Green, Clean and Healthy communities with responsive government systems are the right of every person, regardless of wealth, ethnicity, gender, identity or orientation. To create a more fair and just society, systemic inequality must be addressed intersectionally in our institutions in entities as diverse as police departments and environmental agencies.
Families in the United States, especially low-income families, are struggling. Working and low-income families pay more taxes and get less back from local, state and federal government. Industries dump their toxic wastes in low wealth areas, and factories and mines pollute neighborhood air and the water families drink. As a result, these communities are suffering more environmentally-induced diseases including asthma and cancer.
Neighborhoods should have ‘centers of opportunity’: good schools, affordable medical care, accessible public transportation, and plenty of livable wage jobs.
Governments and corporations should sustain and invest in neighborhoods and communities where people can live peacefully and successfully. Whether in the form of community input into new environmental justice programs, green jobs for low-income people, or targeting low-wealth areas for toxic clean-ups first, it is imperative that we address environmental inequity and uphold people’s right to healthy, flourishing communities.
CHEJ is dedicated to cleaning our communities, getting Congress to adequately fund EPA’s Superfund (CERCLA) and reinstate the “polluter pays” fees and lobbying for tougher environmental statutes to prevent environmental disasters and seek additional environmental justice protections. We call for a clean energy economy that encourages investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures at the state, local, and federal levels. A transition to a new, more sustainable energy future will create millions of good-paying green jobs for people of color, women, and low-income communities.
Our Clean, Green and Healthy initiative also works to incorporate regional equity principles to ensure the existence of community assets like affordable housing, diverse, sustainable neighborhoods, good schools, and medical care. CHEJ helps communities organize to fight environmental injustice and provides cutting-edge scientific information to empower communities to make decisions regarding their own health.