sponsor this bill with our members Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ).
UPDATE: SB 1000 passed out of Assembly Appropriations and now moves onto the Assembly Floor!
AB 2722: Transformative Climate Communities
AB 2722 or the “Transformative Climate Communities Program” by Assemblymember Autumn Burke will advance large-scale, comprehensive investments in California’s most vulnerable communities through a new statewide program that aims to help achieve our climate goals. AB 2722 creates much-needed, new program to ensure that California is making comprehensive, cross-cutting, and transformative climate investments that achieve multiple greenhouse gas, public health and economic benefits in our state’s most vulnerable communities.
The new program will promote an integrated, collaborative approach and seeks to promote multi-stakeholder collaborations and leverage a range of funding sources, including private sector, to achieve large-scale impact.
UPDATE: AB 2722 passed out of Senate Appropriations and now moves on to the Senate Floor!